Color of the Year: Emerald

This year Pantone named Emerald as the color of the year. . . . .

TFP EC 14. . . . .isn’t it just dreamy?? Since I’m usually looking for an excuse to paint something our entertainment center got a fresh coat!Turn an old dresser into an entertainment center! From thefrontpoarch.comWe started with hiding our TV cables the hard way and then acquired this dresser from my grandparents’ weekend home. The mirror and the first 2 drawers were removed.

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Using the drawers as a template, Phillip traced and cut 2 shelves for the top.

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It then sat in our living room for about a month until I worked up the courage to actually paint it. The first time I showed Phillip the paint color he said, “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . I won’t say anything until you get done.” I took it as him saying, GO FOR IT!!!

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I had some of Valspar’s Wet Pavement in Satin left from painting my Vintage Serving Tray so I started by spraying the interior gray and painting the interior of the drawers. If you paint the drawers guides, be sure to give them a lite sanding before replacing your drawers so that they will still slide in and out easily. TFP EC 5Then the fun began! The color I purchased was Valspar’s Luscious Green in Gloss and it t took 3 coats to get a smooth even, finish. I opted to paint the legs gray which I’m not too crazy about but I’m hoping they will grow on me.

TFP EC 12As per usual, Leland came to help. . . .until he tried to lick the wet paint and I kicked him out of the garage.

TFP EC 4Now that all is said and done, this beauty sits in my living room.

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Before I painted the dresser I found this tag attached to the back and was overjoyed to find out that it was the original sales tag when this piece was sold to my grandparents. Judging from their address, my guess is that they purchased it in the mid-50’s.

TFP EC 11The drawers now hold movies, video games and kids toys for visiting friends.

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Have you repurposed an old piece of furniture? I’d love to hear about it!

A year in the making – 1 Year Blogiversary

365 days ago, a dream of mine became a reality.TFP Sign

It started probably a year before that when I stumbled across a blog called House of Hepworths. Who even knew DIY blogs existed? It was the first one I’d ever heard of and I was instantly infatuated with Alison and her amazing DIY skills. I was hooked. I read every post she’d ever written and waited anxiously for new posts to be published (yeah. . . I was kind of a creeper). I began to dream and really think, I could do that!

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At the time we lived in a tiny 2-bedroom duplex whose owner barely let us install a ceiling fan (it had NO ceiling fans. . . in the middle of west Texas. . . . yeah, not smart) so I knew a DIY blog was out of the question as long as we lived there. Time went on and I began to follow other blogs like I Heart Organizing and Primitive and Proper and as the DIY bug grew within me and I worked on small projects around our home.

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In January of 2012 this all changed when, through a series of God sized events, we bought our first home. I was ECSTATIC. Long before we moved my head began to spin with renovation ideas, paint colors and flooring options. (Side Note: I didn’t join Pinterest for a long time because my friend Katie told me it was like my brain on steroids. She was right.) I immediately knew the time had come to launch my very own blog, and that my friends is how it all began.

I was so excited I had probably 2-3 posts written before we moved. That’s right, in two weeks time I packed our entire house, we cleaned our new house, did all the techy stuff that goes along with starting a blog and I wrote several posts. Oh yeah, and we both worked a full time job. Needless to say, we were pumped about this dream coming true.

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Over the past year we’ve learned a lot. A LOT. We’ve learned about working together and communication. We’ve learned that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want something to drink. We’ve learned that I am a mouse. . . .and I want a cookie. We’ve learned that I have big dreams and can always see the final product where as Phillip never sees the final product and often says things to me like,

“You aren’t finished with that project. . . are you?”

“You want to paint what?”

“Those things don’t match.”

Yet he always loves the result. It’s been an entertaining year of growth and discovery.

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I’ve learned 3 things about myself over the past 12 months;

  • I love to dream up big projects and see them through to completion.
  • I love writing about what I’ve done. I do the staging, shooting and editing. . . .so that I can write.
  • I love that there are people out there whom I’ve never met who actually read the things I write. It never ceases to amaze me.

