Ottomans by Urbanmotifs

May 9, 2012 § 1 Comment


We have introduced Ottomans for our Urban Casual Furniture collection for our Etsy Store. I had a few 1×1 lying around from the theater set design that I did for Anthony Small’s play in December last year. I wanted to design an ottoman for the store and decided to use the 1×1’s.

Here is our first Ottoman that we made, the size is 36X34 and we used a cool orange Greek square like pattern for the fabric. The diamond tufting makes this Ottoman to die for, but you don’t have to as you can purchase this item from my Esty store. Need a smaller size, just convo and we will customize it with the fabric you love. Oh! also there are 5 different leg styles to choose from.


Decorating on a Dime Winner – Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine 2012

January 17, 2012 § 2 Comments

January 16th was a very good day for me. My Guest room makeover was selected as a winner in the professional category by the Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine.


It all started when Kali Mallard, editor AHIM posted on Hometalk about the contest. The minute I read the post, I told R, I wanted to do this contest. With just Just 4 days for the deadline, I quickly sketched the concept and design on a piece of paper.  My mind was racing with ideas but I had to remain calm and be organized to achieve this task. Armed with the my concept sheet I went shopping at Lowes and bought all my initial supplies based on my rough sketch. I spent a couple of hours and picked colors that would coordinate the existing wall color.


I wanted the room to have a calm and soothing effect with a bit of eclecticism and still have a boutique hotel feel. I had the dresser that I had picked on craiglist and for a long time I couldn’t figure what to do with it. After the colors for the room was finalized, I decided to paint it a dark deep blue grey and distress it. I kept the dresser drawers as is to create that contrast I needed.

The 1×4 frame that I used to frame the headboard was painted the same color and distressed to tie up the elements in the room. To see how I constructed and built the headboad, click HERE

First coat of the paint.

This is how the room looked, before I began the transformation…

I chose a calm grey to go with the blue accent wall. I taped up the room and started painting. My six year old helped a bit and was totally loving the activities that were going on in the room.

The room taped up with painters tape.

I marked the center of the room so I can place the headboard right at the center.

The bed lights had to go in next after the painting was next. I am not a pro at electrical, I can change a bulb so I got help on this one from a friend. The bed lights were on sale and matched the linen on the headboard perfectly!

Getting the lights on the wall.

Next, was to tackle the frame for the headboard, I painted it the same color as the dresser and distressed it.

In my drive way painting away!

After a bit of distressing

Nailed the frame to the headboard

DAY 2:

The bedlights were in place and the paint had dried up. I peeled the painters tape and had to tackle the stencil on the wall. I downloaded the free stencil from Lowes, printed  and laminated it  at FedEx. I cut the stencil and begain stenciling on the wall, this was my first time and I was pretty nervous and made sure I didn’t miss an inch anywhere.  I taped the wall to place the stencil perfectly in place within the squares.

Free stencil download form

Stencil cut out

After the stenciling, headboard in place and bed lights lit!

Art on the wall

After the stenciling was done, I had to work on the art and decide the minor details of what was going where. The octagonal side table is a thrift store pick, I simply love the bones and the pattern so I decided to keep it as is. I picked up a 3 feet white canvas board from Micheal’s and choose 2 colors for the art. Yellow and blue. I painted the entire canvas yellow, then I squeezed some blue paint and drew a rough line with a broad brush. Then I took a plastic fork and made vertical lines in different lengths on the canvas. Ta da!

Day 3

I shopped all day and it was so much fun.The occasional chair, throw Pillows and area rug I picked at TJ Max. Bed linen and bed skirt from Target.

Day 4

I spent the day putting the room together, window curtains, bed linen etc spruced and spruced again to make the place look perfect and ready for some great pictures.


This was so much fun, I cannot wait to get my hands on anther makeover!!!


January 6, 2012 § 2 Comments


Finally I got all my chairs and moved into a small workroom at the back of Hardeman Fine Art, Inc Showroom in Downtown Duluth. I decided to move out of the garage and take the furniture re-design business to the next level. It was a low profile move. No announcements, no banners, no grand opening plans. But, while all this was happening quietly, my mind was in total chaos. Can I manage this? Will I be able to market my product? Will people buy my chairs?


The studio is the almost to the end of Ken’s store –  Hardeman Fine Art Glass, Inc.  We have a back entrance that can be opened during summer and attract casual customers who walk by Village Green. I was excited when I first saw this space even though it looked dilapidated a bit. Ken confessed he hadn’t cleaned that space in 8 years. I still loved it as it was surrounded by Ken’s work from his stained glass business. There were brushes every where and the place had the natural artsy feel and I knew I didn’t have to work very hard to make it look like a “Bang” in a few days.


