This Is the Story Of A Bench

In a galaxy far far away when we were fresh young home owners with one Ikea coffee table, a milk crate and a mattress… I hit up the local furniture consignment store for a few more items to scatter around this new empty abode.  I fell in love with this bench (I immediately reupholstered the seat since the fabric it came with was a bla gray):

I was thinking it might be good seating for our large dining room table, but it was too short.  It lived there for a while until I bought chairs.

Then it logged some time in our foyer.  But it was always littered with our stuff and it was clear we needed more of a storage piece for that area.  (The following few pics are trust tree stuff as they’re of the house in early early milk crate furniture days.)

So…. I moved it up to our bedroom.  It didn’t match, but it turned out to be a useful little seat for tossing clothes or for sitting on to lace up shoes, etc. etc.

With lots of these furniture fixer uppers, they sit there for a while until I see something in a magazine or online and have an “aha” moment.  Truth be told, I agree with Oprah so to call these “aha” moments might be a slight grandiose, so I’ll call it a “gotcha” moment.  Yellow was my gotcha moment.  Lemongrass spray paint yellow to be specific to match some yellow in our duvet; again, this is an older photo of our bedroom.

So I’m true to my trust tree word… here’s the same duvet before we’d fixed up the floors…. that purple stuff is what’s left of the carpet that the previous owner at apparently crazy glued to the hard wood.

Back to the bench.  I wanted yellow without being yellow crayon yellow.  You know the color.

For the seat, I thought I’d experiment a bit since the green from the first picture didn’t work in our bedroom at all.  I’m way into the idea of painters’ drop cloths for upholstery and happened to have some on hand.

But that’s boring.  A graphic stencil could liven it up, right?  I would have gone bright red (to pull a color from our duvet), but that was too ketchup and mustard, so I went with the color we have on our bedroom walls (Bath Salts by Benjamin Moore… I love it.)

I had a stencil on hand, but didn’t trust myself even a little bit to pull that off cleanly on fabric.  I also wanted the reverse of the stencil… i.e. I wanted the ‘holes’ in the stencil to remain neutral and the plastic pattern to be the color.  So I traced the stencil onto the canvas and painted it in by hand.  (It’s a small bench so this wasn’t a crazy endeavor.)

(I’m not a lefty… this picture is staged so you could get the gist of how I traced the stencil pattern.)

I wrapped the new fabric around the seat of the bench and attached it with my staple gun.  (You can see the nasty gray fabric that was on the bench when I bought it in this pic.)

Here’s how the whole thing looked assembled and in the space.

My gut was telling me that it wasn’t quite right… it needed some contrast to bring the stencil pattern out a bit.  So I took a white paint pen to it and added a bit of an outline.

MUCH better.

Now we just need to pile our clothes on it each night and it will really feel like it belongs.  And, with the colder weather approaching, it’s time to bring out the duvet around which this whole thing was designed!



p.s. Here’s how Eleanor passed her time in our early home owner days.  A little bit funny and a little bit sad.


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