Make It Sharpe

Speaking of Sectionals

Now that we are semi recovered from our Craig-ervention, it’s time to make some big decisions.  It’s Sofa time! For a long time I have been obsessed with finding a sofa that included a chaise on one end.  When I lounge, I want to looooouuunge. My only other requirement is that the fabric be chenille, or another pattern/texture.  I am aware that microfiber is rumored to be a great, low-maintenance option that is easy to clean and maintain.  But doesn’t anyone else notice that every time you touch it, it leaves a lasting impression?  I don’t want booty prints all over my couch just because the fabric got rubbed the wrong way.  Heehee.

Microfiber Love?


There were two contenders a while back, but me being so budget conscious, by the time I got over my fear of making such a big purchase (you can see where I got over that here) the styles were no longer offered.  Guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Earlier this year I happened upon that awesome looking, GIANT chenille sectional at Haverty’s and ever since have been waiting on it to go on sale.  Waiting…and waiting…still waiting.  Someone else got tired of waiting, and found a pretty comparable looking one at Macy’s of all places.  Simple structure, no slouchy cushions, not microfiber, and did I mention HUGE. Guess what went on sale for Mother’s Day…the Devon!

Toughest choice has been picking the color, though it helps that there are only two options.

Devon Sectional

Which do you think we will choose?  Which would YOU choose?


Swap The Laundry Over

It’s hard to believe that one of the smallest rooms in the house still isn’t finished, but it’s true.  I did manage to get the desk top upstairs and in place. I wanted to make sure it actually fit. After staring at my fabric cover in purple, green and grey floral I decided it was too many colors.  Small room, stick with a simple color palette.

Folding Station Top

So I found a different upholstery fabric at Hancock on sale and bought just enough to cover the top.  Not sure if I explained before that my easy solution was to use the trusty staple-gun to simply attached the fabric on each side.

Fabric Option #2

However, if I take a little bit longer to hem the edges, and attach with pieces of velcro, I will have the ability to remove the cover and wash it.  Plus, I’m hoping it will be less wear on the table top, should it need to find a new home.

Get to Hemming

Look Ma, I’m using my Bernina!

Dreams Really Do Come True

This post isn’t really going to give you any tips, instead it’s about inspiration. And that patience is a virtue…and not just for Job I swear it has been at least 2 years since I spotted my first Buster chair in the Restoration Hardware catalog.  I’m pretty sure I ripped the page out immediately, and have it stashed in my nightstand table with all of the others items I have coveted, but couldn’t afford.  I’m a sucker for anything tufted, and this beautiful wing-back leather chair with nail-head trim is totally dream worthy.  But, alas, spending $3,500 on a chair isn’t even an option for me…I couldn’t begin to justify it.  I have watched it lovingly through the catalogs, throughout the seasons….and then gasp I could no longer find it on their website.  Eeeek! Not that I would have been convinced to buy it on-line, but I still wanted to look at the pictures. A quick web search later and I learned that RH had replaced my lovelies with their new Churchill Chair.


RH Leather Churchill Chair


It’s okay, I guess…just not the same.  I guess the universe knew it too, because over the weekend we happened to take a quick trip to the outlet malls, in particular RH and Pottery Barn.  You’ll never guess what they had! I still can hardly believe it myself…2, yes TWO, nutmeg leather buster chairs at 40% below clearance price.  Be still my beating heart.


RH Leather Buster Chair


Mind you, this was still not an easy purchase for me to pull the trigger on.  I had to think about it a lot while wandering around PB.  In the end, I just couldn’t picture my life with out it…I mean, them. And still, no buyer’s remorse!


My Buster Chairs


You’ll be happy to know that these are ‘real people’ size chairs too.  Meaning that I, being 6′ tall, can relax comfortably and the cushion actually reaches the back of my knees.  Not an easy feat! Now we need to get rid of some of our CL furniture to make room, and get the right configuration with the Haverty’s sectional I have been keeping my eye on. Fingers crossed for a sale!


Chastain Sectional


One last look, just for kicks and giggles.


Soon to be my Home

~Welcome home Buster~


So Much More to Master

I don’t know if the master bedroom could possibly house any more dressers, but they will only be staying for a little while.  Thank goodness such a wonderful thing as CL was discovered, so that I can afford to furnish a house until my REAL plans are finished.  Real plans that include a lot of custom construction, perhaps some shopping, and many, MANY detailed and dimensioned drawings. I don’t doubt that there are many gifted craftsman who can build with only a vision and their skills…I prefer to limit the margin of error by mapping everything out.  With careful measurements.  And detailed drawings. So there is no misunderstanding of the outcome.

