Tag Archives: redecorating

poor, lazy and desperate for a craving

Some people never change their style. Those are the people who wear the same hair color and cut for decades or brag about still using the same floral duvet that was popular in the 80’s (you know, the motel collection). Jennifer Anniston looks exactly the same as she did around the third season of Friends (we get it you’re so easy-going you can wear the same Lucky Brand jeans you did in the 90’s…I was 10 …I will still always be younger). Then there are the people who change their look more often than they change their underwear. My friend Annika has had more hair colors than the “Queen of Versailles” Jackie Siegel had  tacky crap faberge eggs.

How someone dresses themselves isn’t always indicative of how they keep their home….but if watching season after season of “Hoarders” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” has taught me anything it is that 9 times out of 10 it does. There’s the occasional hoarder who doesn’t smell of rotten pumpkins, cat urine and a hint of asbestos…but they’re usually in the very early stages of their hoarding and still have a fully functioning bathroom that has a mirror not covered in dust and cob webs. Comparatively there is the occasional Kardashian wearing something that isn’t black and white and 3 sizes too small (we all know there is nothing small about this family, except maybe the talent level. I meeeeean, Khloe couldn’t even stand their and look pretty long enough to host a show about talent before being replaced…).

Although I am neither as hairy nor rich as the Dash klan, I do have something more in common with them than my obsession with looking at myself in every mirror that comes my way, and that’s my obsession with black and white. I have the dynamic duo of colors..or hues…or shades? whatever they are I have the duo in almost everything I could find: striped throw, eye cat pillows, bowls, paper napkins, tank tops, chiffon tops, maxi skirts, mini skirts, eye make-up brushes, even a chevron basket. But it’s not enough, to quote Ariel the Little Mermaid “I want more”.

Why are there no black and white striped bath towels??  Are they so rare that they’re only sold on the black market? And if so, how much time will I do if I get caught? And even more importantly, will I be allowed to use them once my time is served. There would be nothing more annoying to me than if I went through all that trouble of commingling with all those grimy people shoving and pushing their way around for fake Fendi  just to get thrown in the slammer with a bunch of women shoving their gang tats and corn rows at me. And all of for a set of towels that I would not ever get the chance to stare happily at every time I walked into my bathroom. I’ll admit, it seems like a crazy irrational plan for a set of towels…

Literally the only black and white striped towels I can find that don’t have a mustache or Eiffel Tower on the front of them are either beach towels or come from a European website. There seems to be some type of agreement or peace treaty between the US and Europe that decided chevron print belongs to the states and the stripe to those lucky Euros. If I didn’t have a boyfriend I would have had chevron walls, towels, carpet and tile…but I don’t need to live in Casa de Chevron to get my fix, it is ev-er-y-where. If you looked hard enough you can probably find chevron printed tampons.

Is it so much to ask Walmart to make a simple stripe in black and white? They do in every other color and pattern. The only thing Walmart has that comes close to what I am looking for is the jerseyliciousversion of a black and white stripe, zebra print.

There is LITERALLY nothing tackier to me than a zebra print, and I watch “Don’t be Tardy…“. My mom says hate is a strong word that she thinks I say it all too often (especially when referencing certain pop stars or co-workers)…but I HATE zebra print. It will never be a good look for anyone, or anything.

While dwelling on the hatred I had acquired for zebra print, my search for the anomaly that is the black and white striped towel continued. Nearly giving up on this quest I made a quick trip to the cluster you know what, IKEA. Where Europe gave me $40 for shipping, IKEA kindly and cheaply gave me  Sofia…a black and white striped material. It took me forever to figure out what I could do with her. I thought about using it for napkins or as a table-cloth. But then it hit me that the dining set my parents had passed down to us from 1970 was in desperate need of  my classic  home decor facelift.2013-04-24_12-32-37_65

My mom had this fancy fabric hand-made. So when she handed it down to my sister, 10 years ago, it was all the rage. When she handed it down to me, 10 months ago, I immediately wanted to pull out my paint brush and fabric scissors. My mom cherished this set, the hoarder in her came out when she was nearly brought to tears when I told her about my big plans to paint the wood and change the cushions. If it weren’t in our dining room, it would be in a storage unit for all the spiders and rats to enjoy as a meal. So she slowly began to open up to the idea of letting it go. But because my heart is not completely made of stone, (especially after realizing how frustrating and expensive reupholstering sounded) I decided I would let the old cherry set keep its charm and musty smell. The best solution for this project was the lazy one. No plans, no research, I would just channel my inner Summer Sanders and figure it out.

