Nautical Restaurant: Fabric Wall Re-Do

As a follow up to the Nautical Restaurant post I did a few weeks ago, we finally figured out how to re-do the fabric walls. Almost every wall in this place was foam board, wrapped in fabric, and trimmed out (basically built into the walls) so it was going to be almost impossible to re-do them completely without ripping them out.

Fabric Wall Before

Before: Blue, stained and 15 years old.

Brainstorm. Option 1: Paint the walls. I read countless articles on painting fabric, and all you need is acrylic paint, fabric medium like this one, and water. Seemed easy enough! Problem: fabric medium comes in a 6 oz bottle and we needed to cover over 300 square feet of wall space. The cost wasn’t feasible. I also read countless articles on the difference between Floetrol, a paint conditioner for helping paint go on easier and lengthen dry time, and the paint medium. Didn’t seem like too much of a difference other than a few ingredients, so we tried to paint part of the fabric wall using a mix of Floetrol, water, and paint. Result? It took too long, (the square below took an hour) the paint soaked into the wall like a sponge, and it looked kind of choppy. It needed 2 coats. We also thought that if we did 2 coats, it would lessen the ability to absorb the sound, and with live music playing there, they needed to absorb sound.

Seas paiting walls

Matt painting the fabric walls. The taping alone for the whole restaurant would have cost an arm and a leg, and taken all day.

Seas fabric painting

It’s not a BAD option. But we can do better.

Option 2: Cover the fabric walls in fabric, without taking the old fabric down. We went shopping for the fabric all over town. We LOVED the look of linen, but it’s a natural fiber and would absorb stains too easily and the wrinkles would be hard to get out. It was also $11 a yard, and at 35 yards, it would add up quick.

Linen for Wall

The lovely linen. (above, from Hancock Fabrics)

We then decided to do a test strip. (below)

Seas fabric testing

We tested a part of the wall with some tan broadcloth, at only $5 a yard. The color variation wasn’t quite there, we hoped for something that would hide spots, and this was too one toned for our liking. But it went up easy with just some fabric adhesive spray, and we used plastic putty knives to tuck the fabric behind the molding. This was the winning option!

The Plan: Scour the internet for a good deal on fabric.

Linen we got for walls.

 

We shopped online and found an awesome faux linen (100% polyester) for just $7 a yard! It was durable, textured, and looked awesome. Plus, for just $10 extra in shipping we got it in 2 days. I seriously recommend this website for inexpensive fabrics. Honestly. I’m going to use them to re-do my tables for the craft fair.

Seas new walls 3

It only took 14 hours for 3 people to do ALL of the walls, but they look amazing!

The Process: we had one person measuring and cutting the pieces, and Matt and I did the attaching. We sprayed the walls one section at a time with spray adhesive (made for fabric, from Hancock fabrics) and then lightly stuck the fabric at the top, and smoothed it all the way down with our hands or an extra wide putty knife, then worked the fabric into the cracks and under the trim. We had a few wrinkles to get out, which we used a heat gun to do so. Be careful with those things! The fabric is polyester after all, a kind of plastic, and guess what melts under too much heat? Plastic. You guessed it!

Seas new walls 4

A vast improvement for sure! The walls still absorb sound, and are soft to the touch. And at only $7 a yard for the fabric, and the fabric spray was about $14 a can (we used 3 cans) it was a financially successful investment for the restaurant.

Seas new walls 1

A big improvement over the dated blue-gray walls! Next: new bar stools, booths, and lights above the bar. Stay tuned!

10 Things that Made Me Happy This Week

Every now and then in the midst of the life of a person ridden with anxiety (everything can and will be dwelled upon and instantly thought about in the worst case scenario) I have to think of things that make me happy, so I can remember to breathe.

1. Having Brunch with my girlfriends. We checked out a new place in DePere called the Creamery, and it was amazing. Our talks always end up being over 3 hours, and include a lot of wine (or in this case, champagne) and are always very cathartic. I cherish the time we spend together. I also cherish the red velvet waffles with espresso whip cream we shared…

brunch

2. Knowing how much money Matt and I will save after we canceled the wedding and started to plan to elope instead. I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and it feels good.

3. Re-arranging the living room, and seeing the cats enjoy the room from another angle.

cat tower

4. Just splurging and buying dairy creamer instead of almond creamer. I am trying to make healthy choices and cut back on dairy, but the Almond creamer is nutty when it gets hot and I’m not a fan. So I just got what I know I love, and don’t regret it.

5. My girlfriend borrowed me the book “Gone Girl” and I can’t wait to get started! I saw the movie already, so I know what’s going to happen, but the book will be a totally different experience.

6. I went to a Kentucky Derby themed awards ceremony last night and had the opportunity to wear this hat in public. I also saw a midget pony, and had a great time with friends.

big hat

7. Cooking pasta to the perfect al dente. I mean, yum! And with a home made meat and tomato sauce, you can’t go wrong. And BONUS, the leftovers re-heated perfectly!