On to the master bedroom, of which I have plans to replace the dressers with a wall of built-in dressers, storage and shelves. But for now, the bed is situated between two windows and facing the armoire.


MB Dresser and Armoire
Bed and Nightstand

After all the re-arranging I was even more inspired than ever for my built-in plan, so I quickly sketched out what I had in mind.  Mind you it was not to scale that will be done later but at least I was able to communication my vision clearly to the lucky man who will be building it.


Grand Future Plans

Because the space is so large I’ll have to get a space plan posted one of these days I really think that it could accommodate a full wall of cabinetry, and it would not dwarf the entire bedroom.  White mill-work is my first choice, as I think it would be bright and not enforce a cave-like atmosphere.  I guess we’ll all have to stay tuned to find out if it can be done…

And don’t forget about my little bench down there…still needs trim. sigh

Nearly Finished Bench

Organizing the Office

I have found myself not motivated creatively lately.  The new year gave me a little surge, but overall just not feelin’ it. That must mean it’s time to change things up, and what better place to start than my office.  Ideally, this is the room that I would work on my blog, study design and work on sketching in layouts for the rest of our renovation plans.  My thought was, if I rearrange the furniture, the room can take on a new vibe and perhaps that will get the juices flowing.  Do you ever feel like a space is just ‘ugg’ ?  You’re not comfortable there, you can’t think creatively, or it just isn’t working for you?  Then play the rearrange game! I was one of ‘those kids’ who would shut my bedroom door and move my furniture around, every couple of months or so…just because I needed a change.

If you have quite a bit of furniture, I would suggest sketching out your idea first.  Maybe even go so far as to take measurements, and map out your layout to ensure everything will fit where you want it to.


Room Dimensions

And if you REALLY want to dedicate yourself, you will create a scale drawing of the room and furniture and cut the pieces out so you can move them around without really moving furniture.  I only had 3 pieces of furniture, but I’m a bit detail oriented and felt compelled to spend a lot of time on this project.  I won’t mention that I already knew where I was moving everything, but felt the need to exercise my layout skills. So I scaled my room using graph paper (2 squares =  1 ft) and cut out my figures.

Layout Planning

Now I made a much cleaner version using MS Word, and got some before and after comparisons for you.  Who doesn’t love a good B&A!

Space Planner

Office Layout - Buffet

Office Layout - Desk

Still learning my settings on the ‘point-and-shoot’ camera…how hard could it be to focus, right?

Cozy Corner

There is one poster missing from my collection of vintage maps, and it will be matter vertically, to hang in the empty space on the right.  I also want to get a floor lamp and ottoman to complete my casual seating area.  For the floor lamp I want to match the finish on the other table lamps to create unity, since the shades will be different. Something like this floor lamp from Pottery Barn:

Adair Floor Lamp, Bronze finish

I like the details at the base and the small details of the arm, and at the connection. However at $179.00 this will simply be a source of inspiration.  To complete the seating area I want to find a round, tufted ottoman, but the type of fabric is still up in the air.  I want a piece of round furniture to balance the boxy desk and hutch.  The tufted element will unify the ottoman and chair, if that is not done in the fabric.  My dilemma in deciding between fabric and leather is based on texture and availability of a match in the leather.  I want fabric to bring in another textural element, and perhaps pattern, and it will be difficult to find an exact match on the leather.  I want leather to create a more simple palate, not introduce any other patterns, and create a ‘set’ of furniture.  Which would you choose? Ignore the prices if you want, knowing I won’t pay that much.

Ottoman Choices

I do feel slightly more energized to finish my work space and it was really refreshing to clear everything out and get back to the basics.  But then…it is just me, or does anyone else feel you HAVE to make a mess to get something clean?  Case in point:

Closet Explosion

Once the office was clean, I need to turn my attention to the closet…which meant I had to clean out the boxes…which meant I needed to empty the boxes…and my clean office was no longer so. Back to work!

Lonely Lamps No More

I have been desperately searching for the perfect lampshades for my office, and feel like it has been years of exhausting searches!  The main reason I haven’t been able to find something, is probably due to the fact that I have such a hard time dropping more than $20 for a shade. Seems pretty ridiculous right? Now you know the real depth of my frugality.  I have identical cream, wood bases on each end of my ‘spruced’ buffet just waiting to be topped off.


