Micro Home Makeovers and Mouthy Kids

by Abby on October 20, 2015

How could I not have noticed it before? This glaring eyesore on my kitchen wall? But there it was, plain as day: the switch-plate behind the stove was yellowed, dusty, and splattered with food. Gross! I went to the drawer where I keep various odds and ends and lo and behold, there was a brand-new switch-plate. Within minutes, my micro-makeover was complete. Ta da!

Switch plate before and after

I can only assume that I bought the new switch-plate cover years ago when we moved into our house and I cared about such things. As a new homeowner, I spent every weekend at Home Depot, picking out paint samples, buying new cabinet handles and random tools. Those first few years, we made a lot of improvements to our house, made the most of what little we had. And then we had kids. Buh-bye free weekends, hobbies, and disposable income!

But my switch-plate switcheroo reignited something in me. (I know what you’re thinking: how is HGTV not knocking down my door, DIY goddess that I am?!) Before you could say “staple gun” I found myself at the fabric store, arms piled high with bolts of stain-resistant prints. My goal: recover the seat cushions on our grubby kitchen chairs. (Which, BTW, my MIL has been suggesting for, like, ever. Of course, she is a true DIY goddess who can refinish a dresser and whip up a set of curtains before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee.)

My husband and I just celebrated our 12th anniversary. I marked this milestone not by paging lovingly through our wedding album but rather by exclaiming, “You mean we’ve been living with this hideous bachelor-pad furniture for 12 YEARS?!” To be fair, we have gotten rid of the worst of it. (Giant puffy olive-green chair.) And the kitchen chairs are not horrible, just stained. It wouldn’t take me that long to redo them since there are only 3 chairs.

Why are there only 3 chairs when we have 4 people in our family, you might ask? Because, like I said, this is furniture from my husband’s bachelor apartment, where he lived with 2 roommates. 3 people, 3 chairs. That’s how guys think.

Anyway, after I waited in line behind the moms making toddler Halloween costumes and the college kids making their own cosplay creations, I got my fabric and headed home. I had prepped for this project with extensive research, by which I mean I watched a handful of YouTube tutorials.

It took me about twice as long as I expected, which is par for the course with DIY projects in my experience. The hardest part was getting the fabric tight enough on the corners so the fabric wouldn’t pucker. Puckered corners are for suckers, is my motto. Here’s the before and after. Pretty nice, right?

Chair seat covers before and after

You might think my family would be wowed by my mad DIY skillz, or at the very least appreciative of the fact that they no longer have to sit on baby food stains when we haven’t had a baby in years, but oh my naïve little friends – you’d be wrong.

My 9yo son took one look at the chairs and said, “Why are you always trying to fix up our house, Mom? Are you unsatisfied with our living space?” Where does this kid come from? And also, YES.

He continued: “Are you trying to make it look like a magazine or something? Because that’s pretty unrealistic when you have kids.” YA THINK??

And then: “I miss the old ones. They were comfier.” OH YES HE DID. Do you see what I’m dealing with, people?!

Now, maybe he was just being a punk. He is a tween now, after all. However – maybe, just maybe – he did have a little teeny bit of a point. You see, I do spend a lot of time drooling over browsing design blogs and watching HGTV. What? I like to look at pretty things! I mean, I live with 3 boys. It is not uncommon to find dirty underwear on my dining room floor. (P.S. Wanna come over for dinner?)

Even worse, I have the misfortune of knowing several people with magazine-perfect homes in real life. I know, I have a hard life. The same thing happened to me with potty training, BTW. Even though all the parenting blogs and books said it was perfectly normal for boys not to be fully potty trained until age 3 or later, I happened to know several people whose sons had potty trained themselves at age 2. I KNOW!! That can really screw with your perspective, is what I’m saying.

So back to the chairs: I love them and I’m proud of them and my ungrateful family can just . . . say nothing at all for once, is that so much to ask?! FYI, my husband likes them. He appreciates the fact that I spent $30 bucks and a Sunday afternoon instead buying something new at IKEA that he has to assemble. If only we had a fourth chair so we could all sit together as a family . . . #HouseGoals

LINK O’ THE DAY: Mothering.com bravely tackled the myth of HGTV-like perfection with their Messy House Project. Be sure to click back to the first installment, which received backlash from moms who complained those houses weren’t messy enough. Ha!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Angie Mizzell October 26, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Oh my goodness, this post was funny. You’re funny. And, I love the cushions. I need to do that with our WalMart breakfast table. Before I throw it out, why not fix it up! You’ve inspired me.


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