Birds of a Feather

Project: Dining Room Chairs (Again) February 5, 2013

Filed under: Crafty,Home — kcfeather @ 3:29 pm

If you’ll recall, when we moved to Cambridge, we gave the dining room chairs in our apartment a little facelift.

Upon moving to Philly, we had to get all new furniture (our previous apartment came furnished, so everything stayed there). This was quite an undertaking (a fun one, but also one that took lots of time and work…and money).

While my parents were visiting in late July, we found a steal of a dining room table at the Restoration Hardware outlet – but we weren’t quite sure what to do about the chairs. We had placeholder chairs that worked for awhile, but they weren’t a good long-term solution. The greyish stain on the table also made it a little hard to match chairs that had any sort of natural wood stain. When I found a set of bentwood chairs (2 sets actually – a set of 2 and a set of 4) at bargain-basement prices, I was torn. I really love the shape and look of bentwoods, but they just didn’t match well with the table.

Around the same time, I saw a few photos that made me think I could go ahead and paint the chairs whatever color I desired. I wasn’t (and am still not) working, so I had the time on my hands, and I decided to go for it!

I chose a mint green paint color that I am still really happy with (although I think a royal blue could have been fun, too).

Here’s the before:

The during:

And the after (like I said, there were actually two styles of chairs. We have four of the one with the white seat, and 2 that have a wood seat – with pink Ikea cushions):

The full dining room (from the stairs):

And from the other direction (note the beautiful side table – a gift from my dad):

All in all, I am happy with the result, although I will say that this was a more involved “facelift” than the one we did in Cambridge. Sanding and then priming and then painting and then sealing takes a LOT of time. I had the time, but some days it was a little hard to motivate to head down to the basement and paint…and paint, and paint. The project would have been a MUCH easier one if we had outdoor space and I could have used a sprayer. But it was A LOT cheaper than buying new chairs.

I did three of them in September, and then lost motivation for awhile – but made a goal of finishing them all before we left for Christmas. I made it (barely) and REALLY enjoyed coming home after the holidays to a table with a full set of chairs around it!


Friday Five: Vermin Edition September 21, 2012

Filed under: Home,Philly,The everyday — kcfeather @ 9:47 pm

1. The other night, C was working late and saw a little critter poke his head around the corner.  That’s right: we have a mouse.  Boo!  He was beginning to think it was just a delusion, but then last night we saw the little guy again.  We now have four different types of traps.  My money is on the Tomcat Glue Board, but maybe this second set of Victor snap traps will do the trick (it turns out that if you buy the “easy set” snap traps, they are also easy for the mouse to outsmart, even with peanut butter).

Which is worse – a mouse, or the squirrel intruders we had this time last year?  It’s a toss-up.

2. Hoping to see this awesome light show soon – maybe tonight!

3.  We’ve been visiting a few churches in the area.  One of the biggest surprises – how much I like a Sunday evening service.  It leaves us to have a restful and fun Sunday morning (I feel like Sunday afternoons just don’t end up being quite as restful).

4.  I had a great time getting to see some family last weekend – a bunch of us ladies went to the Beth Moore conference in Reading.  It was a neat day, wonderful to catch up with some aunts and cousins, and the drive out there was beautiful.  Early fall is a great season to get out of the city for a day.

5.  A really terrific new chocolate cake recipe.  Serving this tonight after a dinner of pulled chicken sammies, coleslaw and quick pickled corn.


Flower Boxes September 13, 2012

Filed under: Home — kcfeather @ 9:10 pm

We are feeling more and more settled – we now have a couch and a dining room table (and dining room chairs that are in the process of being painted MINT GREEN!)  And, as of last weekend, we have flowers in our window boxes!

Right Box

We really love the street we live on, and the neighbors are very neighborly – they have all introduced themselves, and one even brought us a bottle of wine as a welcome to the neighborhood gift.  So we were starting to feel a little guilty when we had been here for over a month and not yet filled in the brand new window boxes that our landlords left for us.  Not one of our neighbors complained that we hadn’t filled them in. But now that they are filled in, we’ve received a sufficient number of compliments that it has become obvious that the empty boxes did not go unnoticed.

