cushions · Slipcovers

Twin Chairs

My client had what looked like two very different chairs.   Obviously they had different fabric.  But one had a skirt and one had a corded bottom.  They also had different top pillows so they really looked like different chairs.

But once I took measurements it became clear that these were inherently the same chair.  What a perfect opportunity to take two different chairs and make a new set of chairs to place in the same room.   In order to do this we would use the same fabric, put a skirt on both chairs, and change the pillows to the same style.

June wanted something that looked like a linen but was reasonably priced.   We found this 12 oz cotton/rayon blend from Big Duck Canvas in an oatmeal color. img_2685  I see more slipcovers in my future with this fabric.

Typically I recommend you prewash your natural fibers fabric to take out any shrinkage in case you want to  wash your slipcover in the future.  This fabric shrinks about an 1″ on a yard (10-12%). Washed, this fabric has a more textured look rather than the polished sheen of the prewashed fabric and irons beautifully.  However,  June opted for the more polished look and did not want it washed.  Dry cleaning is recommended in this case to prevent shrinkage.

What a remarkable difference and perfect update a slipcover made on these two chairs and ottoman. These chairs just jumped decades into 2019.

It’s been a crazy busy couple of months and May is looking about the same. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love working with fabric, repurposing and transforming your (and my) pieces. Thank you everyone for being environmentally conscious and not just throwing away your still good furniture. I’m a little behind on blogging on all my projects but hope to catch up soon.

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cushions · Lakehouse · Slipcovers

Lake Stools Makeovers

A couple of years ago I purchased these fixer upper stools from the “Joyous Junque”  yard sale at the Catholic Church in Moneta Virginia.  I think I paid $20 a piece for them, my small part of the over $50,000 they raise and donate to various charities annually (click link above to read their incredible story). They definitely needed work but I saw potential and at the very least they would serve a purpose until I could get something else for my kitchen bar area.  

The first thing I did was spray them with bleach water, hose them down and cut off the nasty dirty vinyl flamingo pink cushions.   I wanted to be sure to start with a clean slate.   I took a wire brush and scraped away any loose pieces. After drying in the sun, I spray painted them with a creamy white. Spray paint was the way to go to make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.   A few paint cans and a sore trigger finger later, I was ready to make new cushions. 

First I made a template of the seat taking in to account the curved back and cut around the front legs.  I traced the template onto my 2” foam and cut it with my handy dandy electric knife.  Fun fact…I used to work at J.C. Penney when we first got married in the houseware department.  I bought it for next to nothing for our first Thanksgiving together and used it for 35 years! It has now been designated for my foam projects. 

img_1328I was pretty happy with they way they turned out but in true ‘Denise’ fashion, I got bored with them and wanted to change them up again.  A few blog posts ago I talked about Inspiration and how you never know when or where it will strike. Well, this past year I binged a bit on the Netflix series, “Grace and Frankie”.  What does this have to do with my stools, you say?  Well, Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) live in a gorgeous beach house in La Jolla, CA.   She had these slipcovered stools that I just loved and I thought, well, I can do something like that!  So that became my next inspiration for phase two of these repurposed stools.

I decided on this high performance fabric from Revolution, called Beauchamp.  It is washable, bleachable, lightweight but provides good coverage and drapes wonderfully.  It was also so easy to sew and work with. My biggest challenge was creating the template to fit the stools and match up the stripes.  The extra time spent on making the template paid off and the fabric had enough give for me to be able to match up the stripes without too much trouble and they drape perfectly.  To help the covers stay in place, I sewed two ties into the back seat seam allowance that tie to the back to side posts.  Invisible.

I absolutely love the way they turned out!   I guess the true test will be when my grandkids are back and they crawl up and down.  See, there is still some life in these old discarded stools.