So to you, faithful reader, thank you. Thank you for reading, dreaming and learning with me. You are the reason that I continue to write so thanks for the encouragement and love.

Speaking of love . . . . wouldn’t you just LOVE to win a new purse?? I thought so.

Daily Tote Giveaway - thefrontpoarch.com

Without further adieu, the winner is. . . .Heather Jernigan!

Heather be sure to check your email for prize details.

 

Here’s to many, many more DIYing years to come!

Vintage Serving Tray

As we cleaned out my Grandad‘s house, I came across lots of great vintage finds, most of which I shared with you last July. On later trips I found a few more pieces that I’d like to share today.

This awesome orange arm chair was tucked away in a corner my entire life and I never even noticed it! Although I do love the orange, an upholstery job is in store as well as some love and care for those beautiful tapered legs. They are the screw-in type and although they aren’t stripped, the fitting is VERY loose. Anyone have any experience fixing a similar problem?

This vintage tray was another hidden gem that I found, in all places, stuffed in the attic, covered in dirt. It was next to my giant piece of original art that was the source of great agony last fall when it took, not 1, not 2, but 3 attempts to hang it in my dining room! Today the tray is getting a makeover!
TFP Tray 1It cleaned up nicely but it definitely was showing it’s age.

TFP Tray 2TFP Tray 3One of the handles had broken off but my awesome wood-working father-in-law was able to make a new one over Thanksgiving.

TFP Tray 4The x-stand was also in rough shape and missing one of the fabric brackets.

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After a few coats of paint, here’s the final product!TFP Tray 6

The tray was sanded and paint with Valspar’s Wet Pavement in Satin. I got the paint plus primer and it worked wonders!TFP Tray 7TFP Tray 10

The stand I left as natural wood and gave it a good rub down with Murphy’s Oil Soap. I made new braces out of some gray webbing that I picked up at Hancock’s which allowed me to make sure the stand sat completely level, it was a little wonky before.TFP Tray 8

So there you have it! Ever rescued any trash that you thought was a treasure?TFP Tray 9

PS – Did you know that I’m hosting my very first giveaway? It only takes a few minutes to enter! Click here to enter by Monday, March 11th at 11pm!

PSS – I’m being featured over at Life as a Thrifter today! Go see how I turned a baby crib into house numbers.

PSSS – As of last night at approximately 10pm. . . . .

We're debt free! thefrontpoarch.comWE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! (More on that later.)

 

How to Upholster Chairs

Last week I showed you my newly redone kitchen chairs and now I’m back with an upholstery tutorial!TFP Upholstery 25

Here’s a basic overview of what you’ll need:

  • flat head screw driver
  • hammer
  • pliers
  • sharpie
  • scissors
  • upholstery or other heavy weight fabric
  • foam batting
  • staple gun
  • husband or other handy helper
  • Scotch Guard

Start by removing your cushions from your chairs.

Mine were attached with a screw at each corner and came off rather easily. Be sure to save whatever screws/clips you pull out so that you can put your chairs back together when we’re done!

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Now we’re going to remove the old fabric from each cushion. Most fabric will be attached with upholstery tacks (small nails) or staples so let’s start with upholstery tacks first.

Grab your flat head screwdriver and place it, flat side parallel to the wood, between the wood and the fabric at the base of your tack. You want to see-saw the screwdriver underneath the head of tack and use the leverage of the screwdriver and the fabric to loosed and pull the tack free.

If you have really old fabric like mine it may rip instantly, now worries, just go ahead and rip it completely off the tack so you’ll have a better view of the screwdriver.

(Sorry for the blurry photo – my handy helper wasn’t around to help at this point!)

TFP Upholstery 2Ahhh. . . . much better!

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If you have a few ornery tacks, grab your hammer and pull them out the old-fashioned way.

TFP Upholstery 4Onto staples! If your fabric is attached with staples you’ll want to use your flat head screwdriver for a tap-and-loosed approach and then use your pliers to pull any staples that break or need a little extra encouragement. I found it easier to enlist the help of my handy husband, Phillip (aka, he’s does the hard work around here).

