Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Re*Made}: Breakfast Table Window Seat

When my hubby and I began work on our current home--which is my childhood home--we quickly realized that what was intended as the dining room would not work for us because our table was too big.  With the living room as large as it is, we were able to make it a combo room, but were left with an open area off the kitchen with no function.
My mom then mentioned that when we lived there, she always thought a window seat would be neat in that room.  The more I thought about that idea the more we liked it, so that became the plan:  to create a "breakfast room" with a window seat, a small table, and a couple of chairs. 
If you haven't seen the transformation of the kitchen and breakfast room, it really is amazing.  But if you have, you might remember the bench we built for our window seat.  Just a plain-jane plywood box with a lid for extra storage. 

Breakfast Room Before & After {be made designs}

We painted it before installation, which was a bit of a disaster.  I have never experienced a paint like this before.  We chose our color, selected our paint finish, and had it mixed--like always.  Wet paint almost always looks different from the sample, so when it looked different as I was painting, I wasn't too concerned.  But as it dried (outside) it didn't really match the color sample either.  I know lighting plays a huge part in color, so I thought, ok, we'll get it inside and it'll be better.  Um, yeah, NO.  It became the worst color ever and most definitely not the color we chose.  See?  Most definitely NOT chocolate brown.

{be made designs}
I just love this girl!
I mean, ok, it's probably not the worst color ever, but it was not what I had in mind.  I knew eventually I would have to repaint it and of course it needed a cushion.  It wasn't very comfortable to lay on and read and drink coffee.  :)

I knew I wanted it a light color but still have some contrast since all our walls are light.  I also wanted to keep it neutral.  I change my mind too much to commit to a color, ha ha.  I need something that will go with a variety of colors and accessories.

One day, while looking for something else, I was rummaging through my fabric bolt stash, and saw a fabric that I thought would be perfect for the bench.  But not as a cushion.  As a cover for the bench.  It's a good neutral that would give me that contrast, plus it is a durable fabric meant for upholstery, so it was perfect!

{be made designs}

Covering it was fairly easy.  I cut the length of my fabric then measured the depth of the lid and the height of the front of the bench.  Miracle of miracles, those two measurements were the width of my fabric, so all I needed to do was cut almost down the middle and I was good.  How did that happen?!

Once I had my pieces cut, I used a staple gun to attach.  Simple enough.

{be made designs}

{be made designs}

Even with just the fabric covering it, the bench looked 10 times better, but I wanted to do something to the front of the bench to make it special.  Not just a fabric covered seat.  On our trip to the fabric store to find our cushion fabric, I ran across the nailhead trim and decided I wanted to do something with that.

I decided on a pattern:  diamonds, and took measurements to figure my placements.  I first outlined the front with the nail trim, then added the diamonds after.

{be made designs}

The diamonds were tricky.  I ended up doing each side individually to make sure it matched my measurements as accurately as possible, and to make sure each side met the points in the right place.

{be made designs}

First one down, four more to go.

{be made designs}

It was time consuming.  And back breaking.  And  a lot harder to hammer in those tacks than I would have thought {you can see my lines aren't perfectly straight}.  But after a couple of days, I got them all done.  And I was pretty excited about the turnout.  :)

{be made designs}

Now that I had the bench redone, it was time to make a cushion.  The fabric definitely helped with comfort {the plywood edge could really cut into a person's leg} but it still wasn't good for long reading sessions.

I laid my foam on the lid, then cut it down to size.  It was the right length, but too wide.

{be made designs}
Cutting with scissors was not a subject I mastered in Kindergarten, which plagues me to this day.  Thank goodness it was going to be covered!
Then wrapped it with batting for extra softness.

{be made designs}

Then I wrapped the fabric around to get my fit for the cushion cover.  I wanted to make one like a sham so I could easily remove it for washing {since it is at an eating table}.

{be made designs}

I love the fabric.  Vintage French postmarks and addresses.  I wanted a neutral fabric that would work in both the breakfast room and the dining room, as I was planning on covering my dining chairs in the same fabric.  I also wanted something with a bit of red in it to coordinate with the red accents in the kitchen.

{be made designs}

After I had the cover made, I put the cushion back in place, and with the pillows, it's the perfect little nook.

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo {be made designs}

Doesn't it look good?

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo {be made designs}
I had to borrow a couple of our dining chairs for the shots.  I am in the process of restoring a pair of dining chairs we had to be the new breakfast table chairs.  :)

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo {be made designs}

So, whadya think?

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo Before & After {be made designs}

It's not a dramatic change, but a better one and a more comfy one!  I still have a project or two in mind for this room to show off some things of my mom's.  Hopefully that will get done sooner rather than later.  Maybe next year's Spit*Shined list!

Well, I hope you found some inspiration!

ta-ta for now

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