Minor Remodeling (or Putting My Parents To Work On Their Vacation)

Whenever my parents (or just my dad by himself) come to visit, there is always a list of things that I’m hoping to get done at my house. A lot of times it’s minor things like help hanging things on the walls (I have weird walls in my house and my dad has a special drill bit that we need to use to put screws in). But this trip, we had bigger things in mind.

It started with my birthday couch. When the plan was to get something from IKEA, I knew that my dad and I would have to put it together. But since I got a different couch that came delivered all put together, that was one thing that we didn’t have to do.

But I knew that my mom would have some ideas about how to reorganize my house to make the couch fit in better. There aren’t a lot of ways to organize furniture in a 400 square foot house, but my mom has a way of figuring it out.

When she got to my house, we moved the lounge part of my couch to the other side right away. Then we looked at moving my TV around. Finally, my dad and I took the doors off of my entertainment center because I never close the doors. After lots of deliberation, I had an entirely new looking living room just by moving some furniture (and getting the new couch).

My living room went from this:


To this:


I know it’s a little tough to tell the difference from the pictures, but trust me, it’s made a huge difference! My living room looks much bigger now and the flow of the furniture makes more sense.

The next project that we thought would be a huge project involved my dining room chairs. My dining room set is from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s (there’s some debate on that). My aunt actually got it for herself and then she gave it to my dad. My parents had it in storage for a while until I got my first apartment in 2003. Then they gave it to me.

I absolutely love my dining room set. It’s simple and classic and it’s so well made that it doesn’t look as old as it is. The only thing that was bugging me was the cover that each chair had. It was made of black vinyl and all the padding that was there (if there ever was any) was gone. One chair had a little tear in it, but besides that they still looked decent. The chair covers were the original covers that they came with when my aunt bought the set. So my parents agreed with me that it was time for an update.

We headed to a fabric store near my house and found a wonderful fabric that matched my house really well. And it was in a clearance section so it was only $5/yard (compared to $38/yard for another fabric we loved). My dad brought his staple gun down so we were planning on figuring out how to cover the chairs ourselves.

While in the store, one of the employees asked my dad if we needed any help so my dad explained what we needed. Turns out, that employee does chair covers on the side! He would take the fabric we purchased, remove the old fabric, add new padding, and cover it all.

That was so much better of a plan than my dad and I winging it! I’m sure we would have done an ok job, but why not leave it up to the professionals!

We dropped the seats off on Saturday and they were done on Monday morning. While I was at the dentist my parents picked them up for me and came over to my house to put the chairs back together. When I returned home, my parents had done all the work!

The chairs look amazing.


The fabric really goes with the style of the chair and they are so much more comfortable now! I have some of the scraps of fabric from the cushions and I really want to do some sort of project with them. There isn’t enough to make a table runner, but I’m thinking maybe figuring out if they could be turned into placemats (anyone know anything about doing that?).

Besides our decorating work, my dad also washed all the outsides of my windows and my screens so my windows are super clean now. We also did some work with the plants in the front of my house (my dad brought me another bark planter and we did some touch up work on the old one).


Considering I live in a rental house and I can’t do a ton of work to the inside, my parents have really helped me make the space my own. And after living here for 4 1/2 years, having things freshened up really makes it feel new again.

And I’m so lucky that my parents are both willing to help me fix up my house, each in their own ways. My mom is such a great decorator (so much of the artwork in my house was either originally my mom’s or she got them for me), and my dad is an awesome handyman (who only charges me in beer).

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