I didn’t make any measurements, mostly because I came up with this project while aimlessly wandering around in search for towels when this fabric caught my eye and perked up my mood. I used the best technique I have as a DIYnerd, the eyeballing method. So I bought 1 yard, thinking that would be enough…but shockingly it was not. For 4 chairs I needed exactly 2 yards…give or take.

So here was the lazy, but still do it yourself ,reupholstering job I used on this cherry-ished family heirloom.

1. First I had to find the screws holding the cushion down. As you can see, when my mom had originally reupholstered the cushions she had them made about 2 inches larger in diameter than the original seat. Apparently people of the 70’s had smaller behinds than the people of today.


2. The screws were ancient, rusted and in there real tight. So I could only unscrew the 2 furthest from the back rest of the chair. Partly because they were screwed in tight and partly because my weak delicate hands were starting to form calluses…and I was not going to let that happen.


3. Once the screws were loose (the ones in my head weren’t far behind) I took 1 yard of fabric and draped it over the cushion, wedging the fabric between the cushion and the back of the chair, fully covering the existing fabric.


4. I smoothed it out over the cushion and made sure the stripes were running perfectly horizontal, checking that none of the cherry patches of the existing fabric were showing through the white stripes. Then I measured how much fabric would need to be firmly tucked under the cushion, and I cut the remaining fabric. This ends up being about 1/2 a yard per cushion.


5. Unscrewing the 2 outer screws allowed me to lift the cushion just enough  to tuck the fabric completely under the cushion, perfectly wedged between the cushion and the frame of the chair…



the fabric is then evenly covering the cushion and is tucked far enough between the frame and cushion it won’t pop out when someone sits in it.


6. I took a screw driver and poked and pushed the fabric as far back as I could. It was as easy as tucking sheets into a bed frame.


Because the back 2 screws weren’t loose it was tight enough to perfectly wedge the fabric in between the frame and under the cushion.2013-04-24_12-40-26_456 (1)

7. I screwed the 2 screws I originally took out back in as tight as they were before. Using the screw driver I tightened, wedged and poked the fabric in between the frame and cushion one last time…

8.and VOILA!


Now I just had 3 more to do, but by the second chair I had it all figured out and I knocked out 3 chairs in 30 minutes.





This project, thanks to Sofia, satisfied my black and white stripe craving…temporarily. I am still on a mad hunt for those hand towels in my beloved stripe. But until then I will just preoccupy my mind and time with more projects, rearrangements and obsessions. My newest one… stencils! Oh the places you can go with a little stenciling.

Until then, Happy Decorenting!


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Home Is Where The Couch Is

As you know, living in a box decorated with boxes wasn’t easy for me. I felt overwhelmed and claustrophobic and before I knew it I was curled up in a ball in the middle of what soon would be my living room, crying. I wasn’t sure if I should be worried that I was being too dramatic (probably) or what Josh would have thought if he walked in on this not so hot messy breakdown. I needed someone else to come in and save me from being fully swallowed by these brown walls of cardboard that, no matter how many I unpacked or how many I moved from one side of the room to the other, continued to stack. You would think I was moving Daddy Warbucks mansion into a 600 sq. ft. apartment with the amount of boxes in our living room alone. But luckily my mommy was only a phone call away and her design expertise and anal retentive behavior was just what I needed to calm my worries.