8. Completing the fabric walls at the nautical restaurant I blogged about last week. I’ll do a post on how we got there, but it was 14+ hours of hard labor, and totally worth it!

jimmy seas

9. Filling the fridge with fresh groceries. I splurged and got over $150 in fresh and awesome ingredients, (as well as tea and almond oil so I can make a face mask,) and it makes me happy knowing there will be healthy meal options in my kitchen.

10. Playing with my friend’s new Boston Terrier pup, Talula. What a pleasure playing with a little 5 pound ball of excitement like a puppy! I swear you can’t be in a bad mood when you have those big eyes looking at you.

talula

I encourage you to take a moment and make a list of 10 things that made you happy this week!

I’m Slowly Entering the Comfort of My 30’s…

You know how you can see someone every day, and not notice that they are loosing weight/ growing their hair out/ having a baby/ doing something else that takes a long time but you suddenly notice it at once? That’s what my transition from 20’s to my 30’s has become. I didn’t notice my tastes changing until one day it hit me. I’m not in my 20’s anymore. I still feel youthful, and healthy, but darn it, (yes it’s phrases like that, that tell me,) I’m not a kid anymore.

Here are some things that tipped me off. 

  • When I go to the thrift stores I no longer look for graphic tees, I look for over sized cardigans and blazers.
  • When I get in the car, I flip through all of the radio stations, and land on NPR.
  • Sometimes I fall asleep to the TV at night, and voluntarily watch documentaries on things like “What Happened to the Mayans” and “History Behind the Free Masons”.
  • When I drink tea, I don’t like to use any sugar or sweetener. I get grossed out when I use too much, and when I was in High School and drank bottomless cups of coffee with friends, I did a 5 count of pouring the sugar into my cup and it still wasn’t enough.

Kid collage

Before gray hair was an issue. 

  • I sometimes think music is too loud. I never used to think that. I’ve been to so many concerts I now hear ringing in a quiet room. I never complained about loud.
  • I say stuff like “kids these days…” And I mean it.
  • I also say stuff like “When I was a kid… we didn’t HAVE the INTERNET.”
  • I’ve been to 3 doctor appointments this month for routine check ups and they all asked me how often I work out. Which I replied “Uhhhh…” Very Tina like from Bob’s Burgers. Ok Doctors I get it. I need to work out more. I also feel SUPER sore after one day of physical activity. Or a heavy day of cleaning.
  • I have gray hairs. Ok, like 2 but they are THERE. Watching me. Waiting for the right time to send the rest of the troops. I also have some fine lines. Which I am totally fighting with every bottle of moisturizer I own.

Teen and 20's college

My teens and early 20’s. And I didn’t have a cell phone till I was 21.

  • I CAN NOT handle hangovers. I have like 3 glasses of wine and I’m practically still drunk the next day, and I’m hungover the next 2 days. I used to be able to drink a few cocktails, and wake up refreshed after a glass of water and some breakfast but now, it’s like I’ve started my tolerance all over again.
  • I don’t want babies but I want more cats. And sometimes babies.
  • I NEED sleep. Not like 6 hours, but at least 8 to feel good about waking up and even then I’m wondering why I have a day job that requires me anywhere before 10 am. I used to be able to pull off 3 hours of sleep then go to work for 8 hours, then school for 4 and I was JUST FINE. Darn it all.

adult collage

Adult me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to never lose your child like outlook on life.

  • I want to go to bed before midnight. Heck, before 11. Put a fork in me Jerry, I’m done.
  • I can not eat anything unhealthy without reaping the consequences. My body will not tolerate it. I actually voluntarily choose to eat organic, limiting meat and fried foods, and cutting out ALL the bad stuff because it just makes me feel better.
  • And the end all-be all to knowing I’ve gotten older, and like it? I enjoy not wearing makeup, or jewelry, and just putting on jeans and a t-shirt, some loafers, and going to the grocery store on a Saturday night, then cooking dinner while listening to some good ol’ Jazz music.

THE TRANSFORMATION IS COMPLETE INTO ADULTHOOD.

Happy aging!

Nautical Restaurant Re-Do

So a friend came to me with a proposition, they run a Nautical themed restaurant and needed some help with the design. With them being a close friend of my fiancée and not a client, I saw it as something that wasn’t a personal conflict of interest with my current job. Like when you lend advice to a family member about what to paint their living room or where to move their furniture. Plus, I love the opportunity to do some design work commercially, since it is what I love and went to school for.

The restaurant is hoping to class themselves up a bit, new design, new menu. My fiancée is a chef, and a good one at that, and will be consulting in the menu, and I will be helping with the design. What a great combo! We should have our own show.

The Bar

Being about 15 years old, the restaurant is in amazing shape, and just needs a little update. New chairs, new paint, and something must be done about the blue fabric walls! Yes, those are fabric.

