Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Looking For An Upholsterer? Here Are The Key Questions To Ask...

The refinishing work on the two slipper chair frames is complete. Don't they look a hundred times better now that they have been painted?! I am particularly happy that I added the warm metallic accents, compliments of my new favorite product Rubn'Buff.

Now off to Kepler's they go to continue their beauty makeover.

As I drove to Kepler's this morning I thought "what are the key questions someone should ask when looking for high quality upholstery work"? I decided to get an insiders view and asked one of Kepler's owners, Marvin, what you should be asking. Here is his advice on what to look for and ask.

Experience! Ask how long they've been in business and take a look at other pieces being worked on. Then ask how the piece will be rebuilt, which of the old materials will be replaced and what materials will be used to do this. You don't want new fabric simply put over padding and other materials that have seen better days! If the furniture has springs they should be retied...eight way hand tied with jute twine. If you'll be using fill, Royal Cluster is a top of the line fill product that won't become lumpy. (Please, let's try to avoid that!) For seat cushions a high quality foam is Qualex, which is firm and won't lose it's shape as many lesser quality foams will. Have you decided to go top of the line with down fill? A good mix is 25% goose down/75% duck down. The duck down helps the cushions stay 'lofty' rather than become flat. Finally, prior to your new fabric being placed on the piece of furniture, make sure 100% cotton padding is used to cover the newly tuned up interior.

And to this I would add, discuss the project in detail to ensure you and your upholsterer share the same vision for how the finish product will look!

Monday, June 29, 2009

And The Winner Of The Give Away Is...

I am very delighted to announce that the winner (as selected by Random.org) of my first Give Away is... Nancy Wiebel!

Congratulations Nancy! And by the way, Nancy has a wonderful blog called Nancy's Tidbits. You'll enjoy giving her blog a visit.

Thanks to everyone who entered and sent such great messages to me, I wish I could send everyone a little something! Also, a big thanks to Tamey of Aunt Tam's for contributing the wonderful Amy Butler fabrics for the table runner and placemats. This was a lot of fun, so I will definitely be thinking about what to Give Away next!

And now that the party is over...it's time to get back to work! Many items await attention on both the Girl's Dream Bedroom and the Master Bedroom Retreat. Until next time...Janell

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today Is The Last Day To Enter My Give Away...& I Love Birthdays!

I LOVE birthdays! I was inspired to host my first Give Away as part of my birthday celebration. It has been a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see who wins! But...there is still time to enter. Just leave a comment on my Give Away post and become a follower to increase your odds.

The Give Away includes (along with a colorful selection of other items to help you celebrate summer) a reversible table runner and a set of 6 placemats in fabrics designed by Amy Butler. However, fabric is not the only product she designs. Look at this (100% post-consumer recycled) gift wrap...who wouldn't want to give or receive a gift looking this pretty?

(Hint to: Husband, Isabella and Max!)

It's been a wonderful year and I'm looking forward to my next...Janell

Friday, June 26, 2009

Master Bedroom Retreat - Artwork

The last time I posted about the Master Bedroom Retreat I hinted about a future project relating to the area taped out above the bed frame. The tape was used to determine the dimensions for a long and narrow canvas to be custom ordered from French Canvas. This single large piece of artwork will be the final touch for the sophisticated retreat.

The canvas arrived, but a blank canvas can be very intimidating...

...so I called in my reinforcements to help jump start the project.

I know who has the real talent in the family! (This is actually fun. Go to Michaels with your 40% off a single item coupon, buy yourself a canvas, and see if you can create a little personal art yourself!)

Yesterday I swung by the client's home with the art in progress, to make certain it worked in the space...wow. I have to say I felt extreme relief at how great the canvas looked in the room. It is a focal point that pulls the room together. This Master Bedroom Retreat is nearly complete...looking forward to showing the final result, as soon as I finish the painting!

Okay, the clock is ticking, just two more days to enter my Summer Primer Give Away! Just leave a comment on the Give Away post below. Good luck! Janell

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Auction Chair Progress - The Morning After

Indecision. I woke up this morning and just wasn't sure I was happy with the finish on the chair frames. A trip to Michaels was already scheduled, so I decided to see if anything there provided the inspiration I needed.

Look what I found! Rub'nBuff...The Original Wax Metallic Finish. What a great product. I bought a tube of both the Silver Leaf and Grecian Gold.

