2016 In Review and Looking Ahead

2016 was a dramatic year, wasn't it? 

I'm counting down the hours until I can wake up to a fresh beginning and a brand new year. I've been counting the time in hours for a few months. Is that weird?

It was a very slow year at 58 Water Street, but plenty busy behind the scenes. I purposely took time off to consider where I want to go, the types of projects I want to tackle, and how I want to spend my time. In short, I felt confused. My favorite projects serve as a visual guide when I lose track of my own style. It is difficult to figure out where my style fits in the giant world of Pinterest, with so much beautiful influence. When I lose focus I revisit my own creations, and the projects that feel the most like my style. The goal is to transfer this aesthetic to our house, which has left me with an overwhelming sense of 'meh,' thanks to beige carpet, beige tile, and off-white trim.





Following Haven...

During the time I stepped away, I was able to clean up a number of literal and figurative messes that required my full attention. The new school year started days after I returned from Haven, and those precious hours in the empty house allowed me to deep clean and organize. The storage area in the basement, now about a third of the size of its former self, is finally organized, and it required three days and countless donation trips. A bedroom situation that needed tending to was finally resolved; I swear the kids switch beds and bedroom furniture like it's made of cardboard, no big deal. The powder room and master bedroom were painted and I got a head start on the design process for those rooms.

After Haven, which I barely mentioned attending here, I had a lot to think about. Some bloggers leave feeling energized, with a solid plan, and a tribe of blog BFFs to offer their support every step of the way. I left feeling conflicted, and I understand that is also very common. I met up with some of my favorite eclectic decor friends, and they are as lovely in person as they seem in blog life. My struggle is more about how to effectively share, how to find my place, and whether that is ultimately the best use of my time.

I decided to step away from the Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest after co-hosting and judging for more than a year. It was an honor to be a part of this group, and I loved watching the various projects and different styles roll in each month. I value the friendships I made through the contest, and there are some serious rock star talented people who hosted and participated each month! Of course, I will continue to watch and cheer and share from over here.


The Plan for 2017...

In 2017 I have a number of projects planned for the house, some are simply for the fun of home projects, and some are necessary because the house needs to be updated and improved upon. I also plan to include smaller DIY posts, write about my adventures in travel, and share a few of our family's favorite vegetarian recipes.


I am that person who chooses a word or phrase to encapsulate my goal or hopes for the New Year. 

The phrase I've chosen for 2017 is Focus on Quality. I will not post for the sake of posting; I will not post fluff or filler. In life, I will focus on quality in every way. The common thread in all of the lists and brain dumps I've written over the last few weeks, tells me the fluff is making me tired and weary. So, I choose to refinish rather than buy new from the store, I choose family game night rather than separate rooms and electronic devices, I will have conversations with eye contact rather than staring at my Instagram feed, and I will spend with intent rather than mindlessly spending just to quiet and appease (the kids and myself). I have learned from rocky friendships and disappointing family dynamics over the last few weeks, that if it doesn't bring an ounce of happiness or positivity, it should be left in 2016.

And with that, I'm off to Detroit for the final hoorah of 2016, or the first hoorah of 2017, depending on how you look at it.

See you next year, friends.
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Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest Featuring Velvet Finishes

*This post contains affiliate link but all opinions expressed are my own*

Welcome to a new month and a new contest!

Green dresser, velvet finishes, forest green, DIY, painted furniture


For November we are teaming up with Velvet Finishes, and featuring a colorful theme!


Velvet Finishes is a new product for me, and I love trying new paints. This paint is low-VOC, and requires no sanding or priming. I wiped the dresser with a damp cloth, then used 'Ready' to prepare and degloss the surface. With no odor, I was able to paint in my living room, and binge on Stranger Things. 



This old dresser in our living room functions as a sideboard and storage for the kids' crafts. It started as a heavy, dark, dated piece, with tons of potential. Years ago, I primed the body of the dresser, left the top untouched, and updated the hardware. Then we moved to Ohio, and painting it moved to the bottom of my list of priorities. It sat this way, stark-primer white, waiting for me to decide on a color.  

Color is always the hardest part for me. 


Have you noticed the trend toward deep forest green lately? I am in love with it. In addition to the 21 colors above, there are several color recipes on the VF website, which is where I found the perfect forest green. 



I used a blend of Enchanting and Luxurious to create this color. I mixed and blended until I had the perfect color. 






Look at that beautiful satin finish. It has the perfect sheen without being shiny. 


And a closeup of my new favorite tin and the jade plant that refuses to die.



