Design by Morgan Satterfield
This week has been crazy. Among other things we’ve been getting our condo finished to list it for sale. The listing should be up later tonight, but I did get the photos back from the realtor this morning. It’s interesting (and a teensy bit painful) to see the photos.
The photographer obviously has a super wide lens. It distorts things a bit, but gives you a better idea of the layout. The lighting is great and the colours are truer than in my attempts to photograph our place, but I notice all these little details that I would have zhushed - move that, tuck that in, take that out… etc. etc. And obviously a realtor has totally different aims in photos - show layout, space, finishes (not cute touches and vignettes ;)). But overall we’re quite happy! I’ll share a few of the pictures with you:
(All photographs by James at MyVisualListings.com)
THE LIVING/DINING ROOM:
THE MASTER BEDROOM:
(Look at that too-short bedspread. Eep.)
So. You wanna’ buy a condo? :)
Ready to show you my living room today!
(That is… my perfectly clean living room that never looks like this. No - the pillows are on the floor for jumping on, the ottoman is gaping open, the desk is piled with papers and books, there is no carpet visible beneath toys and books and endless Cheerios. You get the idea. But you probably don’t want a picture of that…)
Obviously it’s a combination space, with a home office area included. That’s the bonus in buying an older condo - they were built with bigger living spaces in the 70’s and 80’s!
I worked hard to make this home office as functional and as aesthetically simple and unobtrusive as possible. Really editing the shelves, using storage in boxes and in the hutch in the dining room, using the clear acrylic Louis ghost-style chair, and choosing a vanity table instead of a full desk help keep it all streamlined.
Its crazy to think that I reupholstered ALL of the furniture in the living room - sofa, chairs, and ottoman (and the Louis chairs in the dining room too). Like seriously crazy. I am insane. They’re all at different levels of “doneness”, and I’m happier with some than others. But overall they give the look I want for the room, and what they lack in professional finish they make up for in affordability!
About 2 years ago, when I settled on the idea that we were going to be in the condo for a few years I decided to really embrace decorating it - and I saw it as a chance to experiment and self-teach. It’s been fun to figure out layering patterns, materials, which colours I like to live with, etc. I love the paint colour - Woodlawn Blue from Benjamin Moore - but in the greyish light of our one East-facing balcony window it feels a bit too dark/cool for me most days. I think it’s a colour I’ll use in a smaller space in the future (like a powder room or entry or laundry room). And even though I love all things fresh and be beachy (you know blue + white, and painted furniture), I’ve discovered that I really need some wood tones, and a healthy dose of warm colours. (The punches of orange in this room make me so happy.)
The corner fireplace is not something I’d normally recommend, but it works perfectly in our space, since there are just two short walls in that corner. It keeps the flow through the apartment easy, and makes the most of an awkward space.
We do 95% of our living in this room. The kids play here, we read here, we watch TV here - it is the centre of our home for sure. We store toys in bins beneath the couch and in the storage ottoman, and the ottoman can be pushed back out of the way or used to play on.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this room!
Design by Nate Berkus Associates, Photograph by Bob Coscarelli
Design by Nate Berkus Associates, Photograph by Pieter Estersohn
Design by Nate Berkus Associates, Photograph by Paul Costello + Mikki Duisterhof
When I first completed reupholstering the chairs in our living room My husband sat in them and deemed them comfortable, but felt like they needed something to put your feet up on. I immediately began scouring UsedRegina and Kijiji for coffee tables to create a tufted ottoman like this project. However, months went by and nothing fit all three criteria: correct size, reasonable price, AND good-looking. *sigh*
But one day I came across this storage ottoman on UsedRegina. And it was only $20! Why? Because it was U-G-L-Y. Their two-year-old had apparently destroyed the thing. And it was covered in a cheapy microsuede fabric that did not hold up (covered in tears and stains). But the rest of it was in decent shape. I decided I would reupholster it.
I decided, though, that to recover it I would need to take it apart a bit - and since it’s basically a box, I could handle that.
I removed the lid - more on that in a moment - and took the bottom off of the box.
I upholstered the bottom, wrapping the fabric around it and securing it with a few staples. I didn’t go crazy with staples, because there would be more later when I put the ottoman back together.
(That black piece on top in the picture is the meshy fabric that covered the bottom before. I kept it and used it to cover the bottom when I was all done.)
For the sides I measured each panel and cut fabric (with a bit of a seam allowance) for each side. I sewed the fabric panels together on each corner and fitted it over the box and foam snugly.
Then, when it came to the top, I ended up doing a bit more work. Though in good shape, the top only had webbing in a frame to hold the seat up. This created a slight, but uncomfortable sag if you sat on top of the ottoman. (And I knew ours would be sat on. And climbed on.) Also, I really wanted a tufted top, and securing the buttons into webbing just wasn’t going to cut it. So, with some help from my dad, we added a board into the seat. He cut the board to size at the hardware store.
Then we used small strips of wood to screw into the sides of the top to keep the board in.
The small wood strips created a ledge, keeping the board in place in the lid.
Once it was all in place I measured and drew out the spots where I would want buttons on the top and drilled holes in the board for them. (I made the holes too small the first time, so I ended up making them bigger later. You need a decent sized hole otherwise it’s hard to thread the upholstery needle back through when attaching the buttons.)
I use these little button kits from the fabric store. They’re cheap and easy to use. My fabric was a bit thick for the size of buttons I used, however, so I ended up securing a few with some hot glue.
For tufting, lay out your fabric over the area you’ll be working on (and you may need to pin it in place), but don’t staple it to your piece yet. Wait until after your buttons are all secured so that you can get a nice deep tuft.
I start from the centre and work my way out. On the back of the board the strings are knotted, then pulled to the side, and stapled a billion times. Or you can thread the strings through a button and knot them (then staple them a million times, if you like). I forgot to take a picture of this for the ottoman, but you can see it here on the back of my headboard. (Sorry for the terrible picture, there isn’t a whole lotta’ light behind my bed. But you should get the idea.)
After all of the buttons were in, I stapled the fabric to the bottom of the lid. For the corners I pleated them and pulled tightly - kind of like what you’d see on the arms of a William Birch sofa.
After this, I reattached the bottom to the box using an air compressor and long staples.
When doing this I attached the bottom’s fabric, the box sides’ fabric, and the bottom covering fabric as well. I then reattached the lid with the hinges (I screwed them in by hand into the existing holes. I didn’t use an electric drill because I didn’t want to snag and pull the fabric.)
There are still a couple of things I still want to do to this thing - I want to find some hydraulic hinges for the sides so that the lid lowers slowly (or even locks open, if needed), and I have plans to add a kick pleat skirt (You can see the fabric panels pinned in place in the picture below… whaddya’ think?)
But even without the skirt it’s a HUGE transformation - it looks higher end, and it’s far more durable. (Only trouble is that the tufts are great Cheerio collectors…) Now, when you sit in the chairs, it’s lovely to put your feet up!
Design by Kelly Deck, photo by Barry Calhoun, via The Globe and Mail