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100 year-old house, small sewing room. Decor ideas?
Theresse
Theresse
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Subject: How to give a sort of "pottery barn" look (in tiny room of 100 year-old house) Date: 7/13/12 5:20 AM

This is kind of a weird post - not sure if any of you will have much input let alone be interested enough to even read this!

I have one of those typical 1940's or '60's Singer sewing cabinet tables that are a dime a dozen - someone was getting rid of it. The wood's in okay condition but I'm wondering if it would be nicer to paint it? Like white or black or some cheerful color? Not that it would be easy to dull the finish. It would definitely look best spray-painted. Or maybe just leave it alone? It sort of matches the fir floors which are in good shape. Does anyone have pics to share of how people have spruced up their old sewing tables?

The table looks sort of like this but with straighter legs: http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/fuo/3123494769.html
...and might be a shade lighter in color - maybe maple. It opens up and becomes wider and there's an old Singer mechanical machine from the '60's that I've never taken out - haha. I did look at it upside down though, and it's nothing special but as a side note, I did realize it's this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vrzLFYDfYM

Anyway, I'll just put the new sewing machine I got (Bernina 350) on top of the old cabinet and when I'll need to open up the table for more room I'll just put a thick piece of particle board I have over the hole and set my machine on that. Any suggestions for something nicer than particle board?!

Also, I don't have a chair. Aside from the bad reviews for having poorly-made plastic casters (which can be replaced I think) this one is pretty adorable: http://www.joann.com/red-chair-3000/zprd_10945731a/
I like that it's a little funky but also a sorta classic, unlike a typical modern roller desk chair. It also adds some charm and eclecticism rather than everything being all antique - yawn. Have you seen any other chairs that are fun/different or else just sorta...I dunno...sweet, for such a small and humble space?

Oh one more thing! Getting back into sewing makes me really miss my grandma and feel super sentimental. She loved to sew. She was a WPA artist in Chicago in the '30's and there is one wall opposite the sewing machine table on which I could put some appropriately-themed art of hers (no art could go above the sewing machine as it's a sunporch room and is mostly high-up windows). It would be above the length of a twin trundle bed that just manages to fit in there along with a bedside table and lamp (and then the sewing table on opposite wall). I thought I could hang maybe two or three side-by-side of her black and white lithographs or paintings that represent her, or mothers and grandmothers etc. Wouldn't that be fitting? She did one we recently found that she always told me existed which is of a grandmother brushing her granddaughter's hair, just as she used to brush mine (she did it looong before she had her own kids). That could be one. There's also one of what's supposed to be my great-grandmother sitting at a kitchen table...and there's one of a woman looking out the window, deep in thought. I'm not sure if I have one of anyone sewing but I know there are at least 4-6 more domestic themed pictures. But there *might* be one of someone sewing - I can't wait to find out - it feels familiar. How PERFECT would that be?! And speaking of great-grandmother, my great-grandmother used to make rag rugs and I found a barely-used rectangular throw rug of this style which is a perfect fit for the room as well. The room's a pale blue color (hint of periwinkle) w/ white trim and the rug's main colors are pale blues and pale greens with maybe some others thrown in there as well. They're very soothing colors. And I just noticed today that rag rugs are back in style! This could be a very special room if I follow this line of "female inheritance," don't you think? Especially since I have 3 boys and have always felt a great loss about having no daughter. If I make this a sort of theme in this room, it's in a sense preserving that connection a little while longer, or honoring it in a small way that only I in the family understand, if that makes sense...

If you have any other ideas, all are welcome. I'm not proud to say pottery barn look but it's just easy and familiar and is both somewhat period appropriate for an older home while also adding some whimsy (or they used to anyway) - without being strictly reproduction. Thanks!


-- Edited on 7/13/12 5:49 AM --

poorpigling

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In reply to Theresse <<


Date: 7/13/12 8:43 AM


Sounds like the room will be charming when done.. Hope you post pics of it on our sewing room thread..
I completely understand the grandma connection. In fact so much so.. I wrote a story here on PR for the members last Christmas with memories based upon my Grandma.. Brought many tears to me.. as well as a few members.. So def do include anything that reminds you of her in your room..
To this day I still cannot look at a tomato plant without remembering my mother who loved to garden..
I for one like the pottery barn. cottagey looks .. they are relaxing and make one feel at home .. More interesting in some aspects.. Much more fun to shop for.. as most of us love visiting thrift stores..and you can often find things in them that will work with that look.. Good luck..

justgail

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In reply to Theresse <<


Date: 7/13/12 11:48 AM

Nothing wrong with Pottery Barn style as far as I'm concerned!

