Anniversary Print

Friday, September 21, 2012

For our anniversary this year, Justin decided to check out my Pinterest boards for gift ideas (smart!). I have an entire board devoted to different prints that I like that I find inspiring and fun. Originally, he was just going to buy one I had selected, but as he looked into the different artists' shops on etsy, he decided to purchase this one from theloveshop.  I was quite surprised when I opened it and was thrilled that he picked one out that meant something to him.

The print makes a great addition to our black and white bedroom, especially once we put it in a large square frame with a thick mat from Ikea. As always, it's all in the details! :)

Our West Elm Inspired Sectional (Part 2)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In case you missed it, here’s Part 1 of our DIY outdoor sectional.  While Justin was busy sanding and staining, I was given the task of making the cushions. Although I know most people wouldn’t select white fabric for anything going outdoors, I just couldn’t get over how great it looked in the West Elm catalog so I decided to go for it! To my surprise it was almost impossible to find white outdoor fabric, which is weird since every HGTV show uses it when they do outdoor spaces and West Elm had it as an option for their cushions. So instead of finding outdoor fabric, we had to settle with buying a durable white fabric and then spraying it with a waterproofing spray (came from a fabric store) so it would be protected outdoors. Let’s just be honest, spraying fabric to make it water repellent just wasn’t the same thing as using an outdoor fabric.

Regardless, after the fabric had been sprayed, I proceeded to make the cushions using these directions.  I didn’t have any prior experience making cushions, but the directions were fairly easy (although time consuming). This was definitely the biggest sewing project I have ever worked by myself and it was definitely far from perfect. I must admit that I even sewed one of the backs of the cushions inside out, but at that point in the project I was pretty much over it so I just left it. Finally, I finished the seat cushions and the back cushions.

Now, I will be the first to admit that if I could do this over I would probably have them professionally made and I would definitely use a different color for the fabric.  At the end of the day, we were really pleased with the sectional and you have to admit that the dark wood with the white fabric looks pretty awesome (at least from a distance!).
 
Unfortunately, I don't remember the total cost for the project, but to buy it from West Elm would have been over $1500 (the cushions alone were $500). I am certain that our grand total cost less than just the cushions from West Elm which makes all of the work worth it to me!
 

Our West Elm Inspired Sectional

Monday, September 17, 2012

The weather has been so beautiful lately.. its the type of weather that is perfect for football games, caramel macchiatos, scarfs, cardigans, and for just being outside and enjoying it. However, before the weather gets too cold, I wanted to share mine and Justin's project from last summer for our patio furniture. We had a balcony at our last place, but we were having a hard time finding furniture we liked that was in our budget. Of course, West Elm had a sectional that we loved, but the price tag wasn't quite as loveable. So we did what we always do, we found a way to make it ourselves for a fraction of the cost of buying it. Thanks to Ana White's plans, we had step by step instructions to create exactly what we wanted. There were two sets of plans, one for the Corner and Ends and one for the Armless chairs.
 
We decided to make two armless chairs and two corner/end chairs which we could use to make a L-shaped sectional that would perfectly fit our balcony. Of course, living in a condo means there is very limited space for cutting lots of wood. Although Justin would have thoroughly enjoyed purchasing a mitre saw, it just wasn't the right time to pursue that option. Instead, I suggested getting all of the measurements together and having them cut at the home improvement store. It definitely wasn't as much fun for Justin (or for the guy having to make 60+ cuts at the store), but the zero cost and the fact that saw dust wasn't covering our entire house made it worthwhile. Yes, it took most of our Saturday morning to have them cut, and no, the cuts weren't as meticulous as Justin's would've been, but in the end it got the job done (plus, we didn't have to end up driving down the road with 2x4's sticking out of our car!).

I won't bore you with the details about sanding, gluing, staining and all of the other nitty gritty details that go into making the sectional since you can find out all about it at the links listed above.  The directions were pretty straight forward and the only suggestion we have is to stain the wood for the seat slats before they're attached. Otherwise, you will end up with small crevices that are difficult to reach when you're staining the wood. Granted, no one else would really notice, especially since we have cushions that go on top, but if we could do it again we would definitely stain first.

While Justin was busy making the sectional, I was busy working on my part of the project: the cushions. I'll be back Wednesday to talk about what directions we used and what we would do differently next time. See you then!

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