Darcy Lewis Design

Adventures in "Good Enough" Design

Archive for the category “Furniture Redo”

DIY Fabric Storage Bins for Tall Bolts

I have many tall bolts of fabric for my business, and I stick them along the walls, bracketed by bookshelves – but this is really inefficient – they slide, shift, and fall; they take up lots of space, and it’s difficult to move them.  I’ve been wanting a professional solution, but it’s been SHOCKINGLY hard to find anything, even the nicely wheely bins that JoAnn Fabrics has – even from store fitting companies!! JoAnn Fabrics is, of course, supplied by their HQ so they have no idea where it comes from or where to buy….

The one thing I could find on the market (which I can’t show you, because it seems to be discontinued), was close to $1,000…. not ideal…. Ok, let’s be real, not even remotely in my budget!

SO! My awesome husband designed and built rolling bins for me that I can also use for my booth at Sew Expo!!


Total Cost: About $150                                                                                                                             Total Time: About 6 hours – including shopping for lumber and having it cut

I was bad and didn’t take in process photos – largely because he built it while I wasn’t around, but also because I’m bad at this blogging thing  😉  (mea culpa)

So, the big thing was that the inside of the box be smooth and safe for the fabric, and the easiest way to make sure of that was to totally line the inside of the wooden box with a cardboard box. We had some 4.5 moving boxes left over from our move, and they are about 18″ x 24″ and about 18″ tall – these were almost the same dimensions as the JoAnn Fabric bins, so they were perfect – and with the flaps up, the sides come up to the right height and the wooden boxes become totally fabric-safe!

The sides are framed in with 2x4s – Home Depot did all the cutting for us – so things are not quite perfectly aligned, but close enough.  We used corner brackets for the frame for extra stability – these were the single most expensive part of the project. We used self-drilling screws to make our life easier – you don’t have to pre-drill the holes, just sink the screws in. The sides are 1/4″ OSB (oriented strand board), and I covered the sides with a roll of heavy wallpaper I had gotten from the free bin of a design store that just wanted this partial roll leftover from a project gone.

The bottoms are 1/2″ OSB, heavily screwed together, and then there are 4 small wheels – 1 at each corner – fully swiveling, non-braking, 90lb-bearing.  These are only screwed in at 3 holes, since the forth screw would be in the middle of the floor, and thus in our way…

We will be mounting big thick handles on the sides to make it easier to move and lift.

You like my pretty shabby chic industrial-look fabric storage bins??!!


These instructions are a bit rough, so if you have any questions, please let me know!!



Faux Finished Desktop

This is a picture of a desktop I faux finished.  It’s one of those big solid wood Executive Desks, and I’ve given it a faux inlay center panel in a green granite style, with a tortoiseshell surround.  Hope you like it ;>


faux finish desktop

My Latest Furniture Project…

I felt myself quite fortunate to stumble across this “find”.  It’s an old RCA Victor cabinet that has had a very difficult life – as you can see, it has been stripped of all its components and gizmos, it is backless, the whole bottom frame the cabinet was ‘born’ with had been removed, the front knobs were missing and the front had been decorated by a small child who had joyfully found a felt marker, and the whole piece is just generally pretty sad and battered.

But I look at it and see the beautiful lines it has and I see a magnificent bar cabinet all gorgeous and gloriously refinished.  I can hardly wait!  Right now, my plans are to clean up and repair the top, then I’m going to cover the top with a leather pad.  The body will be generally cleaned up and restored.  The inside will be stripped out and redone, the front side panels will be covered with a black and copper Art Deco imprinted paper, the knobs will be replaced with something beautiful – possibly with a mortise lock.  The inside back will have mirrored glass.

cabinet front beforeDSCF9750

Sideboard Rehab

When we moved into the new house, we needed more space for kitchen gadgets and dishes.  So I found a suitable sideboard on Craigslist, but it was this terribly dated boring piece (upper left corner of the picture), that desperately needed a new life.  Since I was missing Colorado, I saw the ‘bars’ on the doors and immediately thought ASPEN TREES!!!  So here is my sideboard/dresser with its fall aspen leaves!

This is a great example of my Good Enough philosophy.  Conventional wisdom says I must strip, sand, etc. first. But I didn’t.  Instead, I primed – using a top-quality primer, sprayed a stain-blocker to prevent any discoloration from the base bleeding through, and then painted, and sealed with several coats of a Minwax Poly sealer.  I then gave it owl, bird, and dragonfly handles in antiqued bronze.  I’m quite happy with this piece, but found that after all that, it doesn’t fit in with the house.  So it’s for sale, if anyone wants this lovely piece…

sideboard before and after



My Piano Bench Redo….

So my latest FINISHED project (as opposed to the gazillion UFO projects still “in process”) is this piano bench redo I’m rather proud of.  We wanted a bench for our bedroom and I was deeply in love with this turquoise crocodile-embossed fabric.

I haunted Craigslist and Goodwill and other sources for AGES trying to find a bench, before remembering that I had this old piano bench I’d stuffed away in the basement – always intending to give it a makeover.

So I primed it with RustOleum’s Painter’s Touch 2x Primer and Paint, then gave it a coat or two of their Bright Finish in Chrome for a really nice silver.  To be honest, I was not thrilled with either paint, and will try something else next time.  I then mixed up some acrylic paint to match the turquoise fabric, and painted the grooves in the legs – painstaking, but totally worth it!!

I upholstered the top with 2″ HD foam, and sewed a piece of black cotton to the underside to create a really nice finished look (I hate visible staples or that crappy non-woven fabric you so often find on the underside of store-bought furniture).  I lined the inside bottom with a Renaissance-print Italian paper, then sealed it.  Since this was the first time I had ever upholstered anything (not counting the time when I was 5 and “helped” my dad make an upholstered ottoman from scratch), I am really proud of this and how it came out.  Having done it, I’m now ready to sell it and make something new…. Anyone want to buy it?  ;>

Click on the photo to enlarge it…

Piano bench remodel

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