DIY TV Cabinet Complete

I'm all done leading you on and ready to reveal my final DIY TV cabinet!  Before we get to the reveal, take a peek back at the building process. Now that I'm working primarily out of my home office/den I wanted to put more emphasis on the home office part instead of the den part.  This meant making the TV less of a focus.  I can't exactly hide the ugly elliptical that also sits in the room, but considering it's behind me while I'm at my desk I can pretend that it's not there.  There was no ignoring the big black box in front of me.

Office progress before

So like any crazy normal person, I decided to build a solution.  It still needs some minor tweaking to allow the doors to slide better, but HELLO!

DIY TV cabinet via Year of Serendipity

To mount it, I screwed the back directly into studs.  I wouldn't hang on it, but it's not going anywhere.

So during Copper Dot hours, the room is all business...

DIY TV cabinet via Year of Serendipity

...and when work time is over, the room becomes the den once again and the frames slide open to reveal the TV.

DIY TV cabinet via Year of Serendipity

With the frames being the star (and currently sporting temporary DIY art) I wanted to keep the styling as simple as possible on the sides.

DIY TV cabinet styling via Year of Serendipity

Don't be surprised to see some of this art evolve by the time I get to the final completion of the space.  For now, the 4 frames are filled with art from a $3 Target calendar that I couldn't resist.  It was from "The Spot" so it's not on their site.  That little corner of Target is dangerous....

DIY TV cabinet via Year of Serendipity

Embrace the mess.  Amen!  It's killing me, but I can't find the source of this awesome print.  Even Pinterest and Google Images failed me.  It was a free download ages ago that I've just been waiting to incorporate somewhere.  If you know where it originated, please share- I want to give credit where it's due and share the source with you guys!

DIY TV cabinet via Year of Serendipity

Seeing this part of the room come together just make me eager for the rest of the pieces to come together.  A roman shade, finishing my chair, and refacing the cubbie fronts will put the cherry on top of this make-over.

So what do you think??  Was my DIY TV cabinet worth the wait?


Franken-Chair Reupholstery Update

Reupholstery can be a very daunting project.  I was lucky enough last time around to be in a class where a professional helped to walk me through the steps with epic results, but making a go of it on my own had me hesitant and procrastinating a bit.  Since announcing my Franken-Chair plans to you almost 3 months ago, the disassembled pieces of my beloved chair have been floating around my house, hiding in corners and shoved in closets until I was ready to take on the reupholstery. Brimfield midcentury chair before

The key tip if you plan to tackle a reupholstery project?

  • Take LOTS of pictures.  Especially before you disassemble and while you disassemble.  Especially WHILE you disassemble.  Every.  Little.  Step.  You'll need to remember exactly how the pieces went together/were stapled/etc so you can put the puzzle back together.  That's the best way to look at it- a puzzle.  The pieces need to fit back in a certain way and if you forget that you need to attach tab A before tab B, you'll find yourself undoing and redoing the task repeatedly or trying to rack your brain what piece what supposed to go where.  Unless you're a pro and you have it all filed away in your memory, your camera is your upholstery bff.

Since I intended on marrying the chair above with the antique base below, I did have to modify the bottom just a bit.

antique chair base

Some of the fiberglass on the bottom would need to be cut back to allow the base to sit flat on the chair.  Handy dad lent me a hand in making sure this plan was viable and that cutting back the fiberglass wouldn't compromise the structure in any way.  *NOTE* I made sure before modifying the chair that I wasn't working with a priceless antique.  Luckily, my chair is a very close replica of the expensive version, so my modifications aren't blasphemous.

This is a view from underneath the chair and you can see the pencil line where we were cutting the fiberglass.  If I ever want to reattach the old legs, I may need to replace the piece that we removed, so it's not finding it's way into the trash yet.

vintage chair bottom

All it took was a hack saw and a bit of muscle to cut the fiberglass, although I would recommend this ALWAYS be done outside.

vintage chair fiberglass cut

Once the structure was ready for it's pairing, I needed to get the upper portion ready.  This is where all the pictures come in.  I carefully unstapled all the upholstery from the frame and the main, visible upholstery came off in 2 parts, almost like a slipcover.

vintage chair upholstery

I very carefully ripped apart all the seams on the old upholstery so that I could use the pieces as a pattern for my new upholstery.  If you're working with a printed fabric like I am, you need to pay attention to how the pattern lines up with the print.

vintage chair reupholstery 'pattern'

Then came the sewing.  Sewing piping out of the fabric, then using the 'pattern' to recreate the slipcover that I removed from the chair.  If you've sewn before and can follow a pattern, that's basically what this was.