I went back and forth on whether to use the silver or gold. But after pinning on a bit of the Slubby Linen in Robins Egg that I used for the room's headboard, which is the same color as the velvet selected for the chairs, the gold became the easy choice. This final (we'll see) finish looks so pretty with the turquoise, and will be perfect with the gold accents already in the Girl's Dream Bedroom. (The old fabric still on the chairs just kept throwing my decisions...covering it up helped!) I think the metallic wax was the finishing touch the frames needed.

Next time, more painting, but on a canvas. In a moment (when I wasn't thinking straight) I offered to do a painting for a client's room. Now I'm feeling the pressure!

And talk of pressure, just 4 more days to enter my Give Away! Just sroll down and leave a comment to enter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Girl's Dream Bedroom - Auction Chair Progress

What a gorgeous day to do a little work in the backyard, on the auction chairs that is. So out to the patio they went and I began sanding the frames, while the dog and kids played. What an improvement over winter, when this task would have found me in a damp and chilly garage!

Marvin at Kepler's Upholstery & Custom Furniture almost convinced me to stain rather than paint the frames. After sanding I applied a quick coat of walnut stain and it looked horrible...just tired looking. At the same time my first painting attempt, covering the wood with a heavy coat, didn't look so inspiring either.

After some experimentation, I ended up painting a couple light layers with a quick sanding in between, creating a distressed and weathered look. I like it, a bit Swedish. Paired with a delectable pale turquoise velvet the combination will be...delicious!

Now I just need to find a couple hours to finish the second chair and get them back to Kepler's for the rest of their make over...

p.s. Don't forget to enter the Summer Primer Give Away by leaving a comment on the post below!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Celebrate Summer With My First Giveaway

"UPDATE: This was a giveaway I hosted this past summer, a tablescape I put together from one lucky winner. I made the placemats and runner and accessorized them with brightly colored dishes and flatware. FUN!! It seems everyone is in a Fall State Of Mind, but I myself would enjoy a bit more warm weather! With that in mind, I'm linking this post up to the Tablescape Linky Party at Between Naps On The Porch!"

I am very excited to host my first giveaway, with essentials that will get you ready to host a summer picnic or casual dinner party. The prize includes a set of 6 reversible placemats and a coordinating table runner. The fabrics, by wonderful designer Amy Butler, has been provided by my new favorite fabric store, Aunt Tam's. To help you set the table I have selected a colorful collection of 6 plates, bowls, glasses, eating utensils, and a tray and pitcher...perfect for your favorite beverage or a pretty bouquet.

Are you ready to host a summer party? Enter to win this summer primer, valued at over $150, by leaving a comment on this post by the end of day, June 28th.

Would you like to increase your odds of winning? For 1 additional entry become an Isabella & Max Rooms follower. And if you would like to beat the odds, for 3 additional entries blog about my give away and let me know you've done this by providing the link in your comment on this post!

The winner will be selected by Random.org and be announced in my blog post on June 29th.

Good luck and here's to the arrival of summer!! Janell

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My 6 Second Appearance On HGTV

One day last summer, while I was at our new home during the house inspection, I received an email from HGTV asking if I would like to participate in an episode of Rate My Space. The family room in our (just sold) house had a fireplace HGTV wanted to feature as the inspiration for the fireplace redesign in a RMS makeover.

My first reaction was disappointment at missing such a fun opportunity. The next thought was hey, why not respond saying sure...if they could show up within the next 13 days. (We were renting back from the new owners for two weeks while we waited for our new home to close). I heard back immediately. The focal point in the bedroom makeover was the fireplace and the owners were really hoping to use our fireplace as its inspiration. So yes, they could arrange to be at our home to tape on the last day we were in the home. Nothing like cutting it close.

As soon as I got home from the inspection I was in the garage opening boxes, searching for the family room accessories that had already been packed. Luckily I had labeled each box I'd packed and the space was back to its original state within an hour. Meanwhile, the rooms around the family room continued to be dismantled!

And so, on the day the papers were filed for our new home, Kat from the production company arrived to get the room on tape. I think we laughed more than we filmed. The highlight was talking with Angelo, as well as Noah and Shelly while their fireplace was undergoing its transformation. (It would have been even better to be on site working on the room...but you take what you can get). Six hours later, Kat packed up her equipment, I packed up the family room and then drove off to pick up the keys to our new house. That night we moved lamps, artwork and other items I hadn't bothered to pack for the movers...with just a three mile move. I don't think I could have crammed much more into that day, but I'd do it again in a moment. The HGTV part that is, not the move part!

