Monday, May 2, 2011

A Bench Redesign...Can It Really Be DONE?

Yes, finally, the bench redesign is done! There proved to be a couple surprises and challenges along the way, but eventually I worked through them with a final result that is as good or better than I had hoped for!


The after...


...and the before.

Once it was decided to include a bench among the dining room seating mix, I stumbled across this one at Overstock.com. It had proven to be hard to find just the right option that was long enough, without an accompanying hefty price tag. This one was the perfect size featuring good lines and a leg shape that would work well with the table, but the finishes? Not so much, but I figured those could be altered.


First up, remove the dark lacquered finish on the legs. Getting into the grooves was certainly a bit of work, but fortunately I was aiming for a worn finish, so perfection was not required.


Then, what to do with this?


How about recovering the cushion with a fabulous faux ostrich found at Calico Corners? Oh, yes please!


To accomplish this, the plan of attack was to layer a sheet of high density foam over the original material and then wrap the cushion with batting.


However, after this step was done I stepped back only to realized this approach was one big mistake. Bulky, bulky, bulky. Shoot!


So the work was undone and I started over. Plan B! In this approach the original material was removed to work with the existing foam, to maintain the sleeker profile. Looking back this seems obvious!


The tufting had left holes and indentations in the foam. The holes were filled with shredded foam and then I waited to see if the foam would spring back now that the tucks weren't pressing down on it.


A fellow blogger sent me this poster when I posted about the failure of Plan A. Too funny! Sorry, I forgot just who, would you let me know?!


While I waited to see if the foam would spring back, I got back to work finishing the legs.



Having had such a great result with Briwax on the refinished table, I decided to use the product again to finish the legs. Instead of clear, this time I selected a can tinted Tudor Brown to give the legs a bit of color.


Love the worn, aged result. Success with the legs, now back to the cushion!


Amazingly, the foam did spring back...relief.


So the next step was to cover it with batting, and to ensure the filled holes didn't show through, another layer was wrapped over the batting, this time a heavier canvas.


Then on to the fun stuff. The cushion was covered with the faux ostrich.


Tucks at the corners, and a band wrapping around the bench edges, with a length of cording inserted along the top edge of the band.


Happily, the second order of nail head trim arrived with the right style inside.


After they were nailed into place, I decided there was one final touch to complete the project.


Rubbing off just a bit of the finish from the nail heads with steel wool revealed a brass tone below, creating a great match with the hardware on the legs and a more worn finish. It may seem like a silly detail, but I sometimes think it's the attention to the smallest of details that can make a difference!


And now there is enough seating for a crowd! (Lots of kids can be squeezed onto one bench in a pinch!)



This is Bench Happiness, I would say!

112 comments :

  1. Wow, Janell! You have outdone yourself here. I would not have even recognized the before to the after. I also love those oil rubbed bronze finish nailheads... I'll keep those in mind for my next project!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How gorgeous it looks..very professionally done, janell!! kudos to you for your skill and perseverence! and that poster is just too cool..have a lovely new week! xx meenal

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bravo!! What a sense of satisfaction you must have, Janell! That initial photo is simply fabulous. Great persistance leading to a great payoff!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fantastic. I would have never thought it could be done and you did a great job.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful Janell! Your hard work has paid off!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now I know why custom reupholstering is so pricey, it's time consuming. Your bench looks idea with all of the other elements in the space. I love the way everything looks with the stenciled wall as a backdrop. Congrats on another successful project.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It turned out beautifully, Janell! Not that I thought it would be anything but! : )

    ReplyDelete
  8. WOW, Janell...your dining room looks like it just stepped outside a magazine and into your home...
    entirely gorgeous...and the bench is perfection...
    maureen

    ReplyDelete
  9. The end result is so amazing.
    But of course we knew it would be!