Before I could replace my 'slipcover' I needed to address the seat cushion.  The back cushion was still in good shape, amazingly, but the seat foam not so much.  No one wants to be sitting on this.  It was like the Mohave desert.  The fluffy stuff around the edges is just cotton, not something growing, but getting this foam off the wood seat was not a clean, or pleasant process.

mohave desert old seat foam

Luckily, once the desert was removed, cutting a new seat out of super high density foam was simple.  I used a dollar store bread knife and traced the seat.  I wasn't worried about perfection because I'll be wrapping the seat with extra cotton and batting to fill out the seat and give it a bit of extra cush.

cutting new seat foam

So that's where the chair currently stands.  Upholstery is sewn, the seat foam has been replaced and the structure has been modified to allow for it's new base.  Before I can staple the 'slipcover' onto the chair and make it look finished instead of like a kid wearing his big brother's clothes, I'll be adding a a bit more cotton and batting to give this old chair a cushy, squishy, and polished new appearance.

Antique chair 'slipcover' reupholstery project via Year of Serendipity

I'm so eager to get this chair finished so I can use it in my office!  The dining chair that I've been working in for the past few months just isn't cutting it.

Do you have any daunting projects that you've been inching away at?  It's like eating an elephant...


Snow Day DIY Watercolor & Printable

Wayfair Snow Day This post is sponsored by Wayfair, but all content and opinions are solely my own.

Everyone is commenting about the mild winter we've been having here in Massachusetts this year, but I just keep remembering that we had a mild winter last year... until a year ago yesterday when the beginning of our 100+ inches started to fall.  The sheer amount of snow I had to shovel last year still gives me PTSD.  That being said, though, as a lifelong New Englander, I've developed a few habits that help to get me through the cold days and snow squall induced cabin fever.

Once that weather man starts talking about the possibility of getting snowed in, I generally will start thinking up a plan.  Option 1: hibernate on the couch with kitties and procedural detective dramas... OR, Option 2: make something.  I'd say I generally find a good balance of the 2, but there are few things that brighten up a snow day like sitting down to a project.

While this past weekend's storm was a bust for us here, I still prepared myself for a project.  My TV cabinet has been built, painted, and installed for weeks, but you have yet to see the finished product because the frames are still sporting the pictures that came in them and the side shelves are mid-styling.  Sick of staring at canned succulent pictures, I decided that until I bit the bullet and bought the etsy art that I really wanted for them, I would whip up a quick DIY to fill the frames.


Ever a hoarder of art supplies, I still had a stash of watercolors and paper from my college days.  While I can't remember the proper way to use them, I remembered enough to put together a pair of unique, quick, and free (if you have the supplies already like I did) art.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

I use smaller brushes to help mix the colors, but an unconventional watercolor tool- the chip brush, to actually paint.  I hoped the jagged, unevenness of the brushes would help to add texture to the painting.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

I taped the pages down to the floor so they wouldn't curl up with the water.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

Then I got to painting.  My first start at a quirky modern watercolor looked like bad art out of the 90s, but just as I was about to get discouraged, I realized that my test sheet where I was trying out streaks of color and brush strokes had a better vibe.  New technique!  Instead of trying to make a pattern, I would simply let streaks of paint become the art.  So I started again.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

Instantly I was liking this version.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

After streaking on 3 colors, the art was looking nice, but a bit flat.  So out came my secret weapon.... GOLD.  I waited until the watercolor was totally dry, then taped off a stripe on each canvas.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

I decided on one page I was going to use the back of the foam brush to add some dots... which turned into drips...which I decided to make look like they were supposed to be there.  On the other I use the foam brush with uneven pressure to add a tear drop shape in a few spots.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

I think I'm just as amazed as you at how far the gold took the boring paintings to the next level.  They looked even better when I popped them into the frames.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

While these aren't my ideal art for the space, I think I can live with these as place holders until I decide to spend $100 on the art that I really want.  Before I bite that bullet, though, I want to finish upholstering my chair and get that in the room to make sure I'm not trying to overload a small space with too many interesting things.  It's a delicate balance.

DIY watercolor art via Year of Serendipity

Now, when I'm at my desk working, this is a significantly more inspirational view than having the black box of a TV taunting me.  Full reveal of the TV cabinet coming next week!

As a bonus to you, I'm offering up my DIY watercolor art as a free printable.  Click on the images below or the links to bring you to the large, savable image.

DIY watercolor art PRINTABLE via Year of Serendipity

DIY watercolor art piece 1

DIY watercolor art PRINTABLE via Year of Serendipity

DIY watercolor art piece 2