House For Six


How To Clean Upholstery, Also Known As How To Get The Funk Out Of Thrifted Furniture

Deme Crinion22 Comments
I've been on the prowl for the perfect nursery chair for months. Visions of heavenly white upholstered gliders have been rocking their way through my mind.  But it turns out those bad boys carry quite the hefty price tag.  *ca-ching* I know they can be worthy investments, but it just wasn't in the cards for us right now.

I've been trying to hold myself to some basic guidelines when it comes to bringing new furniture into the house.  We're aiming to save for quality pieces we love that can stand the test of time (so we're not replacing things as often), but they also need to have an aspect of versatility.  If I come across an item and can quickly think of 2-3 places it could grace the house with its awesomeness, I know it's a winner.

So, I revisited the glide/rock function.  Was it really necessary?  We need a place to feed the baby and snuggle up for a story.  I've been nursing in a stationary chair thus far with no issues, and it might be easier to work a regular chair into the rest of our living space down the line.

And with the the glide/rock feature no longer a requirement, a whole new set of possibilities were opened.  I've been eying many a side chair, but couldn't land on the right style/price point marriage.

So, I started looking second hand.  Craigslist, garage sales,etc.  And last week I hit the jackpot.  I snagged this beauty from an estate sale.....good condition, great lines, tufted back, cushioned armrests, roomy, comfy, and subtle sweet details like the engraved florals on the trim.
How to clean upholstered furniture
When I picked up the chair, the home didn't have any offensive odors (nor did the chair) and was smoke free, but I did notice a bowl of cat food and some fur on the lower part of the upholstery.  Since this gal is going in the baby's room and a few of us have cat allergies, I knew she needed a good cleaning before we brought her inside.

If you google "how to clean upholstery", you'll be met with a slew of articles.  I read though a few and ended up combining several tips and adding few of our own.  The good news?  It's super easy.  So, forgive the phone pics here and let's get started!
How to clean upholstered furniture

How to clean upholstered furniture
Grab your upholstery attachment and give the piece a thorough vacuum.  Be sure to remove all the cushions and use the narrow attachment for all the nooks and crannies.

To catch any rogue hairs and to really get the underside of the chair, I also went over the whole thing with a lint roller after the vacuum.
How to clean upholstered furniture

Next, go to your panty and grab a box of baking soda.
How to clean upholstered furniture

 How to clean upholstered furniture
Dust the entire piece as best you can and let sit for 30 min to 1 hour.  I ran some errands so this actually sat for the whole morning.

How to clean upholstered furniture

Then it's time for your witches' brew.
How to clean upholstered furniture
The articles I read had varying ratios but a 4:1 or 8:1 ratio of water to soap should work great.  You can even add a bit of vinegar to the mix if your piece has stains or strong odors.

Now, grab your hand mixer.
How to clean upholstered furniture
 A wisk would work too but you'll need to mix a little longer and prepare for wrist crampage.

 Then, employ your minions...
How to clean upholstered furniture
 You want to grab just the bubbles and avoid any liquid at the bottom of the bowl.  We used our hands to scoop/rub since the chair was not that dirty, but you could also use a sponge.

After we rubbed the chair down in the foamy bubbles, I wiped the whole thing with a wet rag.  I rinsed it out and went over it a second time to get any lingering soap and dirt.

I left it in the garage to dry and then put the cushion back in place.  So fresh and so clean!  I would have brought the chair in as soon as it dried, but that trim is getting a paint job.  I'm using a less than comfortable chair in Liv's room right now, in which I have to contort my body to feed her, so I can wait to get this chair up there!

Has anyone else tried their hand at this or managed to bring a dingy piece back to life? Tell us your tales!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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An Old Chair Finds It's Identity With One King's Lane

Deme Crinion1 Comment
I am the luckiest of all lucky girls here, because I inherited this gem of a vintage piece from my Grandmother....but I know nothing about it.

When my parents first brought it out to me in New Mexico, I was chomping at the bit to spruce her up with new upholstery and to give that wood frame some love.

But here she sits next to me in my still unpainted office looking exactly the same.  I've been all over the board with what to do....paint the wood and add a bold fabric....leave the wood as is and go with a timeless fabric....colorful!, neutral!...both!...AAHHHH!!! 

I asked my mom what she new about the piece, and all she could offer was that she heard it was Eastlake style.  Whatever that meant. 

So, when One Kings Lane asked us to give their new Home Decor Resource Guide a spin, I thought it might be the perfect chance to learn more about this untouched treasure sitting in my office.  Maybe knowing a little more about her would give me some direction in how to freshen her up.

And I sort of love what I found.   "Eastlake style" got its name from a guy named Charles Lock Eastlake.  A guy who ruffled some feathers when he loudly voiced his dislike for many styles of the Victorian era for being over the top.  Eastlake's designs were sort of a throw back.  He pulled from a mix of styles, but it was all about simple, good craftsmanship....less hoity toity, more geometric....modest for the wood grain....light carvings.

Which actually describes where James and I's opposite tastes sort of meet.  He loves over the top and I have a much simpler aesthetic.  So, this settee really is a great opportunity for our styles to meet. It happens to be in my office (which is going to have a much more feminine vibe than the rest of the house), but I want it to be a statement piece that we can still move around to other rooms of the house if needed. 

