June 27, 2015

Adding Board and Batten to the Master Bedroom

It's been a while since I had a chance to update on my new home projects. In November, we bought our first home in Chicago. It is a gorgeous duplex (which in Chicago means it is two floors, but everywhere else in the country it means there are only two units. We're in Chicago, so we'll use that definition.) that was built in the early 1900s. It amazing original details, including wood floors and stained woodwork. 

The condo was last updated around 15 years ago, but the updates did not hold true to the old details of the building. I have been working to correct this.

My first major project was the master bedroom. It is a sizeable room with absolutely no character at all. While the rest of the home has beautiful woodwork, this room didn't have any casings or even real baseboards. My plan was to add board and batten two-thirds of the way up the wall and paint the top. 

The first step was to remove the old faux baseboards, which was a pain. They weren't installed correctly so it took a lot of ripping to get them out. Luckily I was planning on covering up those sections of the wall, so there wasn't too much patching. Next, I prepped and painted the walls white. 

Once everything was painted, I started on the board and casing install. I used furring strips to save on costs, but I still needed a lot of them. I don't have a nail gun, so I mostly used liquid nails (which is my best friend) and an occasional nail when the wall or the board wasn't completely flat. We don't own a power saw, so everything was done with our hand miter saw. It was taxing, but it does make everything feel even more impressive when you look at all of the wood that you cut yourself! Then I caulked all of the edges so there were no gaps. There were a lot of gaps to hide... 

A layer of primer and two coats of paint later on the boards, and the room was nearly complete. I choose a deep blue on the top of the boards to bring some color into the room. I've rented long enough, and don't want any more all white rooms. We also installed a new ceiling light, light switch, curtains, hung the TV on the wall, and moved a "built-in" from the first floor into the master.

After about two months of working on weekends and the occasional weeknight when I was home early enough, the room is complete. A big project, but the room no longer feels like a basement. Now it feels like a luxurious master bedroom. 

If you'd like to see some of the other DIY projects from this room, check out the dressernightstandsheadboard, and comforter on my blog.

June 25, 2015

New Armchair! Tales in Reupholstery.

I took my first stab at learning to reupholster a few months ago. I found this armchair on Craigslist for $20, but it was in need of new fabric. It was covered in cat hair and the left arm was completely shredded through to the wood by that cat, but the bones were good and the cushions solid.

I found a beautiful white and yellow fabric that I am hoping will hide all of my dog's hair (which shows up on everything under the sun).  It took about two evenings to rip all of the fabric off and another day to sew all of the new cushions.

I am planning on sewing a new back cushion at some point, but I keep putting that project off for no reason at all. And it looks like someone really approves of the new chair!