Thursday, 2 October 2014

Paint Like A Pro Workshop || Bainbridge Island, W.A

Wowwwwwwwwww where did September go? I have so much to share on this blog about my recent travels in the US, Spain and also some new things happening at West Egg in little old Blunham. First I want to share some of the lovely photos from the Paint Like A Pro workshop I taught at the newly opened Komedal Road studio on Bainbridge Island.

I was so touched by all the trouble and effort Liz had gone to with the new studio, ensuring it looked absolutely amazing for the workshops. Over the last few years since I started West Egg I've been really lucky to have some incredibly inspiring experiences. The highlights have been spending the weekend in Hannover for the BYW Studio workshop at Holly's beautiful apartment, going on BlogTourNYC with the most wonderful group of bloggers and now another highlight is spending the week working with Liz and teaching at her studio. Not only have I been able to spend time with amazing inspiring people, but also travelling is something that inspires me so much. I get so many ideas when I step away from my usual spaces - I am sure lots of you may find this too. I have lots of new perspectives of how to do things and a great project I have been holding off on doing because I didn't feel ready (okay I was scared) - well, now I feel able to just go for it and embrace it totally. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to travel for work, something I certainly never thought would happen when I left the hedge fund world back in 2010.

So, you may not know this - I can't remember if I blogged about how Liz and I met - but we actually met through blogging back in 2011 not long after I set up West Egg. Since then we have kept in touch, we skype and email and even though occasionally a period of months will appear between being in touch, we keep up with each other on social media. We just get on really well, it's so simple actually. It's a bit like with my lovely group of school friends, we may go weeks and months occasionally without seeing each other, but when we are together it's like no time has passed and there is just the pure enjoyment of each other's company.  What's so funny about this is that Liz and I never met once until this year and when we met for the first time in real life because we knew each other so well, it was nothing and everything at the same time. We had such a brilliant week catching up and hanging out, Liz took me to all her favourite spots in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island - more on that in another blog post. Take a look at the lovely Komedal Road blog too for some of Liz's beautiful photography. The photograph below of me demonstrating some basic upholstery techniques was taken by Liz. She has such a distinctive photography style that I just adore.

Anyway, so the first workshop I taught was the two day weekend course Paint Like A Pro. This is the workshop that covers furniture painting, furniture restoration, upholstery and decorative techniques.

I organised for all the paints and waxes from my favourite paint brand Autentico to be shipped from the only US stockist in Texas (Maison Blanche Paint Company) up to Seattle. Thank you so much Annie and Mindy for ensuring the ordering and delivery went so smoothly.

It was a great two day watching so many pieces of furniture come back to life using different sympathetic furniture restoration techniques, using paints and waxes and re-upholstering pieces. Below are some of the before photographs ...

And now some of the after photographs ...

This is a wonderful vintage pill maker from a pharmacy store. It was gently restored using sympathetic restoration techniques. 

Really loved the way this grey stool turned out. I didn't manage to get a before photo - sorry! 

No before photo of this folding table either but I do have an upholstered stool before + after ...

Komedal Road have asked me to go back in March 2015 to teach workshops again at the studio - of course I said yes! The Paint Like A Pro weekend course will be March 7-8th, 2015 - all details on the website here. Spaces are limited to 6 people to please book early to avoid disappointment if you'd like to come along.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Spare Bedroom Makeover // The Before

We've been living in our house for 1 year almost exactly. Since we moved in I've been reminding myself on an almost daily basis that "I really need to sort the spare room out" and it has not happened. I did have a bit of an overhaul for some friends who came to stay which involved a quick whip round with a tin of paint and shoving a few key bits of furniture in. This summer we slept in the spare room for a few months because it was so warm upstairs. It was during this time that I really got annoyed with the state of the room but with September being packed it has still not happened.

As you might know I'm in Seattle right now teaching workshops at the new Komedal Road studio on Bainbridge Island. The time difference means I'm awake extremely early, and the coffee is so good here I can make it through the day on very little sleep. (My favourite place on the island is Blackbird Bakery - amazing cakes and treats too). I've been pinning lots while I've been away and catching up on lots of my favourite DIY blogs. I've been so inspired while I've been here, working in Liz's studio has really given me a big nudge to makeover the spare room when I get home.

This is the spare room when we first bought the house ...

Isn't that carpet something special? So far we have removed the carpet, removed the bars on the window and replaced them with window locks and moved the radiator onto the other way. We've also taken out all the rickety wooden wardrobe and the shelf that was attached to the back wall.

The ceiling has been left alone - it's papered (yuck) but since this whole thing is going to be knocked down and made into a kitchen at some point, I don't want to spend a huge amount of money on it.

This is it after it was painted, what do you think of the floorboards? They are really thin and a bit rough looking. I did wonder about doing a stripe floor but I imagine that will take ages and I'm not sure if it would make the room look a little chaotic? I want it to be a cosy and relaxing space. Here are some of my favourite bits of bedroom inspiration from Pinterest ... it's funny when you scroll through the boards and you can instantly see common threads. Our bedroom is very calm and simple so maybe this could be a chance to add in a bit of colour and make it super cosy for the winter months.

At the moment the only piece of furniture that has to stay in the room is the bed which is a big chunky pine frame. It looks a bit like this wooden bed frame but I had an idea how I will upholster it and I really can't wait it to try it out.

This is my to do list:
  • Upholster the pine bed frame with a thick woven linen fabric for some texture;
  • Paint the floorboards, probably not white - maybe Hardwick White by Farrow & Ball and then maybe dark wax them. I've never done this on floorboards so that will be a big experiment.
  • Paint the walls with a soft warm tone as the room has a tendency to look 'cold';
  • Make some curtains with a soft linen or maybe a ticking stripe;
  • I've just finalised a new bedside table design so I will put two of those in there;
  • Rugs - I need to find some rugs, it needs to be cosy in the winter months; I love Dash & Albert but I don't think I'll get them in my suitcase;
  • Artwork - I'm going into Seattle tomorrow so maybe I can get some cool prints I can bring home with me; and
  • Change the door. At the moment it is a horrible glass panelled door and I hate it. 

Okay, well it's now 6am so time for coffee ... zing! I have lots of photos to organise from this weekend workshop which I will try and post tomorrow morning. This afternoon I am visiting the Bloedel Reserve which I am really looking forward to. Fingers crossed the weather is good.

PS: Although I'm in the US it's business as usual back at West Egg HQ - we have a few new pieces being listed this week so check the website for updates.

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