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Throw away all that nasty fabric and be sure you pick up all the little pieces of upholstery tacks and staples, they are not fun to step on. And if you feel like you need a tetanus shot you’re not alone!

You’ll then be left with a wooden seat bottom and whatever kind of padding was underneath. Next you’ll need to determine how gross the padding is and whether or not you want to reuse it. For me, I kept the old padding and added some batting to it (more on that later). Just trust your gut – it never hurts to start fresh.

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*Bonus Tip: after I pulled all of my tacks/staples out, the bottom of my seat cushions looked like they’ed been to the gun range. I grabbed my sharpie and circled the hole that I was for attaching the seat to the chair. This helped me not cover it with fabric and easily reassemble my chairs.*TFP Upholstery 7Now it’s time to densify! Is that a word? I don’t think so. . . .

Back to the chairs, my cushions measured about 14″x15″ at the widest point so I chose this densified batting that was on sale at Hancock’s and this floral print which also made an appearance on my recently added, Kitchen Command Center.TFP Upholstery 24

Before you can attach your new fabric, you’ll need to cut your batting down to size.

Place your seat bottom, top down, on the batting, trace it with your sharpie and trim the excess.

I cut on the outside of my sharpie lines, knowing that I could always come back and trim more later. I also cut batting for each specific seat bottom. In theory they should all be the same size but I wanted to be double sure that everything fit perfectly.
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Now it’s time to staple! Lay your fabric, print side down on a smooth surface (I used my living room floor). Next, layer the batting and then the seat bottom, again, top side down. Grab your staple gun and get ready!

TFP Upholstery 8Start at the back of the cushion and secure the fabric with one staple in the middle (just eye ball it).

TFP Upholstery 10From there work your way to the edge and repeat for the front edge.

As you staple, it’s a good idea to flip the entire cushion over to make sure the tension is correct. You want it to be tight but not look strained. When you first start, you’ll probably want to turn the cushion over after each staple but as you go you’ll get the hang of it and only have to check once per side (or so).

TFP Upholstery 9See what I mean?

TFP Upholstery 11Now comes the tricky part, the corners.

You’ll want to play around with your fabric and figure out the best way to fold them so they’ll look finished and professional. My advice – find something that works and go with it. Don’t feel the pressure to make it perfect with some kind of hoyty toty fold!

For my fold, I took the piece coming from the back (or front) side and folded it first meaning that the side that is already attached to the wood goes on the bottom. I then took the side piece (not yet attached) and made a top, pretty fold. Clear as mud?

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Staple 1 corner and then work your way toward the other corner, picking up the slack as you go and tucking it into the 2nd corner. Repeat on the other side.

After stapling the corners, my seat bottom looked like this. At this point you want to trim off the excess fabric, remember those holes we circled with the sharpie? We want all of them to show!TFP Upholstery 13

Flip it over and the top will look like this. Give it a few coats of Scotch Guard and you’ll be ready for reassembly!TFP Upholstery 14So there you have it! What chairs are you going to upholster? Be sure to share your finished product, I’d love to see what you create!

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Thrifted: Chair Restoration

Last weekend I was busy busy busy painting painting painting, here’s the before. . . TFP Kitchen Bar 10here’s the after. . . Can you spot the difference?

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My recently thrifted kitchen chairs got a new coat of paint and new seat cushions! An upholstery tutorial is coming soon.

TFP Upholstery 16TFP Upholstery 22Do you remember the built-in kitchen desk that I recently restored? It’s chair got a face lift too!

TFP Upholstery 18TFP Upholstery 19Hello beautiful.

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The pantry door also got a fresh coat of paint which I simply love. . . . I think gray and yellow could be my new thing.

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Oh hello yellow polka dots, thanks for brightening my day!

TFP Upholstery 20What color scheme are you digging right now?

