Slipcovers

Lovely Linen for Lynda

Lynda is in the process of redecorating her house and wanted to reuse a couple of comfortable chairs she had acquired from Calico Corner.  

 She was looking for a fabric that would blend in with other upholstered pieces she had and provide a classic fresh look.   After much consideration she landed on a beautiful Italian Viscose/Linen blend. 

I have to admit I didn’t know what Viscose was, so I did a little research.img_7291 Viscose, part of the rayon fabric family, is a semi-synthetic material manufactured from a plant-based material called cellulose.  It is typically made from woody plants, such as trees and bamboo.  Though it has many wonderful qualities such as being drapable, breathable, strong, inexpensive, silky and comfortable, it also has a few pitfalls such as being prone to shrinkage, wrinkling, and fibers that may weaken when wet or exposed to excessive light.  However, this fiber is best when blended with other fibers and is usually what you find in home decorating fabrics.  Linen, a natural fiber, is strong and resists dirt and stains, lint and pilling, abrasion, and moths.  This combination of linen gives you the best of both fibers. 

Some viscose materials can be machine washed on a delicate cycle, others hand washed, while some require dry cleaning.    I tested a yard of this blend and found that it shrunk almost four inches on a yard of fabric.  If you decide to take this chance it needs to be done before the slipcover is constructed or it will not fit!   It’s a tough call to make and one that only the client can make.   Since the supplier recommended “Dry Clean Only” for this fabric, my client decided to go with that.

Lynda also had a classic sea-foam green suede loveseat that she wanted to repurpose to a beach house. She decided to use the same fabric. This piece worked up beautifully.

Because of the single long nature of the cushion and no back cushions, and to work with the grain of the linen, I needed to seam the back, cushion and deck, just like the original upholstery. It actually added a nice design feature. The back seams were a perfect place to “hide” Velcro strips for an easy removal. Velcro sewn onto the piped bottom attaches to the underside of the chair, resulting in a very tailored and upholstered look. img_7397

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family · Slipcovers

Grown-up Rocker

Your baby is all grown up or at least out of the cuddling and rocking phase.   You’ve had  the sweet pink (or blue) upholstered swivel rocker that gently glided your little one to sleep for a few years.  It screams baby’s room but maybe it is now whispering “guest room”.IMG_3197

This rocker is a solid, well-built piece of furniture with probably a lot of sweet memories attached to it.  Wouldn’t it be nice to save that piece of furniture to keep and pass down for someone you love someday? By repurposing it to another room and with a new slipcover you can completely reinvent the rocker into a functional yet comfortable side chair for a guest room.  Jen moved her pink chair to a basement guest room with modern gray and navy theme.

We chose a denim-like 100% cotton geometric printed fabric from Hobby Lobby in the Property Brother’s line and outlined it in a gray linen piping.  I prewashed it to remove any shrink, just in case it ever needed to be washed.

A while back I recovered another