Breakfast Room Conversion

When we first looked at our house, my only concern was it felt like there were too many eating areas.  With just two of us, I wasn’t sure how we would use a kitchen bar, breakfast room, and dining area.  Here is our floor plan, so you have a point of reference for the multiple eating areas all within very close proximity of each other.

But, we loved the house and since it was my only hesitation, it was nearly a forgotten thought shortly after I said it.  We ended up purchasing a new dining room set, because neither Bob nor I had one that we felt suited our new home.  Bob did have a small table and set of chairs that we thought could work in the Breakfast Room, as well as an antique buffet.  So, we moved in and set up the room with what we had.

This was the state of our Breakfast Room around Christmas time 2007, just weeks after we moved in.  Bob and I actually used the small table quite often to eat, until we got stools for the kitchen bar.  Once we purchased our bar stools, eating in the Breakfast Room, even if it was for dinner, became a thing of the past. 

I kept picturing the room as more of a sitting/sun room.  But, with the rest of our decor and style, I knew I couldn’t furnish it with really light and airy sunroom type furniture.  Fortunately, I make it a habit of popping into Goodwill and Salvation Army, which are the common thrift stores in our area.  One day at lunch, I decided to go to Salvation Army and lucked into 50% off furniture day.  I spotted two of these chairs.

I liked the chairs, and since they were 50% off, it made them only $25 each.  I wasn’t positive that Bob would like them, so I snapped a cell phone picture and texted it to him.  I didn’t have time to wait for a  response, so I went back to work.  He checked out the picture and decided they were good.  So, I rushed back to the store after work and snatched up the two chairs. I had never done any reupholstering with tufting, but I figured I would give it a try.

I offset the cost by selling the old table and chair set on craigslist.  With cash in hand, I was able to purchase the supplies I needed:  fabric, a button kit and trim, and still have some money left.  I knew the room needed something else besides the two chairs, so I kept searching the thrift stores.  One Saturday, as I shopped with my thrifting friend, Judie, I spotted a $20 side table.  It was ugly, but it had potential, and it matched the measurements I was looking for, except it was a bit tall.

When Bob saw the table sitting in our Breakfast Room, he really thought I was crazy!!  I explained my plan to convert it into an ottoman…he still doubted me, but for $20, agreed it was worth a try.  I needed his help though, because at the time I was not using power tools, especially not a saw.  I gave him the measurements I was looking for and he sawed off the bottom portion of the legs.  I purchased foam and attached it to the top of the table and secured it with batting by stapling it underneath.  I used the same method for the fabric and Bob had drilled holes in the table top so that I could use them as my guide for the buttons for the ottoman.  That may have been the most challenging part, getting the needle through the thick foam and securing the buttons in place, but Bob helped and we made it work.

Today, our Breakfast Room is more of a Sitting Room, and it gets so much more use.  The sunlight streams in the room in the morning and its a great place to sit and read, chat, or just relax. 

And, the wonderful sunlight is also the reason I tried taking twilight pictures of the room.  Its not the best, but it gives you a truer picture of the colors.  The bright morning light washed out the pictures too much.  The side table has a marble top and wooden legs, and was a later addition to the room when I found it at a yard sale for few dollars.

Anyone else have successful thrifting and repurposing projects to share?  How about rooms that were transformed into a different use?

Rug Anchors

We have two rugs that I have had to reposition on a daily basis for years.  They each had the traditional rug gripper under them.

You can see the rug gripper peaking out from underneath as well.  The rug in the background in the hallway had this problem as well.  But, fortunately at the Haven Conference, 3M had a booth and they were giving away products.  The representative handed me Rug Anchors.

They are a new product, that are basically command strips to hold your rugs in place.  I explained to the representative that I had 2 rugs that I had to reposition every day, so he kindly gave me 2 sample products.  I initially tried the rug anchors on the small rug in the hallway to see if they worked.  I’ve had them in place for over a month on that rug and it hasn’t budged!  Bob actually said how great it was and that we needed to get more to fix the larger rug.  I informed him I had another set and that was my plan all along, but I wanted to make sure they worked first. 