 

 

Thrifted Lately

Over the holidays I thrifted several items that I wanted to share with you today. First off my work friend Jen gave (that’s right, GAVE) me this awesome rack card holder.TFP Card Display 1

I haven’t quite decided what to do with it yet, any suggestions? Photos? Recipes? Paint it? Don’t paint it?

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I think it was origianlly intended for CDs but could easily hold cards or notes.TFP Card Display 3

One day we happened upon a mid-week garage sale and among other things, I picked up this adorable hippopotamus. When I saw he was only $1 I knew I couldn’t leave without him.

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Finally, you may know that I’ve been on the hunt for chairs for my kitchen table for several months now. Last fall we added some built-in benches to create my dream eat-in kitchen but I still needed a few chairs for the other side of the table. (We have some vintage wooden folding chairs that were serving as place holders up until this point.)

As luck would have it, I was able to snag these 3 beauties from my grandparents’ house.

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The chairs are in good shape but the cushions definitely need some love. . . and some matching fabric.

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The details however are stunning, hello curved legs! Hello scalloped back brace!

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I see some sanding, painting and cushion re-upholstering in my future. . . what color do you think I should paint them?

How to Hide Your TV Cables the Hard Way

Just before Christmas we rearranged our living room but when I wrote that post I left out 1 small detail. . . the whole reason we flipped the layout of this room was to move the TV. You see, one day we’re going to rebuild our fireplace and when we do, the TV is going to be mounted above the mantle.  So like logical people we thought, if we’re going to mount the TV on the wall one day, why not mount it now? And if you’re going to flip your living room so you can mount your TV on the wall you might as well hide the cords while you’re at it! And if you give a mouse a cookie he’s going to want something to drink. . . .

There are LOTS of great tutorials around the blogosphere about mounting your TV and hiding the cords like this one from the Harpster Home and this one from House of Hepworths, so we bought a mount and set to work.
TFP TV Mount 1

We’d lined up a vintage dresser to convert into a media console and since we were eventually going to rip the sheet rock out anyway and in the meantime it was going to be covered up by the TV and media console, we cut nice big holes so it would be easier to thread the cords through. Great idea, right?

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So we hung the TV and. . . if you guessed we hung it too high you would be correct! That means that we had to remount the wall bracket, cut another hole in the sheet rock and leave the existing hole somewhat exposed.

Don’t worry, things got much worse after that. Phillip started from the top hole and tried fish a small dowel rod through the wall just to make sure everything was clear and no insulation was in the way. About 2 feet down he hit something that was really hard. No worries we thought, he can probably dislodge whatever is stuck if he comes up through the bottom. He began to fish through from the bottom and about 4 feet up he hit the same something. What could be in our wall that’s really hard and lodged in between 2 studs. . .

I’ll tell you what, a mount for a fireplace mantle that’s what! We actually don’t know that for sure but that’s our best guess. Remember how there used to be a fireplace on this wall? You know, the one we’re going to rebuild with those stones that were in our backyard? Yeah, we determined that when they took the fireplace out they left the mantle mount in case it was ever rebuilt. How thoughtful.

So at this point we had a mounted tv, 3 holes in the wall and no way to hide the cords. (Short of ripping out the sheet rock and removing the mount which we were not about to do!) And then it hit us, what if we built a frame . . .

TFP TV Mount 3

. . . and covered it in fabric. . . . TFP TV Mount 5

. . . and cut a hole for the TV mount. . . TFP TV Mount 6

. . . and hung it on the wall behind the media console and it turned out to be the most awesome idea we’ve ever had! Pretty great idea right?? So that’s what we did and today things are looking much improved.

TFP TV Mount 8

My parents delivered this dresser to us over Christmas and it’s in line to get some serious love in the next few months.

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Let’s take a trip down memory lane. . . when we first moved in (almost a year ago!) our living room looked like this.

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Yeah. . boring. Ugly. Blah! Here’s what it looks like today!

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It’s hard to believe how far this room has come in just 11 months! Last fall we got a new-to-us couch, added new legs, made some custom curtains and painted the walls! Then in December we flipped the layout and added the deacons benches all in one fell swoop.

