Ikea Nils Chair Makeover

The project I am about to share was one of the most frustrating projects I have ever worked on.  I like to consider myself a fairly capable person, so when I decided that I was going to add tufting to my Ikea Nils chair, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I watched some YouTube tutorials, and although everyone said that it was going to be tough, I was confident that I had the skills to succeed… boy was I wrong.  It was rough.   I changed tactics so many times and got so frustrated, that I didn’t even get any photos of the process. On the bright side, I now have a pretty solid approach and am planning on reupholstering my other Ikea Nils chair, so I hope to get photos and give a better tutorial then.

Here is the before. It’s a perfectly lovely chair, but a bit on the plain side.


And here is the after!


I tried three different fabrics before settling on this faux leather that I got at Zero Landfill for FREE! The only things I had to buy for the project was an upholstery needle and a craft button cover kit. I also used some silver paint to give the legs a little pizazz.


But even though the monetary cost of my project was  super cheap, the number of hours I spent working on it was costly. It pretty much took me a week to finish. Joey lucked out because he was out of town on a work trip, so he didn’t get to hear my incessant complaining as I toiled away for hours on end. I continually pricked my finger on the needle, and I actually ended up drawing blood a few times.


For all my complaining, I actually really like the outcome.  The tufting isn’t perfect, and I wish that I had done diamond tufting instead, but it was a labor of love.  And when I cover some of the less professional tufts with a faux sheepskin throw, it doesn’t look half bad.



A Pair of Mismatched Chairs

Matching is overrated — especially when it comes to chairs.  Like, who decided that dining room chairs always have to be the same? I think that a pair of mismatched chairs can give a dining space a fresh, unique look.  That’s why I decided to change things up and switch out my boring Ikea dining chairs for two of my favorite, albeit mismatched, chairs.


The chair on the left is from the Goodwill in Tucson. It’s probably my favorite chair of all time. It’s super comfortable and has such beautiful tufting. The replica Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair on the right is also a Goodwill find.  I got it in the Ballard Goodwill, which if you are ever looking for furniture in Seattle, you have to check out the Ballard Goodwill. They have an incredible selection.


I think that stylistically, the chairs have a lot of similarities, and that is probably why it works.  They both have a retro flair. Neither one overpowers the other.


Also, the colors work well together. Oddly enough, the yellow chair actually matches the yellow in my textile wall hanging. I didn’t intend for that to happen, but it’s a happy coincidence.


How do you feel about mismatched dining room chairs? Do you agree with me, or do you think I’m crazy?

City Style: Albuquerque

I love that cities have distinctive architectural styles.  They have their own personalities, and Albuquerque is no different.

ABQ 11

The most prevalent architectural style in Albuquerque is the Pueblo Revival Style.  These buildings are typically made from adobe or stucco.  They often have rounded corners, vigas (wood beams protruding through the exterior walls), and flat roofs.   Some examples are shown below.


Source: David Patterson


Source: Websta (Eva Kolenko)


Source: Unknown


Source: UNM

Other influences on the architectural scene include the Colonial Spanish style.  It’s very prevalent in churches, such as the San Felipe De Neri church, pictured below.


In the early to mid 1900s, Albuquerque’s architectural style evolved, in part due to the popularity of Route 66, which runs through the center of town.  Neon lights, roadside motels, and diners became the norm along the city’s major streets.


Source: Ernst Hass (Photographer’s Gallery)

One of the strangest architectural relics from this time, is the large, red arrow sculpture that sits at a busy intersection.


Source: Road Arch

More recently, design in Albuquerque has become increasingly experimental.  A great example is the tile house, shown below, by Beverly Magennis.  She started this project in 1984, and it took her 11 years to complete. The details are amazingly intricate, so it isn’t surprising that it took so long to complete.  It’s a beautiful home, and I love that the pattern is inspired by Albuquerque’s Native American roots.


Source: Unknown

Another architect that has led the experimental architectural movement in Albuquerque is Bart Prince.  His home, shown below, is a great example of his progressive work. When it was built in the 1970s, it was somewhat controversial in the local architecture community; however as the years went on, people began to appreciate the home’s unique identity and its otherworldly beauty.

ABQ 10

Source: Flikr

Well that’s all I have for today.  I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about Albuquerque’s architectural style.


Mini Cactus Garden


Cactus are supposed to be easy to care for, right?  I hope so, because I just finished building a little cactus garden that I’m planning on bringing to work to brighten up my boring cubicle. If my track record means anything, they will probably be dead by the end of the week, but my fingers are crossed that they will make it. Luckily, one of my cube mates is a master gardener, so I’m hoping she will give me tips on how to keep these cuties alive and well. Cactus-1

I think they have a fair chance at surviving, because I did a lot of research on how to properly build a terrarium.  I used three layers of organic material– a bottom layer of rocks, a middle layer of horticultural charcoal, and and a top layer of soil.    The soil I used is specially formulated for cactus.  I don’t really know what the difference between cactus soil and gardening soil is, but the man at the gardening store assured me that cactus soil was a safer bet.  It was a little more expensive, and he might have just been trying to upsell me, but I’m a trusting gal, so I went with his suggestion.


I have high hopes for this little cactus garden.  If I can keep it alive, then I might branch out and try to grow something else. Any suggestions for other easy to grow plants?