So, this weekend, I tackled the simple project of removing the old rug gripper, and replacing it with the rug anchors. 

The dusty, dirty rug gripper got removed first.  Then, I just followed the step-by-step instructions on the back of the rug anchor package.  I separated each of the 4 strips.  Then I attached the tan strip to the black strip.

For each corner, I removed the tan backing and attached it to the underside of the rug corner.

Then, I removed the backing for the black side.

And, the final step was to press the rug into place.

I repeated the process for all four corners and now we have both rugs secured with the 3M Rug Anchors, so we can avoid the daily replacement of the rugs.

Puddy had to show off that the rug doesn’t move for him anymore! 

Has anyone else used the 3M rug anchors? Any other solutions for keeping your rugs in place?

The Odd Corner in our Living Room

Decorating and arranging furniture in our living room has been the thorn in my side from day one.  These pictures are the best I could find with no furniture in the space.

Our original plan was to put the large sectional that Bob had in his house in our living room.  It is four pieces and we thought it would fill the room nicely.  We were definitely wrong on that idea.  On moving day, my Mom and I tried every possible arrangement of the four pieces in the living room and it did not work at all.  Fortunately for us, I also had a sectional from my previous house.  It was a smaller two piece L-shaped sectional.  In desperation to try to get some furniture in the room, we tried it.  It worked in the space, but it also meant we needed to place our TV in the corner to the right of the fireplace and partially blocking the window.

Not long after we our wedding, we upgraded to a flat screen TV, so we bought a corner stand and the corner of the living room was on its second look.

It stayed like this for several years, because we really did not know what else to do to rearrange.  The only other option we considered was placing the TV on the wall above the fireplace.  Bob and I were both hesistant to make the change, but eventually decided it was the way to go.  It bothered both of us that the TV was blocking the window.

We finally took the plunge and hung the TV over the mantle when we moved the larger TV to our basement, which at the time was just finished.  So, we purchaed a slightly smaller TV  and hung it over the mantle, which  left the odd corner in the living room with needing a new purpose.  It has now had many looks, as evidenced in all the pictures.  And, I know there was at least one other arrangement in that corner that we don’t have pictures to prove it existed.

This is the current state of the odd corner in the living room.   It definitelywill not be the final look, as I think it needs bigger, more comfortable chairs.  But, I am pleased with the current state.  Especially since I bought the little table for $5 at a yardsale. It was painted in a pretty pastel purple, and I stripped it and then stained the top and spray painted the legs to get the current look.  The chairs were bought at a used furniture store and I reupholstered them and added the trim.  I sewed the pillow covers as well. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for improving the odd corner in our living room?  Or, any other layout suggestions?

Our first tiling experience

Shortly after we had our first guests sit at our kitchen bar, we realized it was going to be nearly impossible to keep the paint under the bar area clean.  Please excuse the pre-appliances pictures, but it is the best view to show the large white area underneath the bar.

So, I did lots of google searching to find a good solution.  I finally found these two images that showed tiling under a bar. (sources unknown)


I showed Bob the pictures and he agreed it was the approach to take.  We went to Lowe’s, picked out a simple 4×4 tumbled tile, tiling and grouting supplies, borrowed a wet saw and got to work. 

I did the measuring and tile placement and Bob made all the cuts.

When we got close to the support brackets, we realized the cuts were going to become quite difficult, so we create our own accent row but cutting the tiles and placing them in an offset pattern.  It worked out perfectly and we were able to continue with regular cuts to finish the areas between the support brackets. 

Now, we no longer fret when we have guests over and can hear them kicking the wall under the bar, because our tiles remain scuff-free.

Anyone else have creative solutions for keeping the area under the bar scuff-free?