Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 19 Hours

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Buttons were threaded through the back of the chair with a giant foot-long needle. It is important to decide on whether or not you want buttons before the back of the chair is attached. Otherwise you'll be doing a lot of staple removal and cursing...

Once the buttons were threaded I tied a slip knot. This allows the button "depth" to be adjusted. The cotton keeps the slip knot from sliding around as you make adjustments. Once all of my buttons were even, I tied a final knot to fix them into place. I had to learn
how to use a sewing machine for the next step: Making double-welt trim to cover the staples. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 18 Hours

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After draping and cutting the fabric, which I actually wanted in a sage green but couldn't find, I tacked and stapled it around the cushions. Because this was the final layer of fabric, I had to be very careful and precise when stapling to make sure all of my lines were symmetrical. Spur of the moment I decided to add buttons, which I created with a button machine and navy blue scraps, to the back of my chair. Here they are just pinned up so that I could move them around before deciding on a final position. Also, that crazy math in the background has nothing to do with furniture upholstery...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Super Supermarket Sarah

I love London. Supermarket Sarah is a clever little shop that is part webstore, part flea market. Sarah sets up little booths you can either shop online or by appointment at her store location in West London, which also happens to be her home. The online experience is very cool. It's like window shopping, but you can buy stuff! Sarah sets up several booths filled with items ranging from artwork to shoes to vintage electronics, which you can select and purchase right off her wall. I love this concept. It combines all the fun of perusing junk stores with the convenience of online purchasing! I would also suggest checking out Sarah's blog.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 15 Hours

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After the foam was in place I measured, cut, and stapled cotton muslin over the seat and back of the chair. The muslin holds the shape of the cushion and prevents the stuffing from popping out in all directions. Next guessed it...FABRIC!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 13 Hours

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Once I had a few even layers of cotton down I cut a piece of one-inch foam to cover it. Foam is not the easiest material to work with. My foam in particular was very soft and tore easily. I had to work with a partner and quickly staple the foam down evenly on all sides to prevent it from taring out of the staples. Who knew furniture upholstery was a team building activity?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tossed & Found by Linda & John Meyers

I read an article in a recent issue of Design New England on a new coffee table book called Wary Meyers' Tossed & Found: Unconventional Design from Cast-offs by interior designers Linda & John Meyers. The book is a collection of totally off-the-wall, impractical, and seriously creative furniture rehabs (complete with instructions on how to recreate the final products). It is absolutely on my holiday wish list.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chair Bench by Annie Coggan

This great DIY project by Annie Coggan of Coggan + Crawford was recently posted on Design*Sponge. Since I'm chair-obsessed at the moment, the chair/bench naturally caught my eye. I'm putting it on my DIY To-Do list. Look through the full D*S "Sneak Peak" post for more of Annie's signature chairs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 12 Hours

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For this chair I used one-inch soft foam as my top layer of padding. I traced the shape of the chair frame onto the foam and cut it out. Here is where I had to start paying attention to details, because if I was sloppy about attaching my foam, my whole chair would look lopsided - and who wants to sit on a lopsided chair? No one, that's who. I had to staple the foam very slowly, working from top to bottom, so as to not accidentally deform my cushion shape. My arms were aching from holding the staple gun steady for so long.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 10 Hours

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I created the lip you see around the seat of the chair by rolling strips of cotton in burlap and stapling them to the frame. These rolls are designed to hold in the padding, as well as create a rounded edge once the fabric is added. Cotton goes down before the foam to create a desired shape, as well as provide extra padding. Here I used two layers of cotton to raise the center of the chair back. It's so primitive looking, but I guess it's how the pros still do it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Brownstone Library

Saw this odd stoop walking down Commonwealth Ave. in the Back Bay. The occupant of this old brownstone has so many books he can't even open his front door! I'm sure he's lucky enough to have a second entrance, but it's still a pretty odd location for a personal library.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 9 Hours

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Next up was stapling pieces of burlap over the webbing. This went pretty quickly. Then came the sanding and staining of the frame.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 8 Hours

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Once the chair was dry I cut strips of burlap webbing. These were were then stretched, weaved, and stapled to the seat and back of the chair. The webbing on the back of the chair is only partially weaved to maintain the curve of the chair. This was a really fun process, mostly because it is starting to look like a chair again!

Sanding and staining should have actually taken place before the webbing was added, but I wouldn't have been able to work on the chair that day while it was drying had I applied stain at the beginning of class. I waited until the end and just worked around the material.

