Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not so Christmas Gifts.....

I love Christmas, really I do.  However, I'm not a big fan of the Christmas themed gifts that I often receive.  But let's face and green trees and stars look a little bizarre in the middle of March!!!

I gathered some of the items in my shop....gotta love a little self promotion.... that are soooo giftable.  Now and later!!!!

Tea towels....okay, so we really don't do tea anymore. But they are great in the kitchen and bathroom.  I had a customer who used them as window!  A great hostess gift gathered around a bottle of wine with ribbon.  At only $14 each they are perfect to have on hand.

Jewelry is a given. I love the new hand-crafted dictionary and typewriter key pieces I just received from my Texas artist!!  They are stylish, chic, and affordable!! Gotta luv that!!!! From $20 -$38.
What's trending...owls, white...white owls???? Fabulous Owl Vase $26.95
Amazing Sweater Vases and Votive Holders.....priced from $14-$28
See anything you like??????
Find them and more at The Robin's Nest Holiday Open House
NOV 4 - 6, Fri/Sat 9-4pm, Sun 12-4pm.
Have a good one,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chair Love...Refresh an oldie, but a goody! Part 4

Sorry for the delay, guys!! Here's the long overdue final post from my chair series.

Look how far we've come! I've talked you into sniffing, wiggling and sitting into every chair you see. Seriously though, it's important to check out the chair before you invest time and money into its transformation. You've considered whether or not to paint it and how much to spend on fabric. But.........Speaking of transformation, that's the final topic that I want to talk about in this series

Changing the style of a chair through paint and fabric choice.

Let's say you find a sturdy, comfortable, "un-stinky" chair.'s not really your style. Doesn't mean you have to keep on walking to find the next potential candidate. If there is even one special detail about a chair, then I focus on that and know that the right paint and fabric can totally change the "look". Best to show this by example. Time for the before and after pictures I promised.

Looking at this cane chair, it's got traditional written all over it. In fact, you could go safe and paint, distress and do the "frenchy" thing and it would turn out wonderfully. However, since I'm on a modern kick these days, I know gloss paint would transport this beauty into the 21th century. Add a geometric print from...let me say it... MOOD in NYC (yup!! went into a fabric coma there!) and voila...MODERN CHIC!

Traditional and Predictable

Outdated Style
It's amazing what a little paint and fabric can do...huh???  Just stop and dream a little. Imagine your perfect chair, then go out an find an ugly duckling. The possibilities are endless.
Have a good one,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chair Love...Refresh an oldie, but a goody! Part 3

If you have been following this series, you know that Part 1 (picking the chair) and Part 2 (to paint or not to paint)

Part 3: Picking fabric for your chair re-do project.'ve sniffed, wiggled, looked, loved, what??? You've got to choose a fabric that is right for the chair and it's intended purpose. Questions to ask yourself?

1. Will this chair be for looks only?
2. Is this chair gonna get a lot of wear and tear?
3. What kind of look am I going for?
4. How much am I willing to spend on fabric?
5. Should I be bold or subtle?
6. Does the fabric match the chair?

Looks only....No way baby!!! If you live in a palace on a hill, well, sure. But most of us use every part of our homes. I think we should likeLOVE everything in our homes. Why waste your time on a project if you aren't gonna use it.

Wear and tear...Depending on where you are gonna put the chair, durability comes into play. If the room doesn't get a lot of use, you can use light-weight upholstery fabric. Got kids, pets, etc. you really have to get heavy-weight upholstery fabric. Scotch-Guard might be in order. Also, think about texture. Can kitty claws pick and pull and knubby fabric??? Gotta get real here.

Look...Smart, vintage, modern, traditional. How do you want your chair to look?

Price...I'm a go for broke kinda girl! That being said...I love a great deal. I buy better than I can afford. How I do this...the net! There are a number of great fabric resources on the web. Look for remnants! Search designer upholstery fabric remnants
Don't forget your local fabric store...remember your coupon for the best deal!!!

How much fabric? Are you doing the upholstery yourself? Check the web for upholstery yardage guidelines. Are you having an upholsterer do the project? Send them a pic. of your chair to get an estimate BEFORE you buy the fabric. Always buy a little extra (.5 to 1 yd) to ensure you have enough. You can always whip up a pillow with the extra.

Bold or Subtle....This is really determined by your personal style. If your chair is small, it's a great way to add punch to the room with a bold fabric. If you are dealing with a larger chair, remember that you are looking for a punch of style, not a black eye. The larger the chair the more subdued your fabric should be. The look can be changed with pillows, think longevity here. Classic style can always be updated.

Does it match the Chair?...You may fall in love with a fabric, but remember to consider the size of the design/print. Larger prints traditional don't work well on chairs, especially small ones. Fabrics with large designs can overwhelm a chair. Sometimes the design can be so large that it isn't fully represented on the finished chair...bummer. If you can lay the fabric on the chair before you begin to see how it will look. If you are buying the fabric online, then look at the repeat dimensions (the amount of space that each(one) motif/design takes up on the fabric). Quickly measure this out on scrap fabric and lay it on the chair. Does this work for you? Is it too large? Too small?
Don't be afraid of solids. There are fabulous rich fabrics out there....velvets, linens, cotton sateens, even...hush your mouth drop cloth! Go for it!

Stay tuned for Part 4 in this series. I will show some of my before and afters as well and talk about how to mix design styles...chair vs. fabric.

Have a good one,

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chair Love...Refresh an oldie, but a goody! Part 2

Hopefully, you read Part 1 of Chair love so you are ready to move on to Step 2.

Chair love, take 2!!'ve finally picked out your chair! You wiggled it, you sat in it, you smelled it, and you love it. What to do next??

Let's back up just a minute. I think I had a "brain fart" in step one and forgot to mention that this process is for upholstered chairs. They really are no-brainers when it comes to a re-do. If they are sturdy, cheap and interesting, then GO for it!! A little cleaning, paint, wax or whatever and presto...a great chair.

This chair series is to help you understand how I pick a re-do candidate. blah, blah, step already, girl.

Step 2: To Paint or Not to Paint...That is the Question (?)

1. Unless the wood finish is in terrific condition I paint the frame. Actually, come to think of it, I almost always paint the frame. A traditional chair can really be modernized by paint.

2. What type of paint to use?? There are so many kinds out there right now.
Latex, chalk, spray...which one is right for you?

If I am trying to achieve a modern look I always go with a gloss finish spray paint.  I really like Valspar Gloss in black or white.  When a chair has a lot of carved details, it can really be a pain in the a*^%&* to paint with a brush. Because my chairs are for sale, I have to keep things neutral so I stick with black or white.  For personal use, I say...GO FOR IT! Bring on the color!
If I am going for a cottage or more aged look...then handsdown, chalk paint is for me.  I use Cece Caldwell.  There are other really great brands, but the colors they offer make me smile!  Paint, distress, wax. That's my motto.  I love the look of carved chairs when the wax settles into the details.  It really looks like an old piece. Super cool.

You can always use latex paint, (I love Behr).  Don't forget to prime the chair before painting. I hate this seems so fruitless, so I spray or chalk paint....hint, hint, hint...NO PRIMING!  Just a light sand and wipe down and you are ready to PAINT!!  Instant gratification, baby, that's what I'm talkin' about! 

Check back for the final post on Part 3, Picking the fabric.

Have a good one,