I was fortunate to start work the very day we opened shop. This client was special as she did work similar to mine but mostly restored French furniture. Kara wanted a ton of chairs to be done by Jan 13th as she had to get them ready for her booth at the Scott Antique’s Market. Currently we are working on 2 wing back chairs and the design is pretty unique. Burlap on the back and sides and painter’s canvas on the front and the cushions. Wait till this chairs completes. I uploaded a few pics of the chair while I was stripping it.

My 6 year old took this picture while I was stripping the chair, so forgive the blur. She is learning!


The official date for the store opening has not been decided, but I am thinking Spring. The weather will get better and people will be out and wanting to spruce up their furniture. I am planing on getting together with Martine Resnick  a Designer and Marketing Stategist in order to create a “Brand” for Urbanmotifs. We will be talking soon and I will share more information on the branding of the furniture re-design store and how we proudly re-design our funiture.

I am also excited about a lunch date with LeeAnne Culpepper, Martine Resnick and Miriam from Hometalk. I’ve invited them for an Indian experinece/Lunch. The venue is not yet decided but I better get my Apron and my Indian Spice out soon.

Until next time…

Another chair restored!!

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am so thrilled to present ‘Gypsy’ a great looking winged back chair with a carefree personality. This fabulous winged back chair was salvaged and restored back to life and re-upholstered with designer fabric.  This chair was picked during my usual Sunday market walks and I found an equally fabulous fabric for it that very day. The crisp white fabric not only makes a bold statement it also has a carefree personality and will go in any room and any corner. Just add a colorful throw pillow and your new accent chair is good to go. Even without a throw pillow see how fabulous it looks. I gave this chair the name “Gypsy to encompass its simplicity yet bold personality. New padding has been added and the legs have been re-finished and restored to a deep dark brown stain. The fabric is medium weight, 100% cotton and is screen printed on duck back with linen like appearance.

Now Gypsy has been pretty popular on with 201 views and 18 admirers. I just cant wait to find a home for this chair. Here are some awesome shots detailing the workmanship fo the chair and how beautifully this fabric works for the form of the chair.

I have been getting requests about Custom orders, Yes I do Custom orders and would love to work with you on any chairs and any fabric of your choice. Please feel free to contact us 706 315 4903 and check out my Urbanmotifs Etsy Store.

Enjoy the pictures!!!


July 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have always been a fan of ‘Typography’ , be it a serif or a san serif, I know the good from the bad and the ugly from the best! But, since sometime, my attention has been diverted to the ‘Typewriter’. With all of you having the Apple I pad on your wish list, I have the antiquated typewriter on mine! Why? because I think they are true antiques and their glorious past needs to revisited by us in our present day modern lives of cluttered digitalism! (If that is even a word!) Remember, we now have the iPad because we all once started out on a typewriter. My earliest memory of a type writer is when my dad set up office at home. Since then, the constant sound of the typewriter and the typist writing notes in short-hand was a common sight for me. Apart from all the fond memories, I love them!!  simply because they are adorable pieces of heavy metal, they come in beautiful colors, have beautiful  form, and mainly because I have an eye for uniqueness!!!

Emma - Meedily

The shop owner of Meedily loves typewriters and this is what he says as an intro to his Etsy shop page…” My name is Sam. As a result of my Asperger’s syndrome, I’m obsessed with strange things: linguistics, the BBC, audio recording…and typewriters. My life seems to revolve around those things. I initially set up this store to find a home for a few extra typewriters that were being neglected. I’ve come to learn that this store is so much more than that. It’s about helping inspiring writers and collectors find that perfect typewriter, the one they connect with. This is important as they all have distinct personalities.

Are you looking for a great traveling typewriter? Or what about a large desktop typewriter that dominates your workspace? Drop me a line and I’ll do everything I can to make sure you get the typewriter that works for you.

For now, take a rest, prairie visitors -Sam

Why am I writing about Typewriters on Urbanmotifs? Well, just for the fact that  someone out there is restoring them for the love of the old and keeping them from ending up in a landfill. Remember, I love people who love their spaces!! I picked some of my favorite typewriters for this blog post  and they are from my favorite Etsy shops – BM Vintage and  Meedily and Eurovintage. These beauties can make a perfect conversational piece every time you have a guest at home.You can buy tem too, maybe type a story or poetry that has been dwelling in your mind for some time.

So, if you are like me, lover of type, typography, things from the past, or want to learn more about people – unique people, and the things they do, enjoy this post and please  comment on what you think of the typewriters. Will you have one on your wishlist some day??

Vintage bright orange – BM Vintage

Yellow Triumph Adler - EuroVintage

1930's Remington

Kasbah Morderne ( recently had a sale on and I picked  one from their site as well. Chase Gilbert, Co-Owner of Kasbah Morderne says “I love typewriters! I love the tactile experience of writing with truly in-obsolete technology. In these days of scatter-brain thinking and an obsession with Control V and Control C, the typewriter gives me equal parts freedom AND discipline”

Well said Chase, yet another reason for buying one of these beauties!!

