This is the story of two bedside tables turned living room side tables that have been painted and refinished 3 times in the past 3 years but now they are done. In our last home I painted them to blend in with the wall colours (light grey and dark blue) but this time I did them both the same. I never liked the look of the fake shadows sprayed on the wood veneer top but I had been apprehensive about refinishing it and ruining the top. This is how they looked when I first bought them from a secondhand store where they were originally part of a bedroom set. I thought that the shape was interesting and they had an interior shelf and lots of storage space to help keep the living room tidy.
Finally this summer I just went for it and used a stripper to remove the shiny varnish and stain. It took a lot of scraping and some sanding while being careful not to take off too much material.Then I applied my favourite stain that is a light grey so that the tables are lighter like the rest of the wood tones in our house and sealed it with a matte varnish.
Doing this quick refinishing project was actually what gave me the experience and some confidence to tackle the large kitchen table that was on Apartment Therapy. If you’re thinking about stripping and refinishing wood for the first time start with something small to get started, it’s not as hard as it may seem.
Lately I’ve been back in the mode of repurposing garments into new cushion covers or new sweaters. These are a couple of my finished pieces but there is a pile of ripped apart clothes that I’ve started but haven’t gotten to yet. Usually I start cutting and don’t get a before shot of the sweater but these are the remnants left.
The good thing about making toddler clothing is that an adult sweater gives plenty of material to make something new with. (In my rush to make this sweater quickly one night I didn’t have enough buttons so that’s why it looks different in the photo below).
These were the cable knit sweater pillows that I posted last year:
There’s good material out there in your closet or secondhand that can be made into something new plus there’s not a lot to lose.
With the cooler weather I’ve been adding more textiles around the house and just finished off some cushions with hand dyed mohair velvet. These are some samples of wools and velvets I’ve dyed in different depths of shades to coordinate with each other with subtle variations.
While I was at my sewing machine I noticed that the pink was similar to the colours of the abstract toddler art framed above. Don’t you love how children create such beautiful artwork so effortlessly? I’m thinking about commissioning a larger piece again soon ;)
Over the past couple of years my interests have shifted towards interior design and decorating. I’ve been working on a lot of projects that are home related and now I’m getting back to fibre and rediscovering what I truly love most — dyeing wool. For me inspiration comes from working with the material. While I’m a big fan of neutral interiors, I love the power that textiles can have to change the feel of a space.
This is some wool yardage that I’ve just pulled out of the dye pot and now my mind is racing with ideas about how this will become a new part of Shibang Designs.
Lately all of my posts have been focused on furniture and painting so getting back to working with textiles feels good. This pillow is made with white wool fabric with my hand dyed wool applique on top.
While I love neutral decor just adding a bit of colour can change the feel of the room and that’s where textiles are perfect for accessorizing.
Farmhouse tables with light wood and trestle or pedestal bases are my favourite style for dining and I was determined to make it work in our small kitchen and on a small budget. Many tables in the market aren’t narrow enough to fit our space so when I came across this one at a thrift store I knew it would work after a major refinishing job.
It took hours and hours of scraping and sanding until I was able to get it right down to the wood so that I could stain it a light driftwood grey.
For the pedestals I took an electric sander to get rid of all that varnish and gloss to reveal the solid wood below. I am not a perfectionist when it comes to furniture refinishing in our house because I’d rather get the job done and I know that it’s going to be subject to heavy use and abuse.
The next step is going to be constructing a banquette to go along wall which is why having a pedestal base was important to make it easy to get around the table.
This was the original look of the powder room when we first moved in. It’s tiny and since the rest of the house is white or light grey I wanted to make this room dark and dramatic. I replaced the mirror with a vintage one we already had and painted the walls a dark teal.
This really is a small room but there was space above the toilet for shelves that could be 7″ wide which could serve as storage and display space.
The basic idea of how to make the shelves was based off of the idea of various shelves I’d seen online where you support the weight of the shelves on the studs in the wall. Getting the wood cut at the hardware store simplifies the process and for the smaller pieces I used a hand saw.
Staining wood used to intimidate me but now it’s the part of the project I look forward to most and it makes the whole look complete.
Here comes another painting project post — a mountain mural in the nursery. For some reason I always want to paint every surface of a house just to make it my own but in this case the blue-grey walls were a good neutral and allowed me to concentrate my painting efforts elsewhere.
After debating between doing stencilling to look like wallpaper or colour blocking I went for a mountain range instead. The mountain wall from Syrinveien was so striking and a quick way to instantly add character to the room so I basically did the same thing. I continued the mountains over to the edge of the door frame and used a very pale semi-gloss paint that I had left over from the bathroom. Masking off the mountain peaks took some time but the painting was fast and easier than repainting the entire room.
Now the room has more personality and with the rain clouds above the mountains this reminds me of the familiar scenery growing up in Vancouver.