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cushions · Slipcovers

Outdoor Living: Getting Ready Now

When I think of January, I think of hibernation.  I grew up in northern Minnesota and it was always the hardest month to get through. It was brutally cold, dark and “closed up”.   Hibernation, a period of rest and sleep, isn’t a bad idea considering we just went through an extremely busy holiday season.  Our body and minds need this period of decompression and reset.  And then just like that we wake up (usually around the third week of January) and feel renewed and ready to tackle whatever the new year brings.

Now that the cold dark days of January are behind us,  the days are getting a little longer,  and more importantly, Punxsutawney Phil hinted at an early spring, our minds turn to “springing” up our homes.   But it is also the perfect time to access your outdoor furniture and cushions.  Stores have replaced their seasonal spaces once filled with Christmas decorations with outdoor living.  If your cushions are sun bleached, worn or you are just over the color or pattern you might want to consider recovering your cushions.   Sure, you can purchase new cushions, but there are a couple of things to consider before you do.

FIT. Have you ever visited one of the bigger retail stores and walked down the aisles lined with colors and shapes of all sizes and thought, “surely this one is perfect” only to get home and find it is to narrow, too wide, too deep, too whatever?

I have. It can be frustrating almost to point of wanting to get new furniture.  Some outdoor furniture have cushions shaped to fit your unique piece as you can see in the pictures above.

FABRIC.  Not all outdoor fabric is equal.  One option is a less expensive outdoor polyester fabric that comes in all kinds of prints and colors.  Since the UV rating is lower this fabric would not be ideal for cushions that would be in direct sunlight but would be a good option for accent pillows. But even in this category of polyester fabric, there are exceptions and new brands are coming out with better UV ratings and construction processes that make them better for outdoor cushions.

The color and print are stamped on the fabric after the fabric is made therefore making it more prone to wear and fading a lot faster so in time the color will fade and look dull.

If your cushions will be in direct sunlight, you should consider upgrading to a Sunbrella or Outdura type of fabric in a solution-dyed acrylic fabric.

The color and pattern are actually woven into the fibers as the fabric is made making it a perfect long wearing fabric for outdoor cushions.  You can tell it is a solution-dyed acrylic as the print and color are actually visible on both sides of the fabric.

The take away is that every brand has its own manufacturing process and the warranty, UV rating and fabric rub rating should be considered in your unique situation and use.   In the long run, the little extra money you spend will be worth it.  So now when you look at the store-bought cushions tags, you will know the difference between polyester and acrylic.

If you have cushions that need updating and purchasing new cushions isn’t an option that will work for your furniture, you might want to consider having custom cushions made in the exact fabric, fit and style that you want.  Now is the perfect time to start the process so they are ready when you are to get outside.

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cushions · Slipcovers

A Squirrely Scenario

Squirrels.  They can be fun to watch with their jerky little movements and bushy tails, nibbling on acorns that have fallen from the trees.   We almost even resolve to the fact that they will eat the bird food from our bird feeders, though not without a fight and attempt at so-called squirrel-proof feeders. But who would ever expect them to start nibbling and tearing up our cushions?   That’s exactly what happened to Dawn. squirrel damageBeside the squirrel damage her cushions weren’t in bad shape considering how long she has had them.  The original Sunbrella fabric in a darker golden brown color held up well in the elements under her gorgeous covered outdoor patio.  The metal frames of the furniture were still in excellent shape so it made perfect sense to replace the cushions. 

Dawn found the perfect fabric, Sunbrella Posh Oats, a lighter golden herringbone design.  Staying in the same color family, the fabric has the right combination of texture, design, and color that will be comfortable, timeless, compliment her outdoor stone and hold up well in the elements.

I like a good challenge and the ottomans in this job gave me just that! They had a unique structure that allowed them to snuggle into the ottoman frame to hold them securely in place with feet movement.   I simply deconstructed the original, made a pattern and recreated the same design.   The biggest challenge I found was wrestling the foam insert back into the new cushion covers.   What a workout! Challenge accepted and complete.  

Nestled in her beautifully landscaped backyard with a natural wooded backdrop, the outdoor fireplace and babbling water fountain invite you to sit a bit to enjoy the birds and breeze.