I couldn't resist this one - source unknown

So, what do you’ll think?? I know the iPad is still on top of your wishlist, but give the typewriter a chance, place them on your desk, or a  shelf, collect them, or type a story. I would love to hear from you when you do!!

Urbanmotifs is now on Etsy

July 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

Today was really special!!!  Urbanmotifs finally set up shop on and my 2 favorite chairs are on sale. Remember my post “My green Polka dot book and door knobs”?  where, I mention tucking a piece of scrap paper into a brown envelope…Well, the little piece of paper was a receipt that said “paid for 2 antique chairs”. Restorng winged backs were part of my wishlist and I was making it happen instead of just wishing! After months of searching for the right fabric , I finally fell in love with these 2  designer fabrics that enhance the form of the chair so well. I named the chairs “Summer Breeze” and “Sea whisperers” inspired by Summer in Summer. Maybe I must say Urbanmotifs Limited Summer edition!! Boy, that feels so good!!!

I was nervous as well as excited the day I set up shop, the next morning I get a note from LittleAdelaideKate a blogger from Australia saying” Hello there, I wanted to let you know, I picked you chair to be featured in my blog today”  I felt so special and I thanked her for picking my chairs. Read more about Adelaide here and why my chair was featured in her post.

Sea whisperers – Salvaged and Restored from a store named This That and Other. I love this store and the owners, I get to know more history from them every time I step in to pick up some oldies!!!

The yellow chair has been quite popular on Etsy with 165 views, 12 admirers and handpicked into 6 Treasury Lists. The Blue chair was not very behind with 136 views, 7 admirers and 1 Treasury list, both have not been sold and are still waiting to be taken home. See my Esty link if you are interested in buying them!!

Oh, My client just sent me a picture of her Mother’s place  after she bought the Sea Breeze chair from me. We wish Cynthia’s mom all the best and many more wonderful afternoons with her grandchildren in Sea Breeze. Thank you Cynthia for taking the time to this you have been one great customer to work with!

Shipping Container – House tour

July 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve always wanted to feel the space and experience the excitement of living in a shipping container home. After a quick search on Google, I wanted to find out more about the shipping container home that was being built in Atlanta. I called a number I found online and spoke to a very friendly voice at the other end. George Runkle from Runkle Consulting was the structural engineer of the container home and I was thrilled when I learned I could tour the home when it was completed and safe to visit. A couple of months later, I called George later and asked ” Are we there yet?”.

I skillfully entered the address in my GPS and drove one Sunday morning to meet the team, George and owner Glen just outside the 2 shipping container homes that stood majestically beside each other on 442 Gartell Rd.  Glen was busy mowing the lawn, and getting the home ready for “Modern Atlanta home tour”. This was a big week for Glen and there was lots to be done around the home.

 I was lucky to be there, getting a tour from the owner and the structural engineer himself!!! I carefully tread inside the foyer of the container home and felt the space around me. I didn’t feel one bit, I was in a shipping container, the air was cool and natural light flowed into each space from the carefully designed storefront windows. The entire home consisted of a set of 6 containers , 2 stacked beside each other with a total of 3 levels on a raised basement that could easily accommodate 2 cars. The home was insulated with spray foam insulation and the air inside felt perfect. Glen explained the home had a “reversed plan” with living quarters on the first floor and the kitchen on the  upper floor. Glen decided to have the Kitchen and the hangout space on the uppermost level to take advantage of the view Atlanta could best offer.

Meet Glen Owner/ General Contractor of both the container homes preparing for the Modern Atlanta home tour

A paper lantern in the stairway/ foyer

A view from the master bedroom - see additional structural bracing on the right hand side

The master bathroom with sleek fixtures and double vanity

The million dollar view from the uppermost floor - kitchen and social living

The kitchen, I just love the backsplash and the sleek modern look of the space

Some details of the home:

Roofing material –  EPDM (Rubber Membrane)

Insulation – Exterior walls furred with steel studs, with blown in insulation  in between the studs

HVAC – Units are installed on the second floor and the duct work  was exposed.

Windows and doors – Store front windows and doors.

Stairs – Metal scissor type units.

Source: Runkle Consulting

Now that is something!!!

Strategically designed bathroom, I love every bit of the space.

The other container home, a view from the uppermost balcony.

See this home on Move Modern after it was ready for the Atlanta Modern Home tour. The home is currently listed for 425,000. Interested?

Walking out, I thanked Glen for  giving me a tour oh his home and had a lengthy chat with George and Kushka of KK Construction regarding another container project. This time it is a restaurant being built from containers on an old gas station site. I will be visiting with the team again very shortly and learning more about the project from the Architect – Dietrich and associates, Kushka – Owner/General contractor and George – Structural Engineer.