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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Foyer Finale!

To recap this portion of my challenge, here are the goals for my first room, the Foyer:

  • Add color 
  • Organize the closet 
  • Build a bench 
  • Change lighting
  • Do all this by Christmas and with a budget of no more than $300.00. 

  What follows is the end result:





  • Flooring - I searched quite a few stores and online for an area rug and ended up getting two.  Both came from Target for under $20 each.
  • Art - A painting done by my daughter in an old IKEA frame and an Asian print I had in my basement.
  • Wall Decor - An antique ironwork piece found at an antique store in Indiana for $18, plus a basket I bought for $1.
  • Plants - Brought the geranium and asparagus fern in from outside.
  • Wreath - I looked and looked for a wreath under $35, but didn't find one, of course.  So I made it from the Magnolia leaves from our backyard tree, pine cones from our lake cottage, and wood shavings from our basement work shop.  Woodstock, our cat, helped!

I didn't need that box of leaves!

I  started with a styro-foam wreath form, wrapped it in scrap fabric, added 3-4 leaves at a time around the front, then around the side, and finally hot glued pine cones around the center and a few pieces of rolled wood shavings between the leaves.

I used floral pins to hold the leaves

The Bench Cushion

I sewed this cushion up with such focus, I forgot to take pictures of the progress.  It is about 47 by 16 inches with a 3 inch foam slab.  I thought about putting cording around it, but didn't have enough material.  In the end, it still looks good to me!

The Budget

I did it under budget, on time, and I'm really happy with the change in the look and the added functionality.  I hope this inspired someone to take a chance to make a big impact in a small area of their home.

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!   
Hope you'll be back next year to see 
the start of room 2 of this challenge.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Foyer - An Ugly Duckling Turned Into a Swan

In previous posts I mentioned I was mad at the bi-fold doors.  Not any more.  Here is a bit of background on the mistakes I made with the doors, starting with cutting them down to fit.

When you cut down hollow core doors, you end up with a space to fill.  The cut worked out just fine.

I used a scrap piece of plywood that was not strong enough or long enough to cover the hole.  The result was a cracked piece of wood after I tried to install the door.

I ripped down a sturdier piece of wood the exact measurement of the opening and patiently waited for the glue used to affix the wood to the door to dry.

Now for the transformation process: I used a painting technique I successfully used in the past on my kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets
Basic steps:
  1. Sand and prime the wood with paint (Dover White - Sherwin Williams)
  2. Stipple on Copper Mountain paint (also Sherwin Williams)
  3. Apply Gel Stain (Color: Walnut) letting gel set in the crevices.
  4. Apply 3 coats of clear polyurethane.

For my bi-fold doors, I used the same white paint I used on the bench (see prior post - A Tale of True Love) as a primer.  I then stippled on the same paint used on the closet walls - Spicy Hue (see prior post - Paint, Architecture and Organization).  Stippling is a technique where you use an almost dry brush and pounce it on the surface you are working with.

Partially done
Stippling result

The next step was to apply the Gel Stain.  I did and the UGLY DUCKING emerged.  If you want my reaction - turn your sound on and click on this link:

Here's a tip - Use plastic or rubber gloves when staining.  It took a while to get my nails as 'clean' as they look here!

I was very mad at the doors - okay, I was mad at myself and not sure why they didn't turn out as nice as my kitchen cabinets.  I didn't give up, but I did wait a day or so before working on them.  I gave the doors a light sanding, then brushed on the 'Spicy Hue' color with my fluffy stippling brush.  After that dried, I applied the gel stain.  This time the result was really nice.  I was excited because the end was in sight regarding these doors.  The only problem was that I felt I needed to go through all the bad and the good steps in order to ensure that the second set of bi-fold doors turned out exactly the same!  I did it all again.

Loving it!
A new knob
 The end result - a Swan!
The main architecture and furniture in my Foyer is now complete.  In upcoming post(s), I'll be showing you the accessories, the finished product, and my budget to date as this first portion of the challenge comes to a close.