  With these new cushions you might just not want to go inside.  

Until next time,

Denise

 

 

cushions · Slipcovers

From Weathered to WOW at Willowsford

The Willowsford Lodge community center in Aldie, VA is so beautiful I could actually live in it.  It’s architecture and décor are modeled after a large rustic lake house with hardwood floors, wood beams, leather chairs and couches with cozy afghans, deer antlers, botanical prints and a kitchen to die for.    That’s probably why I fell in love with it and almost bought a house there a few years back.

 

Step outside and you walk into a large covered patio with a stone fireplace and tables, couches and a grill  for entertaining.  It would be a great venue for a wedding or party.07E7A44A-7DF3-49B7-9B68-C93FEB69466C And then you see the cushions.  (add sound affects….”brakes screech“).

 

As luck would have it, I recently reconnected with this beautiful community center and was asked to recover the cushions.   They would need a lot of work, as the foam in the cushions was compressed, stained, and crumbling and the back cushions needed a lot of extra fluff.Foam fiasco!

We decided on a high performance outdoor fabric, Sunbrella Hybrid Stone, a natural looking heavier texture in a lighter gray/blue/tan tweed.   It is water, stain and mildew resistant, washable and bleachable!   Most stains and spills can be cleaned however with water and soap.  Check out the sunbrella_stain_chart to see how to treat common mishaps on your outdoor furnishing.

5A4DE119-1D34-45ED-833E-5CB413B6116B

It’s amazing what the right fabric choice can do.  Sixteen chair cushions were constructed with a Velcro strap under the seat to hold the cushions on in the event of wind.

 

The cushions were finished in time for the busy summer season ahead.  I’m sure there will be many drink and food spills, but with the right fabric and care, these cushions should withstand a lot for several years to come.

BA56B032-AE12-4220-AC70-F072C6B20600

Speaking of lake houses, I’m headed there this weekend to spend time with all my kids and grandkids celebrating birthdays, graduations and baby gender reveals! Wishing you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

IMG_1815detailsbydenise_3x5-smaller

 

cushions · Slipcovers

From Weathered to WOW at Willowsford

The Willowsford Lodge community center in Aldie, VA is so beautiful I could actually live in it.  It’s architecture and décor are modeled after a large rustic lake house with hardwood floors, wood beams, leather chairs and couches with cozy afghans, deer antlers, botanical prints and a kitchen to die for.    That’s probably why I fell in love with it and almost bought a house there a few years back.

 

Step outside and you walk into a large covered patio with a stone fireplace and tables, couches and a grill  for entertaining.  It would be a great venue for a wedding or party.07E7A44A-7DF3-49B7-9B68-C93FEB69466C And then you see the cushions.  (add sound affects….”brakes screech“).

 

As luck would have it, I recently reconnected with this beautiful community center and was asked to recover the cushions.   They would need a lot of work, as the foam in the cushions was compressed, stained, and crumbling and the back cushions needed a lot of extra fluff.Foam fiasco!

We decided on a high performance outdoor fabric, Sunbrella Hybrid Stone, a natural looking heavier texture in a lighter gray/blue/tan tweed.   It is water, stain and mildew resistant, washable and bleachable!   Most stains and spills can be cleaned however with water and soap.  Check out the sunbrella_stain_chart to see how to treat common mishaps on your outdoor furnishing.

5A4DE119-1D34-45ED-833E-5CB413B6116B

It’s amazing what the right fabric choice can do.  Sixteen chair cushions were constructed with a Velcro strap under the seat to hold the cushions on in the event of wind.

 

The cushions were finished in time for the busy summer season ahead.  I’m sure there will be many drink and food spills, but with the right fabric and care, these cushions should withstand a lot for several years to come.

BA56B032-AE12-4220-AC70-F072C6B20600

Speaking of lake houses, I’m headed there this weekend to spend time with all my kids and grandkids celebrating birthdays, graduations and baby gender reveals! Wishing you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

IMG_1815detailsbydenise_3x5-smaller