Secondhand tufted office chair – before

As soon as I started working from home in October I was on the lookout for a proper office chair to use. I started off using one of our secondhand IKEA Tobias dining chairs [as seen here], which yes, I can physically sit in, but thanks to hip issues after having Cora, sitting in a hard chair all day wasn’t doing me any good. So, I took to Kijiji to see what I could find.

This was a search where my patience definitely paid off. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted so I kept an open mind, but at the very least I knew I wanted something padded [hello, hip separation], sturdy and if I’m honest, something that kind of looked amazing.

I was completely open to the idea of a typical ergonomic office chair, but of that type of chair I found, they were either in my budget, worn down and needed repair, or they were amazing ergonomic chairs but were way outside of what I’d be willing to pay for a chair. So I kept looking. Until I found this chair! It of course immediately got my attention aesthetically.

I arranged to view [and sit in] the chair last weekend and it was perfect and exactly what I’ve been looking for; comfortable and unusual. Much like myself I guess you could say.

I know I may not get a great response to this, but I am planning on updating it. Hold on, let me explain! The wood has a very orangey stain and has sloppy faux-aging technique added to it using a darker paint [you can see this in the first photo along the groove on the arm]. The shape is really beautiful and I’ve already tried sanding the finish off, which has me really excited.

Please, trust me. It’s going to look beautiful.

DIY wallpaper template

I’m taking my time with deciding how to decorate each area of our home. I’m still up in the air about a lot, but one thing I sporadically did on the weekend when Cora was having lunch was make a wallpaper template and quickly paint a small wallpaper-style pattern on the peek of wall under our stairs.

I painted this section burgundy during my lunch break a few weeks ago. I think I did it to make myself feel like I was making an update to our home [I currently have hundreds of ideas, but there are so many moving pieces and things have to be done in a certain order, therefore I’m getting nothing done].

I then had the idea to paint a faux wallpaper effect*, just to see if it’s something I’d like to do. Using an empty cereal box, I cut out a square template. I folded it in half each way to find the center of the square. I marked the center and four corners with a pencil and then I laid the cardboard template on a folded up kitchen cloth and used my drill to carefully drill 5 holes. Yes, I could have used something else to make the holes, but it was literally within reach and there’s nothing I love more than being lazy.

Then I simply used my template to mark lightly with a pencil the pattern on the wall. Once you do one row, simply line up the template with existing pencil marks to make sure your lines are consistent. That’s it! It was so easy and fast to make. I painted little gold hearts as my pattern. They’re super imperfect, but I like that.

And yes, I’m hoping to paint our entire hallway like this. Because I’m a glutton for punishment.

*I’ve been seriously thinking about wallpapering our hallway for some time, but I cannot decide on a wallpaper. I’m way too indecisive. Plus, wallpaper is expensive and we’d need a fair amount to go up the stairway. So I’m going to try my hand at painting some.

Current obsession: German Schmearing

No, German schmearing is not a sex position. That I know of. German schmearing, otherwise known as lime washing or whitewashing, is a treatment for updating brick. It’s also something I’ve become obsessed with since becoming a homeowner. I randomly came across it on Pinterest one day and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

When we had our house inspection ahead of finalizing purchasing our home, one of the comments our inspector made about the exterior of our house was that the mortar needed to repointing in places and the brick had unfortunately undergone some kind of treatment over the years [he suspected power washing] that removed the veneer or finish from the original brick. Because of this, the brick is a muted colour and was susceptible to damage, and when I later found out about German schmearing, I thought it could be a perfect solution to our strange orange brick.

While the brick is original and is from the Victorian era, it’s pretty basic. Really basic. It isn’t laid in lavish patterns and isn’t fancy. I’m not complaining, but this is another reason why I am partial to giving our house the schmearing treatment. Repointing the mortar as well as dealing with the washed-out orange brick colour might make it look less barfy.

Since then I’ve been obsessed with finding more German schmearing images on Pinterest to further convince myself that this might be a practical solution that would ultimately validate my want to change the strange colour of our house.

But I am hesitant. I would be completely covering the original brickwork. On the other hand, our home is one of very few homes in our neighbourhood that is original brick. All the homes in our neighbourhood are from the same era, but 97% of the houses have been covered in siding over the years. So in my mind, I’m helping to preserve the brick, kind of. By covering it. Kind of.

I’m definitely having a “yeah, but” back-and-forth in my head. I still don’t know what to think, so I’m putting it here for some feedback. And validation. Please validate my ideas. Because I think I could really nail it.

What do you think? Honestly.

Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.