Sad and Lonely Lamps

I started shopping on-line and was able to find some great patterns and shapes, but I wanted to SEE and TOUCH them. I was searching for something in black or black/white in a large drum shape.  Here were some of the initial contenders:

Black & White Shades


There finally came a time when I could stand bare bases no longer and spent $16 a piece on plain, black shades from Target.  When I got them home, unwrapped and added to the bases I just didn’t like them at all.  Too plain, just black and white, and the fabric was somewhat cheap with a bit of a swirl embedded.  Didn’t even unwrap the second one, they went back to Target.  Woe is me! I give up, why can’t I find exactly what I want without spending an arm and a leg!



Do you love it?  I love it! I got it at Ross! I was wandering around one night, looking for decorations for my best pal’s baby shower and this shade popped right off the shelf and hit my square in the head.  Not really, but that’s how it felt. My heart went pitter-patter as I picked it up, and turned in over to find the price…$12.99! And this baby is at least 16″ tall. But wait…is there another?!? At the very, very bottom of the back pile of shades was the beautiful match made in heaven.  Yes, I’ll admit that I did still hesitate on the way to the register, thinking should I really spend $26 on a pair of lampshades? They are just too perfect to send back, and in my office they will stay.  Though, a small change had to be made regarding the bases, and I needed to rearrange the whole office..but that will have to be another post all together.  Let’s just enjoy these beauties shall we?

Felted Filigree


Perfect Pair of Shades


Smile and Say Cheese!

Last weekend we finally got around to creating a picture wall along our staircase in the front entry.  It took an entire day. Granted, I wasn’t in any rush, but I really didn’t think it would be that time-consuming.  Not for me, but the man who has to measure every single detail 3 times. I have hung many pictures in my day, and my method is usually to ‘eyeball’ a distance, and only use a ruler if I want a grouping to be symmetrical.  And even then I only measure the distance from side to side and just use a level for the distance from top to bottom.  Not really cheating, but I just wanted it done fast! The pictures I had printed last February yes, that long ago in Sepia tones, ranged in sizes from 8×10, 12×14, and 18×20.  I know there were also a couple more uncommon sizes in there too, and for the life of me I can’t remember why.  I had the pictures printed at Costco, and the total was maybe around $30, but the frames are what really digs into your pocketbook.  We bought a total of 12 frames (still need one more) in 3 sizes from Michael’s, when they were 50% off and we had an additional 25% off coupon from the paper.  Our total was just about $180.  Ouch! You probably want to see what all that gets you right?



Staircase Wall Before


Nothing exciting here, but you can see that the entry is open up to the second level, so the wall is quite tall.  We decided to span up 5 feet at the lowest point and 8 feet along the distance going upstairs.  I have seen many methods to get the ‘perfect picture’ wall when hanging your photos in a gallery style.  There is no right or wrong way, because it depends on what makes you most comfortable.  I am perfectly okay with hanging up one picture at a time, and figuring out the layout as you go.  Some gallery frames come with kits that help you with space planning.  I know some kits are really helpful in that they indicate where the nails should be placed as well!  Some find it easier to use craft or butcher paper, cut in the sizes of the frames, temporarily up on the wall with tape to create a layout.  I have developed a pretty good sense of proportion and how to weight a grouping in a style I like.  However my man who was hanging them wanted to lay all the frames out on the floor in the living and move them around until we were happy, then start transferring them one by one to the wall.  Fine, I can be flexible. 2 hours later, I finally said, “Just hang this first one already and we’ll work from there!”.  I was nice about it of course, because I didn’t want to cease progress! And the transformation began…


Almost Halfway There...


As usual the peanut gallery was there, but thankfully no comments!


Project Foreman keeping a watchful eye


So finally after what seemed like 10 hours, we had a complete picture gallery that could withstand an earthquake.  Part of the long process was making sure to use both hooks on the pictures, so that they stayed level…and on the wall.


View from the Top


Still one picture missing, that was one of the odd sizes, and that will go at the top of the second row over from the bottom.  The overall look I wanted was a steep slope along the bottom going up the stairs, and a more gradual stop along top to draw your eye upward.  Just a few last touches to keep it balanced.  So don’t be afraid to get your pictures and artwork up on the walls.  Makes me happy every time I go up and down the stairs, which makes me hate having stairs a little less.


Gallery Collection