Friday, October 30, 2009


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SAVE THE VINYL is the brainchild of my very special bf Joshua Pratt, host of Vinyl Vlog. SAVE THE VINYL is a unique service/promotion put together in association with Limited Pressing, National Underground and dozens of bands from all over the US and Canada, for attendees of this weekend’s FEST 8 in Gainesville, FL. The idea is that anyone who purchases records at FEST 8 will receive a record mailer to protect (or SAVE) their vinyl from the chaos that is the FEST. Inside each mailer is a comp CD with over 25 songs by the bands mentioned above. 200 record mailers and comp CDs will be given out. Of these 200, 5 comp CDs will be "Golden CDs," which include a secret track announcing the lucky record buyer as a winner of a prize package. These prize packages are made up of records, CDs, coozies, and other merch items donated by participating bands. Josh and I collaborated on artwork for the comp CD insert and above are a few of the sketches we came up with.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 6 Hours

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Re-glued and screwed. Once the chair is dry I will sand, stain, and begin the upholstering process!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 4 Hours

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Sometimes situations have to get worse before they get better...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wall Mosaic by Jill Roberson

I spotted this neat penny tile wall mosaic on Design*Sponge today. It must have taken a lot of planning! The wall is from the home of Jill Roberson of office.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 3 Hours

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My chair after three hours of prying out tacks and staples, ripping apart dry-rotted foam, and watching my hands become red and blistered. I couldn't believe how long it took to tear this thing apart. But I was also very unprepared. I think I can cut my time in half next time around. I'll also invest in a pair of gloves next time around...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale: 1 Hour

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About four weeks ago, after months of complaining about my hobbyless lifestyle, I finally signed up for a continuing ed. class at the BA&CE in Brookline, MA. The course, as you may have deduced from the photo, is Furniture Upholstery.

Remember this chair from my original Central Square Chair Sale post??? Turns out, Mr. Shalimar has hundreds of these chairs in his store basement. I picked this one out for my project. This picture was taken about an hour into my first class. It took a whole HOUR to tear out enough nails to remove HALF of the seat fabric. I have a long way to go...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

HGTV Green Home Comes to MA: Update

The 2010 HGTV Green Home is located in Plymouth, MA this year, which is extremely exciting for me as a MA resident and groupie. The house seems to be entering its final stages of construction already. Pretty impressive considering the project was only announced this past June. Of course, there is still a considerable of work to do. The floor plans show multiple lofts, a giant porch, and generous master bedroom. There is only one other bedroom, but for a free house you can't complain. I'm planning on doing a drive-by in the next few weeks... The giveaway entry period begins April 16, 2010.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Johansen Shoes at Little Girl Grown

I spotted these adorable mid-century Johansen heals at Little Girl Grown, a tasteful and affordable Boston-based Etsy store stocked with hand-selected vintage gems. If only my feet were three sizes smaller :( If you are interested in these shoes I'd hurry, because nothing ever stays on LGG for long! Take a look at more vintage fall finds here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Babushka Cookies

I just started following and their post about "Babushka Cookies" was the first feed update I received on them. There are no words to express the joy I am feeling right now. These cookies are the brain child of Michele of Extremely Crafty. Thank you Michele.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Moustache Mugs

My Mom always jokes about having given me and my brothers pacifiers in the shape of cigars, puckered lips, gold teeth, and other adult accessories that look hilarious on babies. I think it was her favorite part of motherhood, in fact. This moustache mug image found at reminded me of that. Love you Mom ;)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sumatra Bed from Pottery Barn: Followup

Caroline, you are right! I was just looking through the Pottery Barn website and there are scarcely any plants. And frankly, the PB winter collections are kind of stiff. Plants must be a seasonal accessory, which is too bad, because wouldn't it make sense to have more plants indoors during the sparse fall and winter months? I think so. Above are PB images from last spring that I had tucked away in my "inspiration rooms" folder. They are more representative of the PB staging I love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sumatra Bed from Pottery Barn

I hate to admit it, but I actually really like Pottery Barn. And I absolutely love this Sumatra bed frame. It is rustic yet graceful somehow. Personally, I feel high footboards are too restricting, so the footboard on this frame is perfect for me. I love the the wood grain and the color of the stain and the fact that the headboard doubles as a shelf. The bedding is OK, a little busy, but the frame is neutral (without being boring) so the loud print works. I've been eying this piece of furniture for quite a while now. I hope Pottery Barn doesn't discontinue it before I can save up!

Also, if you've ever looked at a PB catalog you know what I'm talking about, but kudos to the designers and creative directors. Every room is extremely inviting in fabulously accessorized. I especially like the abundance of plants in all the shots.

