Sewing room odyssey continues.

Greetings exhausted helper monkeys! I know you all had big weekends. We certainly did. All of my spare time is currently 100% focused on my sewing room rehaul, so there’s no REAL sewing to report. I’ve been snapping pictures along the way, though, so here’s the update!

First, there’s the furniture painting. I have a couple of pieces of furniture that I can’t let go of for sentimental reasons that will finally lead useful lives in the new sewing nook. First, my grandmother’s secretary. Grandma LOVED to paint furniture, so this has about 800 coats of paint. I refinished it’s partner, the china hutch, a couple of years ago, and it took FOREVER to get the paint off. I didn’t have the time or spirit for that this time around, plus everything else in the nook is white and I wanted this to be white too! Here it is in its pre-painted glory. It looks WAY worse in photos – it had a sort of shabby/chippy charm to it a few days ago and it lived in my little office nook (now disassembled) in the basement. The yellow print is a fabric-wrapped piece of cardboard.

Next, the dollhouse. My dad made this for me when I was little. He wasn’t much of a woodworker, but I really, really wanted a dollhouse and loved this! It was bare wood for years, then about, oh, fifteen years ago I slathered it with dark orange paint. Apparently, I went with the oil-based variety as it was a HUGE PAIN to paint over it this weekend. I was finally forced to go after it with spray paint yesterday – all the primer and coats of Benjamin Moore simply white in eggshell were not doing the job! I hope you’re all impressed with my orange paint job.

In any case, this got painted white too. It’ll make a good little bookcase in the new space, and I’ll finally be putting it to use! I really HATE just having stuff in the basement unused, as this has been since we moved into the house.

 

No sentimental attachment here. Just a little wood bookcase that I’d been using as a printer stand in my basement office nook. It’s getting the paint treatment and starting its new life as the bedside table in the guest room. The current bedside table is a 31″ Expedite shelf from Ikea that’s going into the new sewing nook.

So last Thursday (ah, it seems so long ago) I started priming. I. Hate. Painting. And painting, for that matter.

I made fairly good progress. We’re back up to super-sticky weather with jungle-level dewpoints, so it’s not the best weather for painting. Or, more specifically, it’s not ideal if one were expecting the paint to actually DRY.

I managed to get everything nearly painted. It took around three coats on everything and I did some finishing with spray paint – it just has such a nice finish! I was coaxed into poor decision making by the pragmatic, extremely knowledgeable boys at Ace Hardware. We’ve used a LOT of Benjamin Moore Simply White shade in our house – all of our trim, a lot of the kitchen. It’s the shade of white suggested by Ikea wonks to match the white shade that our cabinets came in. I MEANT to get a can of Simply White in the flat sheen, as I prefer painted furniture to be painted in flat, as any of the shinier paints show off the flaws. Well, the boy at Ace was VERY in favor of getting eggshell instead as the shiny finishes are more durable. And since Benjamin Moore paint is so blasted expensive and I knew I wouldn’t use the whole can, I figured that was a good idea as we always need more for touching up trim. Bad, bad idea. Painted white furniture should be painted in FLAT PAINT (at least, according to my aesthetic…)

In any case, I sanded the pieces to death before I started painting, so now I likely have black lung.

Yesterday marked 3 days since the last coat of floor paint so we could FINALLY start moving furniture in! After a late start and some garage sale-ing, we got building! First, we put in a nice 4′ clothes rod. I thought about getting a clothes rack, but instead we got giant eye bolts (is that a thing? I don’t know what they are called) and a clothes rod and caps from the Closet Maid section at Home Depot.
Yes, we do love David’s Bridal. All of us.
Next we put the pegboard back up. This, too has gotten the spray paint treatment! Note to any who considers it – it’s probably cheaper to just buy new, white pegboard! Spray paint’s expensive, I had to do a few coats. A new 4 x 8 sheet of white pegboard was something like $16 at Home Depot, if I remember correctly!
It’s still slightly splotchy, although that’s really only apparent in bright light and photos. When you’re standing in the basement LOOKING at it, it just looks plain ‘ole white.
Next we assembled the new 58″ Expedite bookcase and brought the baby one downstairs to meet it’s new big sister. I am SO looking forward to refolding my stash and organizing! The Expedites are 15″ deep versus my previous stash-location on Ikea Billy Bookcases, which are only 11″ deep. That extra 4″ will help out a LOT!
I already had two Billy bookcases – we moved them into the new sewing nook. It was a TIGHT FIT, since they’re so tall and our ductwork hangs down. I almost thought it wouldn’t happen, but we figured it out!
I didn’t snap a photo, but the sewing gods (goddess?) were smiling down upon me. In my previous office nook, I had a nice, cushy chair that I got for $10 at a yard sale. It was a cozy place to hang out and chat with friends and not bug Mr. Bug! The chair was SO cozy that it eventually got moved upstairs to the living room. As a replacement I threw an unused slipcover on one of those giant plastic Adirondack chairs they sell at Target. It was a poor replacement – not comfy and so very, very big. I noticed yesterday on a hardware store run that neighbors had put a nice looking little armchair out in a free store! It’s a bit shabby, but has blue and white stripes that look like it’s upholstered in ticking. I totally nabbed it, ‘FREE’ sign and all, and scuttled inside with it. I promptly stripped the Adirondack chair and put that out on our curb with the ‘FREE’ sign. Turns out, it was the neighbor’s daughter who’d put out the cushy chair – she’s moving into a new place and had overbought some used furniture. But, luck of luck, she was looking for something for her new little terrace! She took the Adirondack chair! It was a chair swap! Yay! Pictures forth coming, but I again have a cozy nook chair for chatting with friends, coaxing Mr. Bug to hang out with me while I sew and just for sitting in for a change of scenery myself!
We got a few more things before we tucked in last night. We DID get the new cutting table put together, but it was late and dark, so no pictures yet. Mr. Bug did lots of vacuuming.
That boy loves to vacuum! Lucy did some resting and had a staring contest with the tape measure…
And I contemplated the mountain of STUFF that I so nicely had arranged in one corner of the basement, wondering if I’d ever be organized again.
Well, helper monkeys… that’s it for now. I have TONS to do today as there’s a similar mountain of sewing stuff in our guest room that has to get moved downstairs. We have guests coming in to town tomorrow. Luckily they’re super-close-friend guests, so I’m not experiencing the “must make the house perfect” pressure that I might otherwise be feeling. That said, I have a sneaking suspicion when they asked if they could crash with us, they sort of expected the guest bed to be accessible, so I should probably stop computering and go start organizing!!