See what the rest of the team is up to this month! 


Contest Details:

November 2016 Theme: Colour Your World
Deadline: November 21st 

The winner will receive a $250 Velvet Finishes Gift Certificate!






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Swap It Like It's Hot 6

Swap It Like It's Hot #6!

This is one of my favorite blog hops. If you're new to the whole thing, this is how it works: Meet a group of daring and creative bloggers. In a round-robin fashion, boxes of forlorn treasures are sent and received to these bloggers (worth ~$10) according to a spreadsheet, the likes of which only evil genius Charlotte of Ciburbanity can create. 

Sounds fun. Let's jump in. 

I received this box from Allison Fannin of Two Thirty-Five Designs. Allsion is one amazing and talented designer. I lose days on her blog. She sent me a very interesting box, containing these items. You spoil me, Allison! 


How cool is this stuff? Unfortunately, the ceramic serving dish was broken upon arrival, so I crossed that off the list and focused on the brass and the lamp. Sure, I could have smashed the dish to bits and created a mosaic, but that's a lot of work, and a beige dish would make a rather non-descript mosaic. Oh, and I'm super lazy. 


The Lamp

I almost forgot a "before" picture of this sweet lamp. Here she is, all taped up before I painted her. Silly old Pixar lamp, the color of foundation. 


It is a perfectly good lamp, in working condition. I wasn't about to take it apart to make a planter or a bunk bed, or something super creative. 

I stumbled upon this image and found my direction. 


Hettie Anglepoise Table Lamp in Copper

 via Houzz



On a whim, I tried this spray paint, found at Target.


And hooray! I love how it turned out! It is more rose gold than copper, and matte with a stone texture. But I love it. 




The Brass

The brass was like a dreamy vision. I love brass. The only problem is that my love of brass prevented me from changing it in a dramatic way. Instead, I played around with it and added it to my halloween mantel. It will probably stay there through Thanksgiving and Christmas, because you can never have too much brass on a holiday mantel!

I received three shiny, perfect wall candle sconces. 


They are supposed to hang on the wall like this. That is my hand but that's not really my style. 


Rather than just hanging these as they are designed, I played and rearranged them. They're like little transformers; they unscrew in several places so you have plenty of options. 


I already had my collection of brass candlesticks arranged on the mantel for Halloween, so these blended right in, adding the perfect touch of extra height. 







Well that's where my story ends. I sent a box full of these treasures to Jeanie at Create and Babble. I can't wait to see what she created with these thrifty treasures! That wooden cheetah tray! 



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Be sure to check out all of the thrifty-swappy-fun this week!

MONDAY


TUESDAY


WEDNESDAY


THURSDAY


FRIDAY

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest - Modern Flair with Spoonflower

All opinions and thoughts expressed within this post are 100% my own, however, this post is sponsored by Spoonflower.

It's a new month and time for a new Fab Furniture Flippin Contest™, with our September sponsor, Spoonflower. We chose the theme Modern Flair! I do love a good modern or even retro/modern project!

spoonflower, plus sign pattern, swiss cross pattern, fabric, chair makeover, DIY


We all know Spoonflower is a great resource for wallpaper and gift wrap. I discovered this long ago in my search for decorative paper to line the drawers of my furniture projects. But they have fabric too, and the quality and selection is amazing!


Fab Furniture Flippin Contest Featuring Spoonflower


I decided to tackle this chair, because I love a challenge, and this is one sad chair.

sad chair

It reminds me of dorm furniture. From the Soviet Union, circa 1989.

When I removed the cushions I was amazed by the solid, beautiful wood, in perfect condition. My original plan to paint flew out the window. This picture doesn't show the beauty of the wood, but there are pictures below that do.


I chose this fabric in Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra.  It is a nice canvas weight with fabulous stretch. The stretch made it easy to sew the side panels on to the curves of the cushions. There are many different types of fabric to choose from, canvas felt like the best choice for this piece.

plus sign fabric by Spoonflower, black and white


When the fabric arrived I started to brainstorm and play around with the fabric and paint colors, and where to add a tiny bit of color. 


Natalie and I decided this chair will go in her room. It's exactly her style, and she has been asking for an alternative to the bulky papasan currently taking up an entire corner of her room.


I added just a touch of turquoise to the arms, and this can be removed easily if I grow tired of it down the road. 


*I'd like to take a moment to complain about how hot my garage is. I'm guessing it gets up to 135 degrees in the afternoon. I'm just really over the heat*

Now the wood...look at that wood! 