    Rashon aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting

    ReplyDelete
  10. Are you kidding me? It is PERFECT. I can't believe how great it looks. I actually liked the first bench. But now ummmm, never-mind! Nicely done:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, I'm impressed, again! You did an amazing job.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow Janell! It looks amazing!! I'm in LOVE with everything in this room!! Very well done!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love, love love it!!!It looks so professional...great job.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hooray! You did an awesome job! So glad you went back and reworked the foam. I know it was frustrating, but it was so worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautiful! It has always amazed me how you get your nailheads so even on your projects.
    Can I ask how you got the cording on? I'm not seeing any stitches. It doesn't look like it was sewn in.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, my gosh...this is amazing!!! Great work!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. sooo pretty! you've got mad skills!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So well worth the effort, Janell. You did a really professional job...as always! What a beautiful space!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You did a terrific job. The bench looks amazing and nothing like it's orginal self. How did you strip the finish off the legs?

    ReplyDelete
  20. A job well done! You should be very proud:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this bench, Janell. I really admire your dedication to getting things right. I know it takes longer but the results are sooooooo worth it. Gorgeous!

    Sarahx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Looks fabulous!! You are such a perfectionist and your attention to detail is amazing!! Can't wait to see the chandelier hung next!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's absolute perfection- nothing else to say but love love love!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. An amazing job once again Janell!!
    The nail head trim is the finishing touch ~

    xoxo Laura

    ReplyDelete
  25. It looks SO great!! Now you're making me wish I had enough room somewhere in my house for an upholstered bench! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. To answer a couple questions, the cording was just inserted at the top of the fold on the band wrapping the bench edges. I had originally thought to do a piping here, but with the thickness of the material I thought that might be a disaster. The cording gives the appearance of piping at the top of the band without seams issues creating bulk.

    I got the stain/lacquer off the legs by simply sanding. Of course my Dad helped one afternoon!

    Nail head trim straight, I use a little tailor measuring guide tool, working along one nail at a time and checking the placement with this tool. It seems like it would take forever, but the entire bench took about 3 hours to add trim to, or a bit less. Not bad, really...when listening to some great music!

    Thanks for all the feedback! Janell

    ReplyDelete
  27. Janell- this turned out beautifully!! Bravo.
    xo~
    T

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow. Another beautiful project. It is all those little details, and your patience in waiting for the right material that make it look so extremely professional and perfect. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. It looks amazing! Great job and good patience too! You are inspiring me to redo my ottoman! Thanks for the greta tutorial too.

    ReplyDelete
  30. OK...first of all finding a bench the perfect length....and just all of the hard work to make it just right. Your skills and perseverance are unmatched! It looks so good with the table and the other chairs.

    ReplyDelete
  31. It looks excellent! And you are right about the details, it came together so nicely. You must be glad it is completed!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh Janell, I cannot believe you did that!!!
    It looks so fabulous. The faux-ostrich fabric, the color of the legs....swoon!
    I have been lusting after a bench for our dining area but I can never find one long enough or with the right finish. Thank you for thinking outside of the box and showing how to make a piece of furniture just right for a space!

    ReplyDelete
  33. it looks amazing janell! don't you dare let any kids eat on that beautiful fabric!

    ReplyDelete
  34. The bench looks amazingly beautiful and perfect for your dining table. And I just love how perfectly lined up your nail head trim is. Your upholstered bench looked very professorially done. Great job, as usual. Your perseverance finally paid off! Hats off to you, Janell!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. What a lot of work but so worth it! It looks great. I can relate to your angst after recently tackling my own re-upholstery project too:
    http://hodgepodge-babselou.blogspot.com/2011/04/black-and-white-striped-armchair-reveal.html

    ReplyDelete
  36. ummm WOW!!! Speechless am I.
    It loos perfect with that table. Kuddos to you!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love it Janell! I'm so glad that you stuck with it. It's perfect for the table and the mix of seating!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Janell it looks professionally done.You are so detailed in your DIY projects that they never look like a DIY project they always look as if you took them to a professional upholsterer, seamstress etc. You are amazing my friend, Love the bench!!! Happy Monday,Kathysue

