Sunday, October 12, 2014


Nesting instincts have reached fever pitch in the last two weeks, and just in time.  When we moved into our empty garden flat in May, Lance and I determined that we would take our time filling it with things that we loved instead of defaulting to IKEA.  Our deadline was baby girl's arrival.

Well, yesterday, the day after my due date, I finished my last move-in project: sewing the cushion (with piping and a zipper - be impressed!) for the chair pictured above.  I'm so grateful baby girl declined fulfilling my birthday wish to meet her and defied the full moon last Wednesday so that her goal-orientated mamma could finish what she started.

In addition to furniture acquisition - a combination of antiques and IKEA - nesting, get-the-house-done projects have included painting the piano, piano bench, and high chair; having a friend recover the piano bench and chair above; replacing a hinge on the piano bench; installing a light fixture from a 1930s fish factory in our room; getting a vintage bed-side lamp working with a proper plug; installing a mirror, hooks and moving a shelf up in our shower room; finding antique frames for family pictures, printing the pictures in sepia tones, and then having matts cut to fit; framing our diplomas for the office; framing prints I purchased at the Louvre 15 years ago for the kitchen, installing a mirror in the nursery bathroom; sewing the hearth cushions pictured below; adding birch branches to our silk cherry blossom stems (stems and IKEA pot pictured above saved from our wedding 5 years ago); sewing and then adding piping to the deconstructed, recovered chair; sewing a new liner for the trug; sewing a topper for the piano; and, Friday and yesterday's project, sewing a cushion for the deconstructed, pink chair.


Pictures of our "reception room" included here; the bedroom, office, kitchen, and nursery will be saved for another time.

View of the "reception room" from the kitchen.  Yes, I purchased the IKEA island, and love it. French late 1700 Windsor chair purchased from Sudbury Antique for £30.

Our au pair bravely re-painted our furniture (I couldn't do the fumes for such long periods), and she recruited the Elders to help.  Turns out one of the companionship was an expert in furniture restoration, so the piano turned out rather nicely, I think.  Didn't look so great before (it's sounds beautiful, however); now I love it.

See the "place holder" for a baby girl family photo?

I got the idea for recovering this chair (but in reverse) from the chair pictured below.  Chair was £50 from Sudbury Antique Market, fuchsia velvet fabric was £50, and recovering it was £60.  £160 compared to £550 for the chair below is not bad, and I like ours better.  It's mahogany, an antique from the early 1800s, and has a bit more character.  

Lance didn't want a "hutch" so we compromised and got this writing desk.  I've put our fine wedding china on display where the books are suppose to go and filled the drawers with silverware and nice linens, and Lance has taken over the writing desk portion.  £140 at Sudbury Antique market; I think this is now my favourite piece in the home.

IKEA clock, handmade hearth cushions (notice the cherry blossom theme?), chest from the late 1800s from Sudbury Antique market (£50), custom-made trug with hand-sewn liner.  Mango wood trays atop the chest are from my trip to Thailand in 2003, rug was $120 purchased in Orem, UT in 2005. 

Yes, that's the U.S. Constitution - a gift from ConSource in 2005, and my beloved antique rocker purchase by friends for Gideon's London shower, a faux lambs rug, and our home's biggest eyesore and favourite baby thing, the Mammaroo.  Table is custom made with repurposed wood from the early 1900's with a matching bench and mis-matched antique chairs with a John Lewis "antique" world map vinyl topper and IKEA lanterns atop.

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