Headboard Reincarnation

I have to take a minute to tell you guys about a quick project I did this summer just a few days before some house guests arrived. You may remember that our guest room has lacked an actual headboard since forever. I even opted to paint one onto the wall when budget didn’t allow for a real headboard. One day I stumbled on a sale post in a local yard sale group on Facebook for a headboard. It actually happened to be for a bed frame (which I also needed since the guest bed was on milk crates at the time) and a hot pink headboard. Even more convenient: the post was by my cousin. She was sweet enough to give me a “family” deal and even delivered the bed frame and head board to me!

As adorable as the hot pink polka dots are… it wasn’t the vibe I was aiming for in the guest room. It sat in the guest room untouched for a while until I stumbled on some fabric I could use. I employed my old trick of using curtains and shower curtains for upholstery projects. I’ve used them for headboards and ottomans in the past and they’ve held up well. They are a fraction of the price, are thick enough and durable enough for such projects, easy to clean AND I can often find them on sale at places like Target, Walmart, Home Goods and TJMaxx. I found a single curtain panel on clearance (it was opened and returned) at Target for $9 and it was perfect for the gray and white I have going in the guest room.

So one afternoon my trusty 4 year old helped me pry the old staples and fabric from the headboard to reveal the white backing.

Then we laid out the curtain panel and got the work stapling. The curtain was just the right size and was easy to staple through. The rounded corners were new for me but I just folded a few little pleats as I went and it turned out fine.

Ta-da! Then we added the legs and gave it a new home in our guest room. Pix to come (our house is currently prepping for construction … and the is a completely different beast that will require a series of posts. oy).

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We are very fortunate to have most of both sides of our families in state… actually most of them are all here in Cincinnati! But that means that the opportunity for overnight guests is rare. Really rare. So rare that we made our smallest bedroom into our guest room. We moved in when I was 7 months pregnant with O. In the moment, our logic was that we’d be in O’s room a ton, use a lot of floor space in her room (since kids usually play in the floor for 4+ years) and that guests were few and far between. That’s how the nursery landed in the larger room and the guest room got the short end of the stick. And since we moved in when I was in prime exhaustion mode of pregnancy (besides random spurts of nesting) the guest room housed a wall of  unopened boxes of diapers I had pre-purchased while pregnant with an amazing system of coupons, points and Target gift card offers. Like we didn’t buy diapers until O was 9 months. THAT many diapers.

But when O was just a few weeks old we got a call from our friend Molly. She was excited to tell us that she had a few job interviews lined up in the area and hoped to come see O. She also needed a place to crash. Cool. We had a place. But thats about it… I was embarrassed but I had to tell her our guest room was nonexistent but that she was more than welcome to stay if she was cool with the couch or an air mattress. Molly arrived the next week with her air mattress and belongings. She also arrived to a brand new baby, a new mommy with food poisoning and an overwhelmed new dad. Molly jumped in and picked up where we left off so I could get better and Hubby could reclaim his sanity. It was like heaven sent her or something. The next day she had a really good interview… so good that she was hired on the spot. She started the very next day. New predicament: Molly was moving back to Cincy. Like now.

Lightbulb: She could live here until she finds a place. A month or two? We could do that for a friend. And it was the job of her dreams… she could rough it on a mattress until she found an apartment. We offered Molly the teeny tiny diaper storage room. Sure, it was “snug” and currently royal blue but she could have it if she wanted. We agreed on a friendly “rent” rate and before we knew it we had a roomie. Okay, you’re probably wondering if that was nuts. We just moved in and had a kid – our world was upside down… why on Earth would we put ourselves in this position to have another body under this roof? Were we out of our minds? Let me tell you something, where I come from you take care of each other. We had the means to help Molly stay so she could start the job of her dreams (no exaggeration) so why wouldn’t we try to help make that possible? So that’s what we did. But a funny thing happened. While we thought we were taking care of someone, she ended up taking care of us. Her “rent” gave us wiggle room in our budget while we got used to the unpredictable financials of caring for a baby (formula rivaled our car payment). Her presence allowed me to enjoy a full length shower without hurrying back to my child. She often babysat free of charge so we could enjoy a date night or even just an evening of grocery shopping together without hurrying home. Sometimes Molly was my shopping partner. This is a huge perk when you have been nowhere but your home or the doctor’s office for more than a month. I often came home to an empty dishwasher or a freshly vacuumed family room. It was working out so well that she stayed for more like 9 months. We were sad to see her go but she only moved 5 miles away and is still our go-to sitter.

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When Molly moved out, that teeny blue room was still teeny and very blue. And because it is the spare room it was neglected for quite some time. Eventually I mustered the motivation to prime that royal blue twice and then paint it Behr Zen green twice. That’s four coats of paint, people. Four. The photo above was taken as I was painting on the first coat of professional grade stain blocking primer. It sat painted with a desk and book shelf in it for months. When Hubby and I sold our souls bought a new mattress earlier this year and we squeezed our old one into the guest room. The room has slowly accumulated furniture like the curbside special sofa table. I hung mirrors and stocked the book shelf as time went by.

