Man Cave || 2019 Flip List Item No.1

So last Spring, my husband and I were on the hunt for our next lease with a very specific list of must-haves in mind:

  • End unit townhouse (less walls to share with noisy neighbors)

  • Green space (for Thor and also so Caleb could exercise his supreme lawn skills)

  • At least 3 bedrooms (little did we know one of them would become a nursery)

  • A garage (a girl’s gotta have her in-home workshop, you feel me?)

  • And a MAN CAVE (Caleb’s non-negotiable)

By some miracle, we managed to find something that checked everything off our list - complete with a dungeon-like ground-level media room worthy of Caleb’s video-game playing and sports-game watching needs. The only thing was it was a already painted a very distinctive shade of blue:

“Thalos Blue” to be exact

 
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It’s not that the blue was all that bad. In fact our landlord would have let us paint it if we really wanted, but after giving a fresh coat of paint to the other 80% of the house, we kind of ran out of steam. We decided that the color was workable even though I would have chosen a more masculine navy than a cornflower blue for a media room.

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Caleb immediately took up residence down here and I set to work on the rest of the house (you can see our progress here and here). In exchange for giving me practically 100% design control of the upper 2 floors of the townhouse, Caleb asked that I limit my… interference… in his sacred basement space. I admit, this was very hard for me to do and I definitely snuck a few decorative items in there every once in a while. He did allow my expertise however to source a comfy sectional. I scoured Craigslist until I found an affordable leather one that was perfect for lengthy lounging and felt manly but still stylish enough for me to tolerate (I mean I have to watch movies down here too ya know ;).

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But after a couple months, Caleb came to me with a surprising request to… interfere… with this space after all. See Caleb and I have often disagreed on form vs function when it comes to a space - meaning I like things “pretty” and he likes things “comfortable.” We’ve found little ways to compromise throughout the house but he was very resistant to my initial input on his man space. Me thinks he just wanted a place to set up shop without making any concessions for once. Hence my surprise when he actually approached me about making it feel a little more homey and how this item ended up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.

Challenge Accepted

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The plan was to use the blue to our advantage and make it as a backdrop for some rich colorful accents coupled with some touches brass to mature the space a bit.

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The sectional was working out well, but I switched out the boxy man legs for some sexier gams to give the couch a more high-end look.

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Legs Before

Low profile + a little frumpy

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Legs After

Glam gams = soooo classy

Next we had to figure out what curtains to hang in a true blue room? I tried white for a bit but the contrast was too stark.  I could do red but I didn’t want to take away from all the pops of red I was adding elsewhere.  Eventually I landed on a blue to match the walls.  In a velvet no less to add texture and black-out any light on movie nights.

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Finding the right TV stand was another fun project.  First we had to source one large enough for our monster TV (almost kept this guy for that very reason).  But we found a deal on this MCM credenza with minimal wear and tear.  I waterfalled the outer edges in a persimmon paint color for another fun by subtle pop.

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My alternative coffee tables did get a little push-back from Caleb the Client. Instead of doing one large table, I found two brass martini side tables a varied heights. It’s not his favorite design concept (a coffee table should be more of a foot rest according to Caleb), but it allows us a classy take on TV trays when we are eating down there (which is basically on every movie night). 

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Behind the couch is a small-space bar area when we want to get our Mad Men on.

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Extra lighting sits on a narrow storage piece that flanks the back of the couch. We keep our small LP collection and record player on the shelves underneath.

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A few of our records hang on the wall to make a “man art” moment. They can easily be switched out for a sports poster or two if the mood strikes.

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Now this space has the family’s full stamp of approval - Thor included. 

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And I’m crossing this project off this year’s list!

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Two down, three to go. Catch up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.

Reader Design: Emily's Curated Creation

There's something about Emily, the focus of today's reader design spotlight, that makes me think we should be friends. Sure, there's the practical "we both live in Seattle" part. But, we also chose bright turquoise couches as the focal point of our living rooms. I mean, that has to mean something, right?!

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I saw Emily's home pop up on Instagram a few months ago and was immediately in awe. It is quite modern but still cozy, neutral while being bright and deep. 

My design style incorporates a bit of everything, I typically describe it as eclectic modern. I love modern elements, but I also incorporated traditional, art deco, bohemian, and plenty of vintage pieces to give it a curated feel. It takes a lot more time, but gives a space so much more personality. This “design philosophy” is the reason I named my business Cohesively Curated.
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It's got a cool but classic London vibe. As Emily describes - 

The city of London above all else is very classic, but it also has so many modern gems and up and coming trends to discover.
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It's a perfect fit for a similarly rainy, gray, but oh-so-cozy and interesting place like Seattle; I like to think Seattle & London are sister cities. Does anyone else buy that? 

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With a focus on classic and modern looks, Emily has carefully selected every piece inside this home, filling it up to the brim with pottery, textiles, and art. She grounds herself in things that hearken back to her design philosophy and uses that as her foundation for making decisions. 

I think it is challenging with social media, Pinterest, blogs, etc. to not let yourself be swayed by other designers styles. Taking something as inspiration and figuring out how to integrate it with your own aesthetic can be a bit tricky. The trend I struggled with most is the boho trend and not going overboard, because that really isn’t my primary style. I included some vintage textiles and rugs that fall into that category but made sure to integrate them with my core aesthetic.
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This home has to be one of my favorites yet, and I encourage you all to follow Emily along on Instagram @cohesivelycurated for more! We really just scratched the surface. 

Happy Fall, y'all! 

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How to Repair A [Seemingly] Hopeless Dresser

As I mentioned on Monday, I finally found the perfect dresser for the next item on my 2017 Furniture Flip Bucket List.  

 
 

There's just a few little problems...

 
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And one big one.

See what I mean? Gasp!  There's a huge chunk missing from the decorative trim molding.  

Up until this point in my furniture refinishing career, I have only re-attached existing splintered pieces.  I've never conjured missing pieces of a dresser before.  I mean do I whittle it?  Cut the whole section of molding out and replace it with as close a match as I can find?  No my friends.  I am here to tell you today - there is another way.  And all you need is a few items from the hardware store:

A can of minwax wood filler with hardening agent
A wood shaver
A plastic putty knife
Scrap wood
screws
Some sandpaper

After watching a couple helpful videos, I learned that step one is to attach a piece of scrap wood underneath the damaged area with a few screws.

Following the instructions on the Minwax can, I mixed the wood putty with the hardener and applied it quickly to the effected area.

And I applied some to the chips in the veneer on the drawers while I was at it.

After letting it set, I gingerly detached the scrap wood - first by unscrewing it from the dresser, then by cutting away the excess hardened wood filler.

Now comes the fun part - sanding the hardened wood to match the contours on the molding as close as possible.

To get those clean lines, I used a wood shaver on the bottom until the wood filler felt flush with the underside of the drawer frame.

And also on the front edge since sanding would have rounded the edges too much.

After that, it was a matter of sanding the entire body of the piece to prep for paint.

And sanding the drawers to smooth out the repaired areas of the veneer too.

Now it's time to paint.  

Can you spot the repair?

How about now?

Once painted, the damaged areas are virtually undetectable!

I am so pleased to find that such a seemingly "big" problem can be fixed by such a small can of wood filler!

I hope this little tutorial saves a dresser or two from the dump.  And if you end up giving this repair method a try, feel free to share your experience with us!

P.S. Read more about this dresser's transformation on Apartment Therapy!