Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY Kitchen Banquette Inspiration

I always gravitate towards a banquette or booth at a restaurant.  There's something so cozy and intimate about them.  Luckily I have the perfect spot in my kitchen for one but not necessarily the resources to buy what I envisage.

There are quite a few upholstered benches on the market, specifically the Harper Banquette from World Market and the Tribeca Banquette from Ballard Designs.  But they're either too small, too bulky, or too expensive.  I wanted a bench that would fill the entire corner but not take up too much space (contradictory I know).

Here are my inspiration photos.

Tufts!!!  Am I crazy or what?

You can find the links to the above pictures here.

And this is where I'm at right now.

I'll post a tutorial and source list next week.  Lots to share.

Monday, February 24, 2014

DIY Kitchen Banquette

I finally started on a project that was conceived almost 2 years ago!  Yes, I've been procrastinating about this one for a long time because I knew it would be quite involved, and boy, was I right!  For the past week I've spent countless hours measuring, cutting, screwing, glueing, tufting and stapling.  And I'm less than half way done.  

Here's some progress pictures.  

I decided to use inexpensive Besta shelves from Ikea for the base.  These will be covered by a skirt but will provide invaluable storage. 

I'll post a tutorial and some tips I've learnt regarding tufting.  There's quite a few different methods you can use, and I think I've tried them all.  Essentially I'll be tufting what is the eqivalent of 4 king sized headboards.  My poor hands!

As you can see I've got a long way to go.  It doesn't help that I've run out of linen.  I bought the original fabric in January last year.  Let's hope the new fabric is the same color or I'm screwed!

You may notice that the chandelier is hanging wonky.  That's because I keep hitting my bloody head on  it when I'm working.  It's starting to become a bit of a joke.  As you can tell I still have a sense of humor about this project.  But it was touch and go when the fifth stupid button popped off.  I'll tell you about that and all the other trials and tribulations later in the week.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Project

This is what's happening in my kitchen at the moment.  Can you guess what it's going to be?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Inexpensive art using Waterlogue app

Well I have wasted way too much time today playing with my new Waterlogue app!

I decided to print some of my masterpieces out and hang them on the wall.  The real question was, would they look as good or real once printed?  I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised.

I bought some good quality 90lb watercolor paper (not too thick that it wouldn't go through the printer).  I cut the paper down to 8x10 to fit.  I then printed it out using the photo on fine paper setting figuring this would give the best color.

There are quite a number of different settings that you can choose on the app.  It took quite a few minutes to figure out which look I liked best.  Some of the settings give more of a photo look which isn't what I was going for.  The bottom two pictures are using this setting, and if you notice, they look almost too realistic from far away.

I like the effect best in the picture above.  Not too realistic.

I just stuck it up there in the picture above, because there was a nail hole.  But I think a series of them going down the stairway might look quite nice.

Or maybe one large one next to the plant?  I wonder how much Kinkos would charge to print off a big one, and whether it would look pixelated?

But what I think would look really cool would be if you could somehow pause the process of painting mid way through and get something a little more abstract.  It's hard to explain, but if you use the app you'll see what I mean.  The pictures below are screen shots I took before the paintings were complete.

Here's a breakdown of how much my three pictures cost:

Waterlogue app $2.99
Watercolor paper $4.99 for 15 sheets.
3 basic black frames with mats $6.99 each.

Is it weird that I have pictures of my house in my house?  Yeah, probably.  I did try the app on pictures of my kids, but it just made them look creepy.  I think I'll keep playing with it and see what else I can come up with; maybe vacation pictures will be more appropriate.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Now I'm an Artist!

I know I'm pretty late to the party, but I just came across an app that is so fabulous I had to share. It's called waterlogue and takes any photo and turns it into a beautiful work of art. Look at what I created!

See!!  Amazing, right?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mid Century Modern @ West Elm

While sourcing furniture for a new client who lives in a classic mid century home, I came across these new additions in West Elm.

Marble topped coffee table!!  Need I say more?  The sectional has great lines and proportions.

More marble, this time on a sleek console that wouldn't look out of place on a Mad Men set.  

Doesn't this chair look comfortable?

These are all making me wish that I had a more of a modern style home.  Luckily I can live vicariously through my clients.

But if there was anything that made my heart beat a little faster, it was definitely this lamp!  Absolutely lovely.  Brass and marble; a match made in heaven.

This painting actually looks really good in real life.  It's large and has a nice simple frame.  I recently went art shopping, and an original abstract art this size would cost a few thousand.  Not that you can really compare an original to mass produced art, but this has so much texture that it almost looks real.

I was really impressed by this glass pendant.  It's large enough that it can be used alone over an informal dining table and has a lovely glow when lit.

Which are your favorites?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I Won a Best of Houzz Badge!

Hello, sorry for the lack of posts recently!  I really don't have a good excuse except that it's the winter and I'm feeling blahh.  Still this email from Houzz cheered me up a little.

You won Best of Houzz 2014!

Hi Suzanne Dingley Interiors and congratulations,

We're writing to let you know that you've been voted by the Houzz community as a winner of our Best of Houzz 2014 awards! You can read the full press release here.

Your work won in the Customer Satisfaction category, which is based on reviews your received on Houzz in 2013, as well as other factors related to your profile. We have already placed a "Best of Houzz 2014" winner badge on your Houzz profile page; visit your profile page ( to see it.

How can you help promote your award?


A customizable press release is available for you.

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Best of Houzz 2014: Customer Satisfaction 

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Congratulations and thank you for being part of the Houzz community. Please don't hesitate to reach for us if you have any questions or need any assistance!

The Houzz Team


I had to do a double take though.  Me, actually win something?  Then I thought that maybe they give this to everyone?  But no, I checked, it really is legit.  So thank you Houzz for the badge and recognition, and thank you friends for supporting me!