Monday, September 21, 2009

DIY Record Holder

My relentless record collector of a boyfriend recently found this neat DIY record holder concept online. This past weekend Josh, inspired by his love for vinyl, and myself, inspired by a solution for organizing Josh's vinyl, decided to try our hands at crafting. The photo above is our first attempt. But Josh has (too) many records so there will be several more versions of this project to come. You can view some of our how-to (and how not to) action shots HERE.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dog on Chair

Design to Inspire recently created a "pets on furniture" post. Coincidentally, this past Labor Day weekend I took a "dog on chair" picture (with my crappy old camera phone) while pet-sitting at my parents' house on Cape Cod. Go to Design to Inspire for more adorable pets on furniture.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Monster Kitchen Sink

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Look at this thing. It is massive! It must weigh a ton, at least. Sure, a six foot sink limits your counter space, but it is such a unique feature I think it's worth the sacrifice. Definitely a bold and specific design choice. I've never seen anything like it in a residential space. This cottage-style kitchen was designed by Thomas Conway. The image was posted on

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Community Bookcase

This find was posted on decor8 today. It is literally a bookcase left on the sidewalk where passers by can pick up and drop off books as they please - for FREE. This particular bookcase was found in Germany. I'm not sure how such a concept would fly in the States, but if I was to pick a spot in the Boston area for a community bookcase I think Union Square in Somerville would be an appropriate location. Also, I love the glass doors on this unit! Find out more about this community bookcase at decor8.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Look at this Nook!

Design to Inspire just added a post dedicated to "napping nooks." Those secret, sacred, cozy corners found under windows and behind stairs perfect for reading, drawing, knitting, tea sipping, daydreaming and, well, napping! I just love nooks. The above photo is one of my favorites from Design to Inspire's post. Find your nook here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

These antique floral ceramic dishes were posted on I'd love to collect a mix & match set of these. Blue/white, sage/cream, black/white, pink/cream. Floral, animal, oriental. They are classy but still fun - so French Country meets Ming Dynasty meets Urban Boho.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Google Business Card

Brilliant! I was Googling examples of great business cards and this one popped up. Of course, you would need access to the internet to actually get the person's contact information, but I dig it regardless. The image was posted on

Monday, August 24, 2009

Portraits by Carolines

by Caroline Wilson - Boston, MA
Caroline Wilson has a unique talent for capturing the whole world in which her subject lives, telling the story of his life, in a single shot.

By Caroline Holcomb - Westwood, MA
Caroline Holcomb's portraits seem to draw out her subjects' personalities as if her lens were magnetized. When you look at her photographs you feel like you already know the person staring back.

Boston-area photographers worth checking out.

Sunday Brunch Dress by Heidi Merrick Kate

Love this Sunday Brunch Heidi Merrick Kate Dress!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little Women Tribute by Amy Merrick

One of my lovely friends and followers so kindly pointed me to one of Amy Merrick's recent Design Sponge: Living In posts. The post is a tribute to Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, home of the Little Women. My friend is a sucker for old homes, like me. Last year we went to a miniatures exhibit of historical interiors, and some of the 19th century rooms we saw could have been taken directly from the Orchard House (according to the photos on the website. We are planing a trip to the Orchard House later this fall). Check out Amy's post for tips on where to find the rich, homey, thoughtful details that define the character of these classic American homes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CAD for Clunkers Logo

My company has a web-store called CAD Garage and we just began a software trade-in promotion, CAD for Clunkers. This is the logo we came up with for the promotion. I don't get to do logos very often, so this was a fun task for me!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Union Square Craft Fair

Vinyl Purse

Turtle Dove Copper Bracelets

Some unique items that caught my eye at a craft/art fair in Union Square a few weekends ago.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Upside Down Rainbow by Hannah Wood

I wonder if she just took a picture of a regular rainbow and turned it upside down... Either way it's a very interesting picture.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Central Square Chair Sale

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$20 each (but I bet you could talk Mr. Shalimar down). The carvings and finishes on all the chairs are slightly different. Sat on a few. They're pretty sturdy. There were twice as many out on the street last week. I wanted to get a picture before they all found homes. If I knew how to reupholster (and had a truck) I'd take home four today.

National Geographic's Best Pics of the Year

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My dad forwarded me an email with National Geographic's best pictures of the year. These two were my favorites. If you want to see the rest of the photographs, let me know and I'll email you.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Unpainted Stairs by Paul Massey

These stairs were posted on Remodelista back in June. I saved the image in my "inspiration" folder because I just think the concept is so outside-the-box. I mean, why paint the center of the treads if they are just going to get dirty? So practical - yet stylish. The stairs are from photographer Paul Massey's house in London.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Trash to Treasure: Knack Studios

When I grow up I want to do what Knack Studios does. The talented people at Knack refurbish, remix, and rediscover found objects, such as furniture, hardware, and light fixtures. Why buy new when you could salvage an otherwise unloved object by transforming it into a functional work of art. So inspiring. The "afters" Knack comes up with are gorgeous. Keep up the good work!