In case any of you see the episode (#209, "Enlivening a Tired Bedroom With Contemporary Rustic Design") airing again this Friday on HGTV at 2:30 p.m. pacific time, note my disclaimer! On top of everything else that was going on that day I was also quite sick! I'd been fighting a summer cold turned flu for a couple weeks. As a result my voice sounds like it is coming through a tunnel...sounds very strange, at least to me!

Next time, look for details on how to enter my first Give Away!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Just Bought What Are Perhaps The Ugliest Chairs Around

I know, they are ugly, and look at that material! When I showed up at the auction and saw the chairs in person I had a moment...okay, it was several moments...of doubt.

It was the lines of the chairs that had caught my eye while viewing the online catalog, so now I had to look past the absolutely dreadful fabric and do my best to have the winning bid. And yes, I was successful! My hope was that the chairs would fail to inspire others and the competition would be slim. I ended up bidding against just a couple other individuals, so walked away with the chairs for less than my limit. What fun!

Now the real work begins. First thing this morning I loaded the chairs back into the car and headed over to Kepler's Upholstery & Custom Furniture, Inc. in Tigard, Oregon. This company has done stellar work for decades, I have a pair of chairs they made for my grandmother over 40 years ago. They are still in great shape, though overdue for a makeover to bring them into the 21st century...another project down the line! This is not an inexpensive route, and will make up for the extremely low price paid for the chairs. In the end, however, I will have a better quality pair of chairs than most new styles I could find for a similar price. Best of all, this is much more fun and the pair will be completely unique.

Kepler's carries an outstanding selection of fabrics. A durable velvet in a pale turquoise was what I was hoping to find and they had it. This fabric, along with simplifying the seaming and tufting, will transform their appearance. Prior to reupholstering the insides of the chairs will be refurbished: the springs will be re-tied, filling and padding replaced and additional foam placed on the seat to bring up its height.

The shop is currently removing the old upholstery, then I'll be picking them up to refinish the frames myself (to save a bit of money). Afterwards Kepler's will work their magic. Here is the final product that I envision...how pretty! One will go in the 'Girl's Dream Bedroom' and the other will fill the space awaiting a chair in the 'Family Room Redesign'.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Girl's Dream Bedroom - Furniture Plan

The dimensions of this bedroom seem okay (10'x16') until you start to bring in furniture and then few arrangements look right. The challenge is increased due to the presence of the queen size bed.

As to why a young girl has such a large bed in her room? There is no guest room in our home. To accommodate visitors I decided to maximize sleeping possibilities in both Isabella's and Max's bedrooms. Max has two twin beds and Isabella has the queen. When friends and family come to visit, Isabella bunks with Max and this room becomes the guest bedroom. A good solution!

And as for the layout, long and narrow rooms are particularly hard to place furniture in. Add in the door, closet and windows and the options narrow even more. I love symmetry in a room and this furniture layout was the best way to achieve it. Additionally, I wanted to add the chandelier. With only 8' ceilings this would only be practical if a piece of furniture was placed below it...that or the adults in the family would have to deal with a bruised head from time to time.

Up next, finding chairs and a desk to complete the layout. Tonight I am going to my first auction in an attempt to buy a pair of slipper chairs, which, if I am successful in my bid, will be refinished and reupholstered. I also have a few ideas for the desk, but one thing at a time!

Finally, did the fabrics in the pictures catch your eye? A set of reversible placemats and a table runner are being made from these happy happy fabrics, for my first ever Give Away ! Perfect for summer entertaining. Keep tuned for more information on when and how to enter!

Wish me luck at the auction!!!!! Janell

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fine Fabric & Home Fancy

...what a perfect tag line for Tamey Helmers's new store called 'Aunt Tam's'. I attended her opening celebration last night and was inspired to see her vision come to life. When I first saw the store concept on paper it certainly was more than the "little fabric store" she had described it as, and it has been rewarding to see her ideas executed with such success. Here is more of this delightful store. Warning: upon entering you simply cannot stop yourself from smiling!

Fabrics, bedding and clothing ideas in the Girl's Bedroom.

The Nursery Scene, dream about the new baby...or your friend's!

The Boy's Bedroom...a log cabin! You can order one of these cabins complete with tin roof for your own little cowboy. (Don't get any ideas, Max!)

And a few more details, an Amy Butler purse and Little Sniffles Gift Cards in an old jewelry box...Tamey, congratulations!! You have inspired me to think about another shop of my own, one of these days. Here's to great success, you deserve it!

(Take note: If you are in the area visit Aunt Tam's at 1207 SE Rasmussen Blvd in Battle Ground, WA., and a website is in the works at www.aunttams.com! In the meantime, find many of the fabrics shown here at www.fatquartershop.com.)