Fabric Wall Before

Just in case you didn’t believe me. It’s sound absorbing foam panels wrapped in some kind of carpet material for when they have live bands play. We have gone back and forth on what to do here for a few weeks and finally came up with a solution. I’ll post more on that soon since it’s a whole project unto itself.

Fireplace

This area here is where the bands play, and the walls again, are fabric. I LOVE this fireplace. Matt and I got some beers here the other night and just sat on the ledge talking and getting warm. My suggestion is that they put some cozy furniture on this rug so people can just chill out here on cold winter nights. Move the furniture when there is a band.

Ceiling

The ceiling is in perfect shape and doesn’t need to be touched, say for a good scrub from when smoking was still allowed here.

Server Station

This is the server station. My suggestion? Get rid of that copper monstrosity and get some awesome framed art of the Door County area. Get a new floating shelf for the servers, and hang it a little higher up. You want to go for classy, you have to class it up!

Slide1

Mood Board #1

Slide2

Mood Board # 2

Here’s the plan:

  1. I want to cover the fabric walls with a restaurant grade linen so they still absorb sound, and are easy to wash.
  2. I would love to get photos of Door County and the Green Bay area (Nautical Themed) to put up in black and white. Print at Kinko’s and get frames from Hobby Lobby.
  3. Paint the walls in a subtle slate brown to go with the stone and the wood tones of the ceiling. Colors: Sherwin William’s Universal Khaki and Benjamin Moore Raccoon Hollow.
  4. The restaurant is getting new wrought iron chairs and bar stools in black with a gray seat cover. They are also getting booths to look along the water on the inside of the restaurant.
  5. I would get adorable little black iron lanterns from IKEA for the tabletops.
  6. The restaurant is also getting cute jar lights to replace the dated blue ones above the bar.
  7. Would love to do some Linen-y drapes that look like ship sales, but know they would get dirty. Possibly in a white so they can be bleached. That would help absorb sound.

I’m pretty excited to see the progression, and will keep you updated with photos, and tutorials on the things we do here. Happy Sailing!

Help Getting to Sleep

I don’t suffer from insomnia, but I have in the past. During times of extreme stress, the mind doesn’t shut down, it goes faster. You are tired, and yet you can’t sleep. Your eyes shut and your mind doesn’t drift off into dream land like it should. I’m no doctor and don’t have a solution for this issue, but what about those regular ol’ nights where you just lie in bed, tired, and can’t get to sleep right away? You stare at the ceiling pondering the ways of the world. You know that in T-Minus 6 hours you have to wake up and that’s not quite enough sleep. Here are some of the things I’ve personally tried that have helped me get some quality shut eye.

Apps: By far my favorite app for sleeping is called Dorimo. I have the IPhone and it works beautifully. It has sounds of Lake Michigan, with subtle waves and birds, it has a crackling fire, rain, and my personal favorite, a good old fashioned thunderstorm. There are also ambient noises available and sleep coaches talking you into a deep sleep. It also has a timer to shut off after a set amount of time so it doesn’t kill your phone. I love it. Also- It’s FREE.

Dorimo

Drinks: I have tried this drink I found on Pinterest to help me get to sleep. It’s a warm Turmeric and Almond Milk drink. Turmeric is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to help your body relax and replenish at night. I got this recipe from Nutrition Stripped. 

Turmeric Milk

Recipe: 

  • 2 cups of homemade almond milk (I like Silk brand) 
  • 1 tablespoon local honey, optional
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger (fresh is best)

Sleep Aids: I have tried both Tylenol PM and Melatonin, and having tried each only once, I vote for Melatonin. It’s a replacement for the natural chemical your body releases when it falls asleep, and the Tylenol PM made me groggy in the morning. You can get some Melatonin at your local pharmacy.

Smells: I have a great Lavender / Vanilla room spray from Bath and Body Works. Lavender is a natural calming scent and should help sooth you into dream land. Stay away from anything too invigorating in the bedroom like citrus scents or strong perfumes.

Pillows: I am the most finicky sleeper. I toss, I turn, I have 3 blankets and 2 pillows to choose from depending on my mood. One is a memory foam pillow, firm and yet forgiving for my head, and great for keeping your head elevated. I also have a fluffy feather pillow (from IKEA) that sinks in deep and I use when I just want a little support. Sometimes I don’t want a pillow at all. Try a few and see what works for you. If you are uncomfortable, you will have a harder time getting to sleep.

Other Advice: If you are trying to get some good quality sleep, opt for reading a book as opposed to a tablet or a phone screen. The lights your tablet and phones project are bad at kicking your mind into sleep mode. Try soothing music at least an hour before bed like some great classical. My choice: Bach.

Again, I’m not a professional, or an insomniac, but these are things I’ve tried that have worked for me. I am a known worrier, and naturally anxious person, so sometimes I need a little nudge into the land of nod.

Happy Dreaming!