58 Water Street: wood chair makeover with turquoise paint and modern fabric

As an upholstery project goes, this was easy. I removed the original fabric, ripped out the seams, and used each piece as a pattern. The zippers were in great shape, so I reused those.

58 Water Street: wood chair makeover with turquoise paint and modern fabric

I love the "plus sign" pattern, and the blend of wood, turquoise, and black & white does something to my soul!

58 Water Street: wood chair makeover with turquoise paint and modern fabric

And here it is, staged for her room. Cute!

teen girl style, 58 Water Street: wood chair makeover with turquoise paint and modern fabric

Well, this is the pattern I chose for my project. Now for the fun part; I love to see what YOU will choose for your projects! A modern theme makes it even more exciting! 

Thank you Spoonflower, for your generosity! 

Contest Details: September 5th- 30th
Prize: $250 Spoonflower Gift Certificate 



My co-host this month is the super-talented Carrie, from Thirty Eighth Street. I always love to see what she's up to. 


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Mid Century Chair Makeover

This might be my favorite chair project to date. Introducing Eck Adams 2.0.

Updating vintage midcentury Eck Adams chairs with fabric from Tonic Living


This is where we started. 



Wait...let's back up. This story involves another set of similar chairs. Several months ago I traded in our old, country windsor chairs for this set of four vintage vinyl mid century beauties. Without a maker's mark, I don't know if they are Eck Adams, Murphy-Miller, or Gunlocke. A basic google search of each term brings up the same chair images. If you have any insight, I'd love to know!

Craig's List, I bow to thee.

Vintage vinyl mid century chairs found on Craig's List

One minor drawback...only four chairs for a five-person family. We try to eat dinner as a family as often as possible, so this actually matters. These are hard working chairs. So began the search for two chairs that would complete the set, and allow everyone to eat together.


I shared the exciting news of my find with my bloggy friend, Dena, of Hearts & Sharts fame. She is one of my favorite bloggers, creators, my favorite sort of person in general. We both have Basset Hounds, so...

When Dena saw my chairs, along with a virtual high-five, she reminded me of her own set of similar chairs and offered to hold on to them for me. (I borrowed her image below, here the chairs are pictured in her garage) When I traveled to Atlanta in August to attend the Haven Conference, I stayed with Dena, and these beauties came home with me! How's that for hospitality?

Updating vintage midcentury Eck Adams chairs with fabric from Tonic Living

With only slight differences, I could easily make them look like a set. And with the right fabric, I could add them to my own set of four chairs, for a magical set of six! Six comfortable, cute, and unique chairs for our kitchen!

Selecting the Perfect Fabric


This was an easy choice. This specific fabric from Tonic Living has been on my mind for a very long time. The pattern and colors are beautiful, and I need to add more color to our decor. I ordered a 1.5 yards without hesitation, which is rare, because I usually can't make a decision to save my life.

Tonic Living fabric


When the fabric arrived I high-fived myself because the scale of the pattern was just perfect. *This is strictly a thing fabric/upholstery-loving weirdos do. Please do not feel obligated to high-five yourself when you find fabric that is pleasing.*

I agonized for several hours over which motif should be centered on the seat, or the seat back, and should they all match or not? I used the original fabric as a guide for size and how each motif would fit.

Updating vintage midcentury Eck Adams chairs with fabric from Tonic Living

Once each piece was cut and placed, it's all easy going. No sewing required. That is my favorite kind of upholstery project. Just center, pull, and staple. I am so impressed with this material; I was able to stretch and pull tightly enough to eliminate wrinkles and create the perfect curve, free of puckering or pleating. Like magic.  

Ideally the wood frames should will be refinished so they match. I may tackle that someday. But I'm kind of digging the rustic imperfection of the frames as they are.

Updating vintage midcentury Eck Adams chairs with fabric from Tonic Living


Updating vintage midcentury Eck Adams chairs with fabric from Tonic Living

Updating vintage midcentury Eck Adams chairs with fabric from Tonic Living

I used blue linen fabric from my stash for the chair backs. The back cushions are obviously shaped differently, but the busy pattern almost makes that difference disappear, like an optical illusion. Side-by-side, the difference in wood tone is apparent, so I'll keep them apart (at opposite ends of the table) until I feel like tackling that (maybe never).

Updating vintage midcentury Eck Adams chairs with fabric from Tonic Living

Thanks Dena! Now our family can eat together at the family dinner table in harmony! My husband and kids are rolling their eyes so thankful!
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