Slipcover Transformation

Don’t you just love slipcovers?  I love them nearly as much as I love the change of the seasons, because you see, they can usher in a new “season” any time of year, at a moment’s notice.

That’s what happened in my living room last week.  It was prompted by an upcoming Labor Day weekend get-together, as well as some awesome sale items that I found by chance just days before the event.

Let me start from the beginning.  All 5 pieces of upholstered furniture in my living room have slipcovers.  The sofa is from Pottery Barn and I got it in nearly new condition a few years ago at a yard sale for about 1/3 of it original price.  The 2 chairs and ottomans are from Ikea, same style, much lower priced and probably not quite as well made, but comfortable nonetheless.

The original sofa is red and I recently bought a white slipcover for it.  I love white for summer!  I have various slipcovers for the Ikea chairs and ottomans, but in most cases only have one of each color because my original intent was to have them in different rooms.  I do have these 2 white ones which were dirt cheap because they’re white.  But in case you didn’t realize it, white is actually a better option than many other colors because if it gets a spot or a spill, all you have to do is wash it with bleach and it’s back to new looking.  You don’t have to worry about any fading like other colors.

Living Room – blank slate

So this is where our story begins – the blank white canvas in the living room (I removed all the throw pillows to make it truly a blank slate).

Then last Friday the coolest thing happened…I was at Ikea with my sisters helping them shop for what else?  Furniture!  And I discovered that one of the chair slipcovers that matched a color that I had at home was on clearance.   It was a cozy navy denim cover with a slightly lighter color welting on the seams.    Instead of the chair cover being $129, it was $19.99!  And instead of the ottoman cover being $49 , it was only ONE DOLLAR!  How could I turn that away?  I couldn’t even buy that much fabric for that price and I was saving nearly $160 for something that would transform my home!!

So I came home and worked some magic with slipcovers and a bit of rearranging of the pieces.  Here’s the final product.  Not bad for a patriotic Labor Day theme, huh?  Now for the really fun part. Scroll down and play the slideshow to see the step-by-step transformation from all white to red and blue.  I think you’ll enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Living Room after the Transformation

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And if you’re interested in my branch, you can find out more about it’s history from some of my previous posts here.  This summer I am hanging vintage reproduction postcards from some of the National Parks that we’ve visited.  I usually change it with the seasons as well.

Postcards on Branch

So, what do you think?  Isn’t it like having a whole new set of furniture?

If you want to see dozens more great transformations, visit Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch blog.

Dreaming of Some Updates


So we’ve been in our home for over 5 years and we did  quite a bit of updating before we moved in so many of our projects are done.  However, I always have a few ideas on the back burner that I hope to do one day.  To help inspire me, one of the email newsletters that I enjoy getting is from

The photo above is similar to what I’d like to do in our dining room.  We have a nice sized window that looks out to the pool and back yard and two narrow walls on either side of the window.  I’d love to put in floor to ceiling bookcases on either side and a window seat in the center.  It would make for handy additional seating for the dining room table plus great storage and decorating potential.

Creative Pebble Flooring from

At some point we’ll also need to redo the Master Bath shower area.  There’s a low spot at the back of the shower that doesn’t drain well and the step down is a little dangerous anyway (especially as we get older).  I really like this pebble flooring.  This design is very interesting.  I’m not sure I’d do it this way, but I’d love to incorporate the pebbles into the floor or shower in some way when we get around to re-doing it.   Has anyone used this kind of pebble flooring?  Do you like it?  Is it slippery?

What other projects do you have on the horizon?

I’d love to hear about them.

My updated “cottage” furniture!

I’m so excited about the transformations that are taking place around my house lately.

Ever since we moved to Arizona 6 years ago, my goal has been to create a coastal cottage atmosphere in my Southwest desert home.  You may think that’s crazy and out of place, but my heart just feels at home in the cozy comfort of pale blues, greens and lots of white.  I love the unpretentious air of painted furniture, yard sale finds, slipcovers and piles of throw pillows.  I want my guests to feel like they can kick off their shoes and put their feet up from the moment they walk in the door.

My inspiration comes from the cottage that my aunt owns on the shores of Lake Erie near Vermilion, Ohio.  This precious place is where we spent countless happy-go-lucky days swimming, spitting watermelon seeds and searching for Easter eggs.  It’s a source of joy in my memory bank and I long to create the same atmosphere in my home even though we’re miles and miles from the nearest lake.

So, it’s with that in mind that I’ve been dreaming of painting some of the furniture that I’ve had for many years.  The pieces were acquired in a different era, when darker colors filled my home.  Now, even though I love the pieces, they needed a face-lift.  It’s been on my To-Do list for years, but because of the time involved, it never quite rose to the top of my priorities for one reason or another.

That’s why I was thrilled when my sister, Sharon told me that she and her boyfriend, Craig were starting a business of refinishing furniture.  Craig has been doing furniture refinishing for many years, so it was a natural progression to open his own shop.  These are the pieces I had them start with, for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a “before” photo of this cabinet, but this little slice from another photo gives you an idea of the original colors.  The body was a forest green and the top was a deep red.  Terry bought the piece (with beautiful hand carved wood front) for me years ago when I pointed it out at a craft fair.  In recent years I was using it to store VHS video tapes, so it was a bit outdated, both inside and out.  I still love it, but wanted a lighter version.

The other pieces were 2 vintage school chairs that I picked up at a swap meet in Ohio.

I decided on a palette of pale colors that can be moved throughout the house when I feel like mixing things up, which I often do.

The cabinet sports two subtle tones of sage green and the chairs are a pale buttery yellow.  An added bonus is their use of eco-friendly paints, stains and materials.  Low-VOC paint, etc.