So there you have it, how to hide your TV cables the hard way. . . anybody else had a similar experience? How you ever started a project that went horribly awry?

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Vintage Blue & Gold Coasters

In keeping with January being National Organization Month I took time last week to finish a simple project I’d been putting off for WAY too long.

Since my sweet Grandad died last spring our family has been going through his belongings and finding hidden treasure. Grandad processed microfilm most of his life and even had the opportunity to work for Nasa during the Apollo missions. He acquired lots of great memorabilia not these least of which are these gold and blue coasters that found a new home at my house.

When I got them the tops were mostly in good shape, nothing a little scrub down wouldn’t fix but the felt backing had almost completely disintegrated.

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I carefully measured the circumference and cut black circles out of cardstock with my Silhouette Cameo.

TFP Coasters 2TFP Coasters 3

 

I then glued each circle to the back of each coaster and sealed it with a coat of Modge Podge.

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And then they sat. . . in my craft room . . . for probably 3 months or so. . . . I just got so consumed with holiday decorations and plans that I couldn’t make time to finish them!

Finally last week when I pulled them back out and cut out the felt backing that they needed to be ‘finished’.

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I again turned to my friend Modge Podge to attached each felt circle.TFP Coasters 14

After sitting over night to let the glue dry I trimmed any overhanging felt and called it a day.

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Now we get to use these beauties everyday.

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What projects are on your to-finish list this weekend?

The Trip of a Lifetime

If you’ve been around the Front Poarch very long, you know that I love all things mid-century or as Phillip says, “old”. I’m not really into true antiques but there is something about simple, classic design that I just can’t pass up.

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One of the “old” things I love the most is Fiestaware.

I mean hello, concentric rings and rich, bold color! Swoon! (And yes, I’m well aware that Fiestaware was first produced in the 1930s.) We registered for it when we got married nearly 4 years ago and I love it more and more every day. It’s my china and my every day dishware. It holds our Christmas turkeys. . .

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. . . and our leftover Chinese.

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My most favorite of all Fiestware is this beauty.

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When Phillip’s Poarch grandparents got married in 1951 they received a complete set of Fiestaware. The only problem was that Anita thought it didn’t match so she gave it away. GAVE. IT. AWAY. Needless to say, if she still had that set it would be worth thousands and more importantly, it would be a sight of sheer early Americana beauty. This is the only piece she kept from the set and several years ago, when Phillip and I were dating she gave this teapot away too.

TFP Fiesta 2

She gave it to me. It is one of my most prized possessions and by far my favorite “old” thing.

To me the best, most awesome, over the top cool thing about Fiestware is that they make it in a factory. In Newell, West Virgina. And you can go there. And go on a factory tour. And shop at the factory outlet store. And buy lots of really cheap Fiestaware. And MOM AND I ARE GOING OVER SPRING BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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That’s right! After years of planning the tickets have been purchased, the tour reservation has been made and come March 9th it’s going to be me and mom and Fiestaware for 5 straight days!

In addition to the blog, I’ll be documenting our journey vis Instagram to be sure to follow me @FrontPoarch.

Just 56 days until the trip of a lifetime begins!

A Dream Come True

Can you guess what’s finally finished?

TFP Bench 2

That’s right! My eat-in kitchen! I’ve been dreaming about it for months and when my in-laws came in October, they did the hard work of building the benches. After several weeks of procrastinating, I made myself  ‘sit down’ and stain them (see what I did there?).

Here’s the before:TFP HT 9

And the after:

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TFP Bench 7

TFP Bench 6

I used what I’m now referring to as the Front Poarch stain, Minwax Bombay Mahogany in PolyShades. I know true woodworkers are cringing right now but I know myself and if it was up to me to stain and poly (double the amount of time on every project) nothing would ever get done! Plus, it’s very forgiving as long as you just keep going and don’t try to sand once you’ve started. (Trust me on that one.)

TFP Bench 1

I love the rich brown color of the stain and how it lets the grain peak through.

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How’s coming for dinner tonight?