In the One Kings Lane article, I also saw a link for Eastlake style chairs, which took me to a page of modern chairs currently for sale in that style - awesome inspiration for how we can possibly update this piece!  This Home Decor Resource Guide has so many articles on the history of furniture.  You can search for information by time period, style, or simply by the type of furniture (sofa, banquette, ottomans, etc).  They also have a Home Decor Shopping Handbook with all sorts of articles to help you choose the right piece of furniture when shopping for your space.  Overall, the site is great for trying to find the perfect new piece or to figure out the story behind something old. 

Now to make some decisions on our own vintage beauty!  After this I may just keep the wood grain after all.  What would you do with this piece?  Go bold, colorful, neutral, painted...? 

*One Kings Lane invited us to try their new Home Decor Resource Guide and to share our experience on the blog.  We were not compensated in any way for this post.

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!

A Little Nip & Tuck...For the Couch

Deme Crinion1 Comment
Our couch had a bad case of the sags.  She's about 6 years old and gets a lot of love in the form of snuggling, napping, and the occasional covert jump by the kids.  She was beginning to look like this:

Usually all those wrinkles are strategically hidden behind throw pillows.  Before I take a pic for the blog or have company over, I would do a whole 'smooth and tuck' routine.  It works great until someone actually sits on it. 

Then I remembered a tip from Sabrina Soto on her old show "Get It Sold".  A simple bag of poly-fil.  A much better solution to threatening my kids not to touch the couch or having guests sit on the floor.

 Fortunately, my cushions have zippers so this little project was a 'go'!

Simply take a handful of poly-fil and stuff it into one side of the cushion.  I started by pushing the fil all the way to the base, then evenly filled across the pillow one layer at a time, taking care to fill in the gaping corners.

One down, two to go!

5 minutes later I was done and I must say, she is looking years younger!  Let's compare...


And After:

The best part is they stay like that after someone sits down.  They even make the throw pillows look better.

My couch was in pretty bad need of some extra filling, so my three large back cushions took about 1 full bag and 1/3 of another.  If your seat cushions are looking a little loose, you can do the same thing for those as well, filling in the top near the zipper.

Time to go enjoy the plushness and smoothness of it all!

Vanity Reveal!

Deme Crinion18 Comments
This sweet space for my sweet daughter is finally finished! 

I wish I had a true before picture to show you, but this one will have to do.  My parents found this vanity and a Jenny Lind style bed at a friend's garage sale.  Both pieces had a dark walnut stain, so my parents had them painted in Behr's Swiss Coffee White (along with my childhood dresser) and brought them to our new house in NM for our daughter's room...all the way from CA!  Pretty special.

The white paint did wonders to lighten up this piece, but it still felt a bit cold and dark due to the hardware and sea of hard wood.  It's such a charming piece and had tons of potential to be a really sweet spot in the room for our little girl. 

If you're interested in seeing the true state of this room when we started (think toy/book/pink frilly bomb zone), then you can check out this post over at our family blog.

We've slowly been adding girly touches to this vanity area over the past few weeks.  You can read about how we transformed this birdcage here.  It does double duty by serving as a sweet holder for all Mia's hair clips.

We also swaped out the matching wood seat for this upholstered ottoman, adding a pop of color and new, softer texture to break up all the hard white wood.  It definitely ups the cute and comfy factor!

We swaped out the old hardware for these adorable Pink Acrylic Pulls from Target.  Seriously love!

Mia's been asking for a "ring-a-ling" clock for awhile now, so when I saw this pink one 50% off at Hobby Lobby, I snagged it up.

The little green box holds two post-it note pads and a pen.

The lamp base and shade are also Target.

You might remember that I promised to show you where that DIY fabric covered book project was going to land, and here she is!  You can find a tutorial for the fabric covered book here.

In working on all those final details to pull the space together, we didn't want to forget organization or function.  What goes in those drawers and how they are used are important too!

The first step was to identify how Mia would actually use this area.  Not only does she like to sit here and play with her jewelry, but she also uses this area as a desk during her afternoon quiet time.  She likes to draw, work on her sticker/activity books and lately, has been very interested in writing note cards to her little friends and family....which I can't help but find completely heart warming.

So after lining the unpainted drawers with some cute scrapbook paper, we filled those bad boys back up with all her goodies!  The right set of drawers are now the home to blank note cards, notebooks, pens, sticker/activity books and a box with colored pencils and washable markers.

The left set of drawers hold her play jewelry, hair rubber bands, case with kid's CD's for the player in her room, and her Leapster. 

Here's a look at the complete picture:

It's a much more cheerful and organized space, filled with things Mia loves to do.  She can easily manage this area and clean up after writing notes, creating, playing or dressing up in a fabulous outfit.  She loves having such special things in her room and the whole area feels sort of magical.  A lot like her. 

So, how about a good "Before" and "After"?

First the "Before":

Cute, but a bit sterile.

And "After":
Light, bright and happy!

A super sweet spot for a super sweet little girl. 

After seeing her new vanity setup, Mia asked if she could send an "invitation" to her friends for a summer playdate.  You got it, Princess.

*I'm linked up at A Bowl Full Of Lemons, Organize And Decorate Everything, The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Tatertots And Jello  I Heart Nap Time, My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaThe Dedicated HouseHomestead SimpleWatch Out, Martha! & The Shabby Nest!