    ReplyDelete
  39. Once again, you blow me away! The bench is beyond perfect for your space!!! Bravo to you!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Janelle, your hard work paid off!
    Your dining room project is coming together beautifully, it's been so much fun following the process

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow! It's gorgeous! You did an amazing job. I love the whole look.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Love the nail head trim! I'm such a fan of it, classic and full of style. This project turned out beautifully! Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm so impressed. It really did come out amazing. You are a brave girl.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Way to stick with it Janell! I probably would of thrown in the towel at the legs! I swear, how you get those nail heads to be so perfect is beyond me, a talent I will never have, even reading and re-reading your upholstered headboard tutorial. lol It all looks so beautiful. Oh and congratulations on the House of Fifty, I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Janell, the whole dining table/bench/chairs turned out perfectly!!! And your patience to get it perfectly professional and oh-so-designer is to be greatly admired. So nice to see a gorgeous "set" that isn't matchy-matchy, but comes together so well. I bet it's a look that will be copied quite a bit!
    xo,
    Shannon

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow, wow, WOW! Turned out fantastic Janell! I'm so excited for you! I would have never thought of filling in the tufting with foam. Brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wow, the bench looks awesome. Goes to show what having a little patience (I have none) can result in.

    ReplyDelete
  48. It's gorgeous, and nothing about it looks "DIY." I'm so impressed by your perseverance--there are several points long the way that I MAY have given up. I think your attitude to take it slow, not to rush, was probably key, no? I need to learn from this!

    Heather
    loveyourspace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. only you, janell...only you could take something that already looked pretty darn good and make it into something amazing. really, what are you BAD at??
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Wow, I love that new look!
    You really did a great job!
    Lovely greetings...

    http://pudel-design.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  51. It looks mah-va-lous darling! Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  52. It all looks amazing! I love how you re-did the bench, I also love the chairs selection for the rest of the dining room -- it came together perfectly!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Why did you decide to put the nailheads at the top of the band instead of the bottom? The cording was at the top and is almost hidden now. The bottom looks unfinished. This is not a criticism, I am learning from you.
    You did an excellent job of the bench and I cannot wait to see the light fixture when you are done.

    ReplyDelete
  54. You pulled it off! I love it so much- you're giving me inspiration for our big, brown leather ottoman that is too dark for the living room.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Fabulosity!!!! Love the fabric, the nailheads and the fresh and original stain on the legs. Standing ovation my friend, just gorgeous!!!

    xo
    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  56. It looks fantastic! Great tutorial too, I might add. M.

    ReplyDelete
  57. When your page opened initially I thought you were posting a magazine photo. Your transformation is STUNNING. I seriously don't know how you will top this one. Way to go Janell!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Are you kidding me? Do you know how I've been looking for a bench like this for our dinning....It looks fabulous, I just love it!
    XO
    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  59. Love your eye for detail. The bench looks fabulous but my favorite parts are the worn, natural waxed legs and the fact that you took just enough finish off the nail heads. Perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I am so beyond impressed! Can I hire you for about a year:) You have such a great eye, vision and obviously LOTS of patience (one thing I am really lacking in) your eye for detail is wonderful here and the end result can only be summed up in 2 words......

    PICTURE PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I really thought I was looking at a picture from a catalogue. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Looks fantastic! I am a fan of the fabric you used, really chic and usable.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Wow! This bench is simply gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous… What a great job you did! I am starting a burlap covered ottoman, same idea as your bench, I would be so happy if it comes close to the look of your bench. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  64. 1. I love benches at dining tables.
    2. I love your choice of fabric; ostrich a favorite.
    3. I appreciate you attention to every detail no matter how small.

    Can you tell I love your bench?

