One Room Challenge - Week Four - Upholstery

Welcome back to week 4 of The One Room Challenge™.   Thank you for following along as I join 19 other insanely talented folks in redoing a room in six short weeks all while we document the process.  And boy is time flying.  Let me put it to you this way, I did not think I would be reliving a repeat of my down-to-the-wire bedroom as was the case with the last ORC.  But here we are at week 4 and I still do not have paint on my walls.  How is this even possible?   I want to cry myself to sleep on my big fat pilla.  To catch up on the drama from the beginning, click the following links below:

WEEK 1:  Plan & Inspiration
WEEK 2:  Progress Report – Floors
WEEK 3:  Progress Report - Electricity 

But now is not the time for melodrama so I will cut to the chase this week since last week’s missive was a lengthy one.  Full-on panic has officially set in.  That electricity debacle from last week is having an exponential effect on my timeline which has resulted in pushing the painting and wallpaper install out while we pace the floors like caged animals  patiently wait for silly details like ceiling patches to dry.  Grrrrr.

I am nothing if not predictable so running behind should come as no surprise.  However, this week has not been a total wash as we shifted gears a bit to focus on upholstery.  I finally nailed down most of my main fabric choices for the banquette throw pillows as well as a last minute add-on project involving animal print and pink fringe that my mister was super excited to tackle.  Side eye.

This is the part where, in spite of telling you that I would cut to the chase, I am going to take this opportunity to make it lengthy by sharing two loosely related stories in which I happen to stumble upon some more great deals.  But stick with me as they pertain to the animal print pink fringe extravaganza above.  So...once upon a time, namely last Thursday, I had yet to nail down a suitable host/ess chair for the as-yet found dining table and was beginning to fear that I might have to use my desk chair as a stand-in when I realized that I had a perfectly good candidate among my chair hoard.  

A few years ago I snagged an unfinished Ficks Reed rattan chair in a random warehouse close out sale.  And by random I mean a sketchy CL ad listing some designer fabric remnants for sale that my mister forwarded on to me.  Like a dope, with just an address, I headed out to some weird abandoned looking distribution/office park with no signs of life.  After discovering locked doors covered in paper at the given address, I was even more sure of my original conviction that CL is nothing more than urban legend.  I squealed out of the parking lot on two wheels when I saw two men quickly approaching my car from a side entrance.  Thankfully, a woman in a rather nice looking Lexus pulled alongside me to ask if this was the location of the Ficks Reed sale.  What the what?!  Turns out that random CL ad for fabric remnants was not only legit but part of a bigger sale by Ficks Reed that is held periodically to unload merchandise.  In fact, I am not even certain Ficks Reed is officially in business anymore but I do know that they have created incredible Palm Beach style furniture over the years that still carry a hefty resale price tag. In addition to some great fabric scores, I picked up an unfinished chair frame with gorgeous Chinoiserie detailing for $10 which has been sitting unfinished and largely ignored in my back tile room for the last three years.  I can’t make this stuff up.

Now, a few weeks ago, I happened to stop by the fabric store near my house – the very one that refused to sell me pillow inserts during the last one room challenge.  If you will recall, I mentioned the terrible customer service.  So I was not surprised  to find a big GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE sign (ahem, again) when I walked up.  What I was surprised to find was endless bolts of fabric and trim as far as the eye could see marked down 70%.  I quickly got over my rancor from the last visit and began throwin bows, snatching up as many bolts of fabric and trim that I could carry.  People, we are talking an average of $3 / yard, many of which will make their onscreen debut during the reveal.  One of my great deals was 15 yards of fabulous pink fringe trim that I knew I would use somewhere and that day arrived this past weekend when I got a wild hair up my bum to resurrect the Palm Beachy rattan chair from obscurity and use it as my host chair.

Now also, last week I made a trip out to one of my very FAVORITE fabric stores, The Fabric Shack in Waynesville, OH to pick up the rest of my fabric (and inserts!!!) for the room and while there, fell in love with yet another animal print.  Shocker.  I instantly fell for the blue colorway.  Had to have it and knew immediately that it was destined for the rattan chair.  As synchronicity would have it, my girl Elizabeth got the same fabric the same day for one of her projects.  #greatminds.  So the animal print fabric married the pink trim and it is a match made in preppy Palm Beach chic heaven.  I nervously cut the patterns and my uber-talented mister handled the sewing.  Yes, he does it all.

Now here is where YOU enter the story.  I need help deciding what to do with the finish on the chair given my cushion sitch.  Should I leave it nekkid, lacquer it up in some bright color, or simply stain it?  I have waffled 50 times.  Help a desperately tardy sister out, what say you?

How ‘bout we check out some actual progress?!  Let’s see what my lady friends are up to this week...