We have our first real guests arriving next week. This prompted me to finally hang curtains. While I was frantically drilling I realized that the not-so-blue-anymore guest room needed a full reveal of its own. Ta-da! Here’s what I squeezed into a 10’x8′ room.

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I used my duvet set from my single days (that I love but Hubby doesn’t) to dress the bed. It was a complete cooincidence that it matched the walls so well. Then I hung tan Vivan curtains from Ikea over the window. The mirror to the right of the window was once a stand up mirror but there isn’t any floor space I was willing to use on it so I bolted it to the wall a few months ago. I hung it directly across from the door… I often use it when standing in the doorway or hall.  I hadn’t thought anything of it until it was time to hang curtains. I was not negotiating its location. But I ended up hanging the rod off center and using the curtains over blank wall space as well as the window to give the illusion of having a bigger window.

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Here you can see that the sofa table is a desk, dressing table/vanity and a tv stand. In a small room, we needed multi-fuctional pieces. Unfinished canvases are stored here… I might have to hang something or finish one before our guests arrive. One of the thrifted lamps also resides on the sofa table.

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Another garage sale mirror hangs above the bookshelf. I wanted it to reflect even more light and I like that it mimics having another window in the room. My favorite books are in here as well as some work-in-progress photo collections. This is also where many of our gifts from our Japanese business associates belong. Many are fragile or just plain gorgeous so they are in here far, far away from babies and dogs.

The wooden bins on the bookshelf have a few things our guests might need. One has towels. Another has washcloths. My favorite use for them: I’ve stashed sample size soaps, lotions, fresh toothbrushes, razors and more in case a guests were to forget something (or lose their luggage as I have before).

20130923-145208.jpgMy pride and joy is that head board. With no space and a modest budget, I had limited options. So I Pinterested around and discovered that painting a headboard design directly onto the wall is a thing. Once again, I used my friend B’s rejected sample paint pints. I chose the same color I used on the sofa table and made rounded edge headboard. Now it feels like a real bed… rather than our spare room with our old mattress.

How do you like it? Anyone else paint a headboard onto the wall? I haven’t seen any others in person.

Experiment in Deglossing: Sofa Table

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In the fall I found this sofa table in a good old fashioned curbside rescue. I had been driving around to keep O cool and happy during a long, hot soccer tournament. She eventually fell asleep. Of course that’s right when I discovered the sofa table waiting for me on the curb. Picture me trying to smuggle the table into my car without waking her. I moved two car seats and had to fold down one and a half rows in the Pilot all without waking O. Now picture me hoisting this beast into the back of the car all by my lonesome… Again, without waking the baby. The funny part is that I went through all this with absolutely no idea where I was going to use the table. In general the style is a little too formal and traditional to mesh with most of our decor. And the dark finish had seen better days and the rolling feet and bowed legs were less than modern. But there was something about it… Perhaps the fact that it had no price tag? I had to have it.

It sat in the garage for months (obviously- it’s July). I don’t think I ever got a decent before picture until I started sanding it. I often walked by it thinking about the possibilities, or lack of, that it had in our home. A couple of times I even considered curbing it myself. Hubby liked that idea best of course. But recently I have been trying to bring more order to the guest room (more on that later), so I suddenly imagined it serving as a desk/vanity/tv stand. Does that even make sense? Maybe not just yet but hang with me. The room is snug… And that is a generous description. I’d guesstimate it to be 8’x10′. So every single piece in there needs to serve a good purpose, hopefully multiple purposes. Without a full plan I decided to start painting the sofa table because it would need some love no matter where it was going to end up. And I just had to get it out of the garage.

First I sanded like crazy because there was a ton of sheen to break down on this thing. Then I whipped out a recent impulse purchase: liquid deglosser. I had heard great things and given the hard to sand rounded edges I had to deal with I figured it was worth a try, especially at $7 a bottle.  A $7 mistake is okay with me.  And if it was a bust I had only tried it on a free table with no real hope to begin with.

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After all that sanding and deglossing I still had to deal with a laminate top. Why !?!? I had hoped the sanding and deglossing would do the trick but I wasn’t so lucky. Enter: my trusty friend Kilz primer. Primer was already necessary since it was going from dark wood (now sanded) to a light painted finish so I gave it a go on the laminate top as well. Result? Win. I highly recommend a coat or two of Kilz primer on anything laminate or “unpaintable”. Worked like a charm for me. I used two coats to be safe. Then I grabbed a cream color of the Sherwin Williams sample quarts I had from my friend B (it’s an exterior paint that she had used to sample her wood shingle sided house before deciding on a delicious gray color. I kindly saved her from having to kitty litter and toss a half dozen sample quarts and she unknowing funded my freebie crafting obsession.)

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Sand, degloss, two coats primer, two coats of paint. In the end I was left with a more “yard sale chic” version of the starting point. I painted the hardware to the faux drawer (easier than flawlessly filling the holes) with bronze spray paint. The end result was a pleasant surprise.

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Here it is as the desk/tv stand/vanity in the guest room.  See what I mean when I say the guest room is snug? I plan on wrangling the cable/internet wires, finding a stool or ottoman to tuck underneath. Lookout for an actual post on the guest room. It really deserves it.