The second she got there it was as if all the boxes ran away and everything had a rightful place. It all started to make more sense. This needed to go here and that needed to hang there and these needed to be put under there! It was A-MAZ-ING. I will be indebted to her for saving my life that day, because if I had to live in what was slowly becoming an insane asylum, I would have personally checked myself in. Once she left, things happened. Things got put away, boxes disappeared…and not just disappeared from one corner and reappeared in the other…they were gone. Things were on the shelves, in baskets, put away in closets. And the best part, the bookshelves were finally put up and all our random crappy things could finally be displayed! Of course, everything is black, but at least they’re not cardboard or brown. Everything is ready to be DIY’d…and like a kid on Christmas or a fat man at a buffet, I cannot wait.


(You can tell my mom has been here. Until I was 23 my mom would get me a doll on Christmas, she just couldn’t help herself ie: my childhood pumpkin teddy bear display)

What would have been a very chaotic and stressful process for Josh was a very calming and somewhat therapeutic experience for me. He loves to call me one, but it has become clear that the kid doesn’t seem to understand what being a “perfectionist” really means; as if the dirty clothes thrown on the chest in the living room or inability to look for anything if it is not in the last place he saw it, don’t prove that already. Everyday he is asking me where things are, without even looking. He makes it difficult by not embracing our crap actually being organized. Because if  I hadn’t moved around (or also known as organized) his things, they would still be in the trunk of his car. He likes to relax…a lot…and when we’re relaxing, if there is a crooked picture frame within my eyesight, I’ll stare at it until I find the perfect time to get up and fix it without seeming as if I had been staring at it the entire time. This then prompts me to nonchalantly pick up the papers on the desk next to the picture, forcing me to dust the table casually and then I can relax. Josh’s idea of organizing is that he’ll get to it tomorrow.

But thanks to the anal eye of Mama Haynie, I got ‘er done! And surprisingly, so did Josh. He finally bought a couch that didn’t break our very small piggy bank and that I actually approve of. But at this point I would have approved of anything that 2 people could comfortably sit on without hugging their knees. See THIS was our temporary seating area…for 3 weeks! If you didn’t before, now you must feel my pain.


And thanks to Josh, it actually feels like home. It’s a work in progress, but this is our living room. the “real” after coming soon!


AHHHH I know, I can practically hear your sigh of relief, and NO we are not keeping those pillows. I wanted something more neutral, but since I figured he would go buy the first fluffy couch he could comfortably nap on regardless of color or style, when he came home with this it might as well have been a couch from Buckingham Palace, I was so thrilled. Now it actually looks like someone that wasn’t on an episode of “Hoarders” lives here.

In the midst of dealing with an emerging breakdown, working and worrying have actually done a few things to add some personal touches to our humble abode. Other than getting rid of boxes, I have already gone through a bottle and a half of white and gold spray paint painting pretty much any and everything I could get my hands on. Mostly my things, since Josh hasn’t let me near his precious items (just to name a few there is a Volcom Stone piggy bank he made in high school wood shop, an Angels baseball team russian doll, a bike horn…clearly priceless items).

(too bad I can’t spray paint the pinkish carpet with wood floors)

I have hung our gallery wall.

(can you tell which pictures are Josh’s?)

But he really can’t complain about my spray paint binge or pink picture frames because…

there he is. The first thing you see when you walk in…The Sasquatch himself (for now anyways).

We’re almost there, just a few fine details that apparently only a “perfectionist” cares about and the living room is done! And next up is the bedroom

Not sure what to make of the elephant in the room…or rather the bread box in the bedroom… but if I can’t figure it out, you know Mama Haynie will be able too. Once my bank account goes up a few more thousand dollars, it’s Container Store all day every day!

At least for now everything has a place. And it’s only a matter of time before I’m complaining more about Josh leaving his pants in the kitchen and dirty plates in the bedroom and less about boxes, lack of storage and my crazy unrealistic expectations in general. Ahhh…one day.

Luckily ’tis the season for BevMo‘s .5 wine-o sale and my lovely live in beau brought home 6 bottles of the juice. And even though my mom says not to drink out my problems, sometimes it’s time for chardonnay time.

WISH ME LUCK and more to come!!

Happy chardonnay time…and as always Happy Renting!

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