A special thank you to the following sponsors and supporters of Chez V and The One Room Challenge that are graciously providing items to help me bring my vision for this room to life:

All photos and styling by Emily Vanderputten unless otherwise noted

kisses,  mrs. V


A Rerun Of Our Chinoiserie Easter Table

With my kitchen all torn up because of The One Room Challenge™, I am not doing a beautiful Easter table this year.  But I am still so smitten with the table I set last year that I am sharing these images again.  I had so much fun making these eggs even though I set out to make pink ones at the outset.  Call it a happy accident that I ended up with these gorgeous deep blue beauties.  And as with all things in my life, all roads lead to Chinoiserie. It's like we are the ChinoiserVs with my mister as a reluctant but indulgent bystander.

Click here for more detailed info on how I actually made these.

An example of the pink color I was originally trying to achieve but I wasn't happy with the speckling and splotching.  That is when I shifted to the blue colorway but of course I could not resist slamming some gold on that pink.   Imma one trick pink and gold, chinoisy, animal printed pony.

Speaking of Chinoiserie, have you guys seen this goodness that Emilie is cooking up over at Shell & Chinoiserie for her ORC room in the link up? Living for these chintz chairs against that Imperial Trellis wallpaper!


Be sure to head over to Calling it Home to see what all the linking participants are up to this week.  So many great spaces coming together!

Have a good Friday on this Good Friday!

All photos, layouts, and styling by Emily Vanderputten unless otherwise noted

kisses,  mrs. V


One Room Challenge - Week Three - Electricity

Welcome back to week 3 of The One Room Challenge™.   Thank you for following along as 20 of us design pros and enthusiasts willingly agree to tackle a room redo in six short weeks and document the process at the behest of our fearless leader Linda of Calling It Home.  I am tackling the dine-in portion of my kitchen.  To catch up from the beginning, click the following links below:

WEEK 1:  Plan & Inspiration
WEEK 2:  Progress Report - Floors

So here we are at the mid-point in the challenge which I like to think of as the moment of truth.  This is where I begin to take stock of the things I have accomplished versus my long wish list to assess what I can reasonably finish by the end of 6 weeks.  This is the point at which my dewy delusions of grandeur begin to lose their dewy luster of possibility.  An ambitious plan, in the best of circumstances, to refinish floors, run electricity, wallpaper, paint walls, sew banquette cushions, and build a table begins to get a little dodgy when halted at the electricity part going into the mid-point.   If you will recall, the mister and I do all of our own work so getting stalled at the second item on an already lengthy punch list does not bode well.  Insert dramatic music.  

Get yourself a cup of something leaded because this is a long one today.  For as much progress as the mister and I made last week with the floors, this week was supremely frustrating.  I had hoped to be able to cross off not only the electricity and lighting install but also painting the ceiling, walls, and trim as well as having the banquette cushions sewn this week.  All predicated upon a simple lighting move which ended up being anything but simple.  

Sadly, these electricity issues occupied our efforts the ENTIRE weekend.  Whomever wired our house prior to our arrival was a closet pyromaniac – as in clearly they wanted the house to go up in flames with their wacky wiring.  Our first clue that we were in for some electrical pyrotechnics was when we removed our switchplate to find mostly red wires.  I’ll spare you an electricity lesson but know this, for the existing 3-way switch that we were looking to swap, there should have been a black, a white, a red, and a ground wire.  Not ALL reds.

Suffice it to say, that we spent all day Saturday undoing the mess that was our kitchen wiring.  Midway through I was more than ready to throw in the towel and call our electrician.  But my mister is nothing if not determined and he tamed that wiring beast.  Sunday was spent cutting more holes in the ceiling and making patches so that I could finally swap out the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ceiling fan that hung in the middle of no man’s land by our refrigerator.  What is it with men and ceiling fans?  I will never understand. 

my mister and M.I.L.

To lend this saga context, it has infuriated me to no end to have a random ceiling fan/light fixture that hung off center from our butcher block island.  Aside from wanting to burn every ceiling fan I lay my eyes upon, I have wanted to anchor my lighting situation in the work triangle area over my butcher block island.  But the mister kept warning me that this was no small feat.  I kept thinking he was blowing smoke.  How hard can it be to move a light fixture 3 feet?!  The island is where I do all my prep work and often times set up a buffet of sorts.  As such I needed a significant light source.  Outside of being fugly, the fan’s lighting did project light outwards in 4 directions covering the stove, the refrigerator, the island, and the sink.  So I have been on the search for an affordable statement light(s) over my butcher block.  I needed both form and function from one light or a pair of pendants centered over the butcher block that would still illuminate the work triangle.  I love the idea of a statement chandelier over an island but with 8’ ceilings I knew I would be limited due to head clearance.  Every time I entertain, people tend to stand around the butcher block chatting and leaning in to grab nosh or drink so a chandelier would only invite more head banging.  Refer to Week 1 for that reference. Shade pendants would not suffice as they direct light downwards rather than outwards so I have been on the lookout for a glass globe style pendant. 

