Have you ever had a project that isn’t done around your house forever and ever and you can’t force yourself to tackle it? We all have, right?
There’s one project that’s been nagging me for years- my dining chairs. I bought them 7 years ago from Pottery Barn. They came with a muslin fabric that was meant to be recovered. I liked the light color, but knew that down the line it’d need to be replaced.
Fast forward 7 years, 2 dogs, and a toddler and, well, the situation is now dire. A few of the chairs have holes in the fabric and the stains are a bit embarrassing. But still, I wasn’t in a rush. Well, guess what friends, I finally did it! My chairs are officially recovered!
So what changed? I now have someone to be held accountable to- you! Having a blog has been so positive to me because I really respond to external accountability. For better or worse, my personality is that I am an obliger and I have to have someone expecting something from me to get it done.
FIGURING OUT YOUR TENDENCY TYPE
What about you? What is your personality type (or tendency type)? Gretchin Rubin came up with this frame work and it is easy to categorize yourself in one of the 4 types. By figuring out how you respond to expectations, you can trick yourself into getting more done. Sounds fun, right?!
So which one are you? Here’s how Gretchen Rubin explains them:
- Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations
- Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
- Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves (that’s me!)
- Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
If you’d like to take a quiz to figure out which one you are, there is one here.
what tendency typed respond to
This is what each tendency type responds best to:
- Upholders- need gold stars, a to do list and schedule. They like to know expectations and meet them. If this is you, you probably aren’t having a hard time getting things done. But if you are, make a list to do and do it!
- Questioners- need reasons, research, and information. They want to know why they’re doing what they’re doing. If this is you, make a list of reasons you need to complete things. Do research and once you’ve convinced yourself, get working (this is my husband. He has taught me to question more which is a really good thing!).
- Obligers- need external accountability. They need to know that they have to do something and that they will be held responsible for it. Finding someone that will make sure to follow through is an effective way for obligers to get things done. This can be a Facebook group or a significant other. For me, making goals, putting them on the fridge with a must be complete by works nicely too.
- Rebels- need to focus on the present enjoyment of their task. They need to feel like it is their choice and that by doing it, they feel free. If this is you, think about how you will feel to have your task complete or how it will feel to do it. No one else can pressure you into it, this has to be your choice.
DINING CHAIR MAKEOVER
Alright, back to the chairs. When planning out my dining room makeover, I made a list of items to complete- new wallpaper, recover the chairs, new rug, chandelier, art, and accessories. I figured that each week I would share an update and that would propel my makeover.
Since this was the week for the chairs, I did it! And guess what?! It wasn’t that bad. Here’s what I did:
Before shopping, I did my homework. I found out that most chairs need a 27” square of fabric to recover one chair. I pulled out a measuring tape and verified that would be enough for my chairs. A set of two chairs takes up ¾ of a yard of fabric. Since I needed to do 6 chairs, I needed 2 ¼ yards of fabric.
Next up, I needed fabric. You can go to any fabric store, but I picked a designer fabric store so I could have a bunch of variety. I ended up selecting a white vinyl. The vinyl is a great choice because it can be wiped off which is a must with a toddler. I know that white is a risky decision, but I’m a white lover so I figured I’d try it out. The vinyl cost $22 which is such a deal for a totally new look! #budgetdecorating
CUT THE FABRIC
Now that I had my pretty roll of fabric, I needed to cut it. I used scissors, a measuring tape (that brass round thing is a measuring tape– isn’t it cute?! I leave it out for decoration), and a sharpie (which is a bad decision if you’re using thinner fabric) to cut it into 6 squares of 27”x27” fabric.
REMOVE THE CHAIR CUSHION
I pulled out my trusty Allen wrenches and removed the seats off each chair. The four bolts came off quickly.
REUPHOLSTERING THE CHAIR
Next, I laid the chair cushion on the vinyl and got to stapling it on! I started in the center of one side, stapled it, pulled it tight on the other side and stapled the opposite side. The trick is that you want to pull it nice and tight so you don’t get loose or bunched up fabric (which will result in holes over time).
I continued around the cushion with the same method. Around the front of the cushion, there is a slight bend so I had to make little pleats to keep the fabric tight.
The corners required lots of pleats and were the least fun part to do. I’d do my best to smooth down the side of the fabric so it’d show the pleats less. With fabric that isn’t as bulky as vinyl, I think it’d be easier to hide.
Last, I trimmed down any excess fabric so that the cushion would fit back snug on the chair frame. I then reattached the seat to the chair.
I know that it isn’t that extreme of a makeover, but no stains or holes! So that’s winning!
Do you know how good it feels to finish a project that’s been on my to do list for years?! It’s so satisfying! I’m hoping that this post might help you figure how your respond to expectations too. And maybe recover a chair (or 6).
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