    : ) Deb

    ReplyDelete
  65. Janell-
    oh wow! this turned out beautifully.
    I love the details and the fabric you chose... and those little dainty casters...ah! beautiful.
    Did I tell you how beautiful it is?

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  66. I'm impressed with the finished product. I know you've been working on this for a while! Thanks for sharing the challenges with us so that we can learn with you. When I recently recovered a piece, the nailhead trim was ROUGH! My chair is quite old, so maybe the wood frame was a really hard, quality wood--but in any case, the nails kept bending. Maybe you could do a post showing more detail about how you carry off these straight lines.

    Warmly, Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  67. I love it! This looks amazing and like you spent a fortune on it.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Really, it is SO perfect! I'd pay big bucks for this!! Amazing job, Janell!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Love the story and love the end result. It really looks quite beautiful. Thanks for sharing x.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Wow!!! Applause not only for the fab finsihed product but your tenacity and patience, too!!!!

    Also, love that Plan A quote. I think I need that tacked up on my inspiration board! Love it!!!

    xo Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  71. The final bench makes is all worthwhile!! Love the summary blow-by-blow.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Gorgeous! and it works so beautifully with everything else!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Fantastic!!! Great Job, I just had a note to self moment . . . Be more like Janell :)
    The Bench is beautiful!!! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Once again...a matsterpiece! Bravo!!

    ReplyDelete
  75. *** Dearest Janell~

    I wanted to write a "PERSONAL" note, just to you. Then I thought "NO, EVERYBODY should see this!"...(And besides, I just KNOW everyone feels as I do!!!)...

    I just read HOUSE of FIFTY... and dear friend, you truly DOOOOOO amaze me! I've told you that before, but you've "REEEEALLY gone n' done it" this time~~~ and SOOOO BEAUTIFULLY!!!

    Congratulations on "birthing" a FABULOUS EMagazine... so professional, so full of great ideas and writing AND pics, ad nauseum!!!

    We've been "virtual friends" via our start at RMS, and that's been quite a while now... Wish I could be there to give you a congrats hug you personally!

    I admire and honor you right now with a great b*i*g "CONGRATULATIONS, YOU DID IT!"... Allllllll that time, work, I'm sure lots of roadblocks (or "detours"?) to endure, etc. And, you did it withOUT COMPLAINT... instead, you did it with GREAT STYLE, my friend... just as you do ALL things!

    I'm SO HAPPY for you, and yes, VERY PROUD of you!!!

    Sending a beautiful bottle of Dom Perignon (sorry, sending T*H*A*T "VIRTUALLY"! Grins!), and a big hug of sincere congrats!!!

    ENJOY REVELLING IN YOUR INCREDIBLE, IMPRESSIVE SUCCESS TONIGHT!!!

    Love,
    Linda in AZ *
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net
    (P.S. I L*O*V*E, L*O*V*E, L*O*V*E that dining bench!!!!!!!!!!)... TTTL~

    ReplyDelete
  76. LOVE IT!!!!!



    But maybe I missed it but where is your lovely piano being played now?

    ReplyDelete
  77. Really gorgeous. I love the color of the legs and the contrast of the nail heads with the ivory leather. Well done, Janell!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Wow Janell.. I'm certainly not surprised but it really turned out fantastic!! It suits the table, the room and your style perfectly!

    ReplyDelete
  79. love the bench! I love the color of the legs and the brass nail head trim with a little of the finish worn off. I think this project turned out just perfect. It took awhile but you got exactly what you wanted in your dining room. Yay! for you!

    ReplyDelete
  80. You did an incredible job! It looks beautiful and is the PERFECT addition to that gorgeous table. High five!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  81. It looks amazing, Janell! We have a bench for our kitchen breakfast nook area and love it. Yours is so great. My favorite part are the studs!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Admittedly I wasn't so sure about this about halfway through the project but I stand Corrected! The finished project is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the nailhead trim. Fantastic. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Love the quote because this is just too gorgeous even for words. Its one thing to imagine what it can look like, but its a whole another to see it come to fruition. Soo....what's next?!!!!:)

    ReplyDelete
  84. Gorgeous! Perfect! It needs to be in a magazine, Janell.