Most of the ones I liked were well outside my budget but I had spied one at the Ballard Designs Outlet store a few weeks ago with which I became immediately smitten.  For those of you who follow me on IG, you will know the one.  Glass globe with brass detail.  Purrrrrfect.  

But alas, it had some sort of defect and at $300+ which reflected the outlet markdown and the defect markdown, I thought it was still too spendy for a defective light.  I spotted a few more options that might work but ended up leaving empty handed and still in hot pursuit of a functional but beautiful light option for the island.  But with the challenge timeline ticking down, I knew I had to make a decision quickly.  However, the imprint of that gorgeous brass globe became the standard against which I compared my other options.  None lived up to the glorious globe so in a desperate attempt to banish my ‘what if-itis’ I returned to the Ballard Designs outlet with husband and daughter in tow, on a SATURDAY, fully believing that the globe would be gone.  In case you aren’t aware, things move as quickly out of that outlet store as they do Home Goods.  If you spot something you like, you best get it while the gettin’s good.  Not to mention, the Ballard Design Outlet is around the corner from IKEA so most weekend warriors make a day of going to both which means  TONS of people.  YayI can’t think of anything that infuriates my husband more than shopping except crowds.  Armed with an angry husband and a spasmo 5 year old who can’t keep her hands to herself, I had little faith in our chances.  Imagine my palpable glee when I spotted the globe.  But, the already angered mister in his incredibly frustrating albeit practical frugality, began smashing my globe dreams asunder with protests of ‘thou dost want to spend too much’ for a busted globe.  The tag read ‘short on light.’  Mr. Practical wanted to determine if that meant short in length on one of the light body arms or if that meant faulty wiring.  My mister felt pretty confident that he could fix either but the marked down price was still prohibitive to him.  I was still hopped up on the globe juice to which the earnest shop keeper recognized a frenzied dog hot on the scent and quickly dispatched for the manager to see what they could ‘do.’  The long and short of it is this:  the light was tested with a bulb to determine one light did not in fact work; the wise manager recognized an opportunity to move undesirable merchandise that most people could not fix; I got my gorgeous globe that retailed for close to $400 for $75.  Yep.

My mister took that globe to work and not only fixed the short but rewired the whole fixture as he deemed the overall wiring to be subpar.  Turns out the ‘short’ wasn’t really a short but rather caused by someone enthusiastically screwing in a $1 light bulb and bending the contact.  And yes, he still rewired it after that discovery.  But let it be stated, he is as impressed with the quality and workmanship of the brass fixture as I am – and that is saying a lot as not much impresses him.  The globe is everything I dreamed it would be.  I wish I could link to the source, but sadly I cannot find it on the Ballard site or in any of the catalogues so I do not know if it is still available or discontinued but it is the stuff of my brasstastic dreams.

But back to the lighting/electricity debacle.  As I said, after addressing the wiring mess on Saturday, Sunday we planned to hang the globe, patch the ceiling holes, and move on to upholstery.  Best laid plans of mice and the Vs.  That gorgeous light fixture is SUPER heavy and I was the one holding it over my head while my mister attached it to the ceiling.  Once attached, we discovered the threaded pipe was longer than the depth of the junction box so the cover plate was not flush with the ceiling.  After much more atlas shrugging of that heavy globe over my head and plenty of colorful language, we determined we needed to shorten the threaded pipe which was soldered to the fitting.  Say what?  It is at this point that I begin to question the meaning of life and my place in this cruel world.  Off to the back garage we go where my mister performs his machining wizardry.  Meanwhile I am entertaining thoughts of playing baseball with the globe and dreaming of the vat of pinto grigio that will be required to erase this weekend from my memory.

Morale of the story.  We got the deal of the century on the globe but more than paid our weight in sweat equity to get the dang thing hung.  Although I can’t blame the gorgeous light.  But my mister certainly blames me.  Can't wait to show you the sconces I selected from Lamps Plus - super gorgeous also but will wait to show you until after the wallpaper is installed.  Next week I hope to have a lot less sweat and a lot more pretty.  Now let’s go take a peek at what all of my talented friends are up to this week.

A special thank you to the following sponsors and supporters of Chez V and The One Room Challenge that are graciously providing items to help me bring my vision for this room to life:

All photos and styling by Emily Vanderputten unless otherwise noted

kisses,  mrs. V