Go ahead and paint the cabinet if you want. You might check with an auto body shop how much they would charge to spray it. The paint might be tougher, on the other hand, it would most likely be a high gloss finish. On the 3rd hand, pearl or metal flake might be cool.

Regarding the particle board, you might want to change it to plywood and stain/paint to match (or contrast?) the cabinet. And make sure it doesn't slide around so it doesn't scratch the cabinet, or worse, slowly shift and suddenly your machine lands in your lap.

Theresse
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Date: 7/13/12 5:12 PM

Thank you both, very much! I agree that the pottery barn look would be perfect in this little room. I'm just whining that I don't have my own style. My whole house has a Pottery Barn look to it - not very original you know? I did however put a ton of work into giving my also-small (11 x 12') kitchen a look that is both period-appropriate and a little unique. But it exhausted me, working so hard to achieve a look that felt more like me!

I like your ideas and will look into them. Just Gail, the car detail shop's a great idea! Poorpigling - I'd love to read the story you wrote - do you have a link?

poorpigling

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Date: 7/13/12 5:15 PM

Get a box of tissues handy.. I will bump it for you.. I hope.. as I don't know how to link.. keep an eye out in misc..

Bumped them both for you.. the Christmas Story was the first one.. the Valentines was the start of the sequel.. Hope you enjoy them.. Thank you for asking...
-- Edited on 7/13/12 5:35 PM --

PattyE
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Date: 7/14/12 0:17 AM

I have the chair similar to that one you linked...except mine has the wood trim. I love my chair. It has storage in the seat and rolls good - even on carpet. You could go try it on for size at the store.

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kathi s

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Date: 7/14/12 2:03 AM

I also have a small sewing room- 11x12. My old one was 10x11 and it's amazing what a difference 12 feet makes! It looks bigger because it's a corner room with a window on each exterior wall- very bright and cheerful. DH installed Pergo flooring (I wanted to avoid the dreaded hidden pin in the carpet scenario) and painted it a creamy white to maximize the light.
Ihoped I would have room for an easy chair for hand sewing, but by the time I got my bookcases, my sewing machine center, my dress form and my ironing board set up, there's no room. I set up two storage shelf units in the mirrored closet for fabric and misc. My chair is a steno chair garage sale find that I rejuvenated with new fabric several years ago - I may recover it again with something less boring than the tan fabric I used. My sewing room isn't fancy, but it's my own little den where I can retreat from the cares of the world!

Theresse
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In reply to poorpigling <<


Date: 7/14/12 2:33 AM

Quote: poorpigling
Get a box of tissues handy.. I will bump it for you.. I hope.. as I don't know how to link.. keep an eye out in misc..



Bumped them both for you.. the Christmas Story was the first one.. the Valentines was the start of the sequel.. Hope you enjoy them.. Thank you for asking...
-- Edited on 7/13/12 5:35 PM --

Thank you for doing that - I look forward to reading it!
Theresse
Theresse
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In reply to PattyE <<


Date: 7/14/12 2:35 AM

Quote: PattyE
I have the chair similar to that one you linked...except mine has the wood trim. I love my chair. It has storage in the seat and rolls good - even on carpet. You could go try it on for size at the store.

Glad you like it! How long have you had it? Most people's wheels busted within a month or so (usually in the first few days). I saw the ones with the unpainted wooden legs but found the red ones online...however I'm now wondering if it's possible that they fixed the problem and the wooden colored legs are better? I just like the fun pop of color with the red but the wood one would be fine too. Thanks!
Theresse
Theresse
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In reply to kathi s <<


Date: 7/14/12 2:50 AM

Quote: kathi s
I also have a small sewing room- 11x12. My old one was 10x11 and it's amazing what a difference 12 feet makes! It looks bigger because it's a corner room with a window on each exterior wall- very bright and cheerful. DH installed Pergo flooring (I wanted to avoid the dreaded hidden pin in the carpet scenario) and painted it a creamy white to maximize the light.

Ihoped I would have room for an easy chair for hand sewing, but by the time I got my bookcases, my sewing machine center, my dress form and my ironing board set up, there's no room. I set up two storage shelf units in the mirrored closet for fabric and misc. My chair is a steno chair garage sale find that I rejuvenated with new fabric several years ago - I may recover it again with something less boring than the tan fabric I used. My sewing room isn't fancy, but it's my own little den where I can retreat from the cares of the world!

I guess I'm lucky to have those fir floors! I'd never heard of the pin in the carpet story but yes, I'd avoid that too if I could and am glad I don't have to worry about it.

My kitchen is not much bigger than your sewing space - I think your room sounds huge for a sewing room! I'd love to see pics, hint hint.
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