Of course, Craig did a gorgeous and thorough job on the inside of the cabinet as well.  When I re-loaded the cabinet I updated the contents too, with some of my placemats and napkins, so it’s more practical and user friendly since it sits in the dining room.

If you need any furniture painted or refinished, or are looking for some gorgeous pieces that they’ve already “Re-imagined” check them out.  Below is a link to their Facebook page and contact info as well.  They can also re-create new pieces from a combination of partially damaged old pieces.  Check out their pics on their FB page.

Call Sharon or Craig at 480 343 1189
Furniture Re-Imagined from a green perspective with Eco-friendly products and upcycle quality furniture for your home.
Re-created, Refinished, Re-purposed, Recycled, and Re-imagined.
Follow my blog and keep an eye out for my post about the other pieces that they’re working on for me.  I have “before” photos of the next pieces. I’ll also be showing the transformation of the living room with my new white sofa slipcover. Hope to see you again soon!

Day 8 – Journal Your Christmas

Are you wondering where the posts for days 1 – 7 are?  Well, for now they’re in my head.  I’ve been too busy to do any posts, but I’m gathering lots of thoughts and ideas.  Once we get to Sunday I should have a LOT more time, I think… and maybe I’ll try to go back and catch up on some of the journaling days that I’ve missed.

This week we have practice on Weds night (which is also our 32nd wedding anniversary), our Home Group Christmas party (here) on Thursday night, Terry has a concert in Scottsdale on Friday night, we’re celebrating our anniversary on Saturday and we will be helping with worship at church on Sunday morning.   Then I think the schedule is pretty open until Christmas.  Yea!  Oh, I still have some Christmas shopping and wrapping to finish up, but that’s easy peasy compared to these last few weeks.

I thought I could post about today’s topic since it’s about the Sights of the Season.  I’ve already been snapping pics this month, so I can easily find what I need.

I love this photo above of our cat, Shredder.  She’s trying to look so innocent, but you can see the evidence of her tail wagging if you look at the trees on the windowsill.
This past Friday and Saturday 12/4 & 5 – my hubby played in a Christmas Concert each night with some of our best friends.  (He’s the third one from the right in the rust colored shirt.)  Randy Thompson is the featured musician in this band, since many of the songs were written by him.  Terry loves playing these concerts with Randy and I love going to them!  It’s such an awesome way to start the holiday season.

Another one of my favorite sights in December is the bare branch that hangs in the living room.  It’s so much fun to change the decor with the seasons.  This winter it’s sparkly!  Silver, gold, crystal and white snowflakes, icicles and other various ornaments.  With these decorations it can stay up past Christmas and through the other winter months as well.

And here’s a little peek at our Christmas bathroom.  This year, I made the two framed pieces on the walls.  The black framed picture is filled with holiday designs and expressions from scrapbook paper and the red one, framed in white is “Merry Christmas” greetings on wrapping paper.  What a fun and easy way to change out your framed artwork for the holidays!

Be sure to click to enlarge the photos.

Decorating our home is one of my favorite parts of the holidays.  Thanks for visiting!

I LOVE this Bathroom!!!

I happened to be at the house of an old friend the other day and besides the rest of her home that’s totally cottage-style inside and out, I had a chance to visit the master bathroom, and happened to have my camera with me. (don’t ask)

I just had to take these pics. Her home definitely belongs in Cottage Living, especially for the fact that this house started out as a typical tract home, smack in the middle of the Phoenix metro area and they have transformed it into this beautiful cottage style home with brick patios and gardens and all. It’s gorgeous and comfy and feels like you’re in the country. That’s the dream I have for our home some day, but we have lots of work to do on the yard.

Happy Birthday to me!

O.k. so my birthday’s not until July, but today we had a new bed delivered that was my birthday present from last year. Terry knew I wanted a new bed. The last one we bought was a waterbed just before Amy was born (nearly 26 years ago) and the only thing left of it was the wooden pedestal with 6 drawers in it. Of course, you couldn’t really see it under the dust ruffle, but I had always wanted a bed with a nice headboard, so Terry said I could get one for my birthday last year. I was shopping around and checking prices, but kept coming back to this one. It just reminds me of all those great beds of the past. It was a little more than I wanted to pay, but I kept watching and finally got it for $100 off the regular price, which was a big help.

Don’t you just love the crystal tops on the bed posts? I think they’re so awesome!

We moved the bed in front of the window and it makes the room feel much bigger. To finish off the room, I want to get some window coverings that match the bedding better, a bench or trunk for the foot of the bed and do some painting, but that will all have to wait till I can find a good deal and some more time to do the painting.

Shredder seems to like it. She was a bit confused the last few days. We had taken our old bed out of the room to get the carpet cleaned, in preparation for the arrival of the new bed, so while it was drying, we were sleeping in the guest room. She didn’t know what to think because we usually don’t even let her in that room. Anyway, all is good now and we should all be able to settle in to our new digs. Shredder also likes to hide and sleep under the bed, so this one will have a lot more room for her.

Oh, BTW, I also totally rearranged the guest room today. While we were sleeping in there, I realized what a pain it is if there are two people in the bed and the one sleeping next to the wall needs to get up in the middle of the night. It’s a bit cozy in there, but now the bed can be accessed from either side, which is MUCH easier. Terry’s dad and his wife, Ginny are coming on Friday, so I’m sure it will be much more convenient for them with this layout.

Stay tuned because one of these days I want to paint all the wood furniture in the room with some pretty pastels. I just love the look of the furniture at Maine Cottage! I probably won’t use their paints or their furniture because it’s too expensive for our budget, but I will definitely use them for inspiration. The hard part will be deciding on colors.