    ReplyDelete
  85. WOW!!!!! SERIOUSLY?! It is GORGEOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Of course it looks STUNNING :) btw Is that table from Restoration Hardware? Looks like it! :)))))))))

    www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  87. Wow Janell, it is truly stunning! You would never recognize it! You did a beautiful job on it! It was a labor of love and lots of patience and it really paid off!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Soooo gorgeous!! I love the table, the bench, the room, house of fifty...need i go on???? Super job!
    Shannon Berrey Design

    ReplyDelete
  89. Wow! Amazing makeover. It's so cool to see a piece transformed into something great. What did you use to strip the black paint off the legs?

    ReplyDelete
  90. A rough grit sandpaper, 220, I wanted them to look worn, so didn't bother to get them perfectly sanded. I started with my electric sander to get the bulk off the main surfaces and then went back in by hand into the curves and cervices. Thankfully my Dad lent a hand!! Janell

    ReplyDelete
  91. So much extra brain power required there- you are nothing if not the queen problem solver! The end result is so beautiful, looks like something Restoration Hardware wishes they came up with :)

    ReplyDelete
  92. That bench looks absolutely stunning! What magic!

    http://jennaleelac.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  93. bravo! i admire your initiative - and i LOVE your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Just thought maybe you would like to check out the upholstered bench I just completed which I think may have been inspired by watching your bench progress.
    www.timberandlace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  95. Wow, it's absolutely beautiful! I love the faux ostrich fabric you used and the way you made the bench look a little older. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  96. Absolutely LOVE it. I would say it looks AMAZING! :) You should be happy! I think your attention to detail is what makes it so special and expensive looking. Job well done, my friend.

    PS. I sent you that print! Found it on Pinterest and it reminded me of you :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. Beautiful job! I love it! I wouldn't think to use a faux animal skin but now I'm all about the look!

    Morgan @ PDB

    ReplyDelete
  98. yeah its done!! It was so worth the wait (well at least to me, I'm sure you were just ready to have it done haha) it came out perfect! It looks like a custom bench for a non-custom price!

    ReplyDelete
  99. After watching and waiting for the finished result I almost missed this ... IT IS FABULOUS! I love what you did and it is the perfect fit for the rest of your table and chairs. Great, great job! I also like the quote about the alphabet that someone sent you ... perfectly true! xo

    ReplyDelete
  100. wow. I love it! It was worth all those extra steps too I am sure.

    I have a bench I have been thinking about upholstering. You have me thinking about doing it in an animal hide. hmmm.

    xo,
    cristin

    ReplyDelete
  101. oh my gosh..its GORGEOUS! I'm not usually a huge fan of ostrich, nut good GOD Lady, that is beautiful!

    I'm a new follower! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  102. lol..oops..thats supossed to say but, not nut..makes more sense that way :o)

    ReplyDelete
  103. wow, this is just glorious.. Your attention to detail is out of this world.
    ps.. I'm watching portland v phili on tv right now, it's an exciting game!

    ReplyDelete
  104. It looks gorgeous!! A ton of work, but the result is so pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  105. that is beyond gorgeous!!!!!! well done!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Lovely. It's nice to see it all complete. It ties in so nicely with all the other pieces in your DR. Perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  107. This is absolutely perfect! I would love to have you come to Remodelaholic and guest post about this- or almost any of your beautiful rooms. If you are interested please let me know and I will get you the details!

    Thanks,
    Cassity

    ReplyDelete
  108. Stunning! The whole room is amazing. Really coming together! Great work. :)

    ReplyDelete
  109. I saw this on Pinterest - this is amazing!!

    ReplyDelete

Now I Would Love To Hear What You Think!