Yes, our street is a little shady.  And summer is almost over.  And, we’re not used to growing things in a place that has frosty winters (we never really successfully grew anything in Beantown).  But we’re hopeful!  Even if they don’t last long, it’s better than empty boxes.

Left Box


Christmas time is here again December 6, 2010

Filed under: Holiday,Home — kcfeather @ 11:35 pm

Loving the Christmas season this December.  It’s our first year with a tree – we got it at Home Depot on the way home from NYC.  It’s the perfect size for our living room, and for our growing ornament collection.  I even sewed a little star for the top, since it seemed a little bare without one.

Our very first Christmas tree...

...with bird ornaments of all sorts...

...and a star at the top!

We have up some other decorations, too:

Our advent "wreath"

A nativity set in the built-in hutch

There are these beautiful, festive trees with bare branches and red berries all over Boston.  We think they are called ilex.  They are a great seasonal decoration, both inside:

And outside:

At Fort Independence, Boston (Dec. 2010)

Hope you’re all enjoying trimming the tree and preparing for Christmas this year!



Ikea: Scandinavian Wonderland September 25, 2010

Filed under: Home,The everyday — kcfeather @ 1:52 pm

Ikea is definitely hit or miss.  I could do without most all particle board furniture.  And sometimes their Euro-modern style is a bit over the top for my taste.  But usually when I visit Ikea, I am proud to be a Scandinavian (especially here in Boston, where Ikea is much less crowded than the one in EPA and so things are orderly as well as cheap and functional).

First of all, how can you beat a $3.99 plate of Swedish meatballs with lingonberry preserves and potatoes.  It’s like Christmas Eve, everyday (K grew up having a Swedish smorgasbord – including Swedish meatballs – on Christmas Eve).

On our most recent visit, we bought two Lack tables ($9.99 each) and then made our own version of this West Elm table, with the help of a little Gorilla Glue (I got the idea here).

Nothing else was purchased during that visit, but there are lots of goodies that were very tempting…we just don’t have a place for them right now.

Alvine Kottar Curtains

Barbar Tray (Striped)

Barbar Tray (Dotted)

PS Tott Fabric


Project: Living Room Rug September 7, 2010

Filed under: Crafty,Home — kcfeather @ 12:21 pm

The rugs that came with the house were also not our cup of tea.  We rolled them up and put them in a corner, and then I began shopping around for rugs.  But, it turns out that rugs are expensive – and particularly since we won’t be in this apartment forever, it didn’t make sense to invest in a nice rug that might not fit the next place we live. I scoured Homegoods, where there were some decent options, but none that I loved.

Then, I came across this tutorial and realized that I could make my own rug!  I found a great indoor/outdoor fabric with a pattern and color I loved that was 50% off at the local fabric store.  Here are the results:

Finished rug

Close-up of the quatrefoil pattern


Project: Dining Room Chairs September 4, 2010

Filed under: Crafty,Home — kcfeather @ 12:38 pm

The past few months have been a great test of creativity – what does one do to keep themselves busy all day, when they don’t have a job and don’t know many people where they live (particularly if they dislike cleaning the house all day)?  One thing I (K) do is go to the gym a lot.  But you can only work out so much.  I’ve also taken on a few projects that I’m going to write about over the next few days.

Our apartment came furnished, which was great except for that some of the furniture had gotten a bit yucky from years of use.  Particularly the dining room chairs, which originally had white upholstery that had gotten discolored. I had a dream of recovering them with a fabric that was a) clean and b) more colorful. We’re pretty happy with the results – here’s how it went down:

Original chair

Close-up: Original Upholstery

Putting the new fabric on the seat (staple gun required!)

Screwing the seat back on

Finished chair!

You can see just a peek of the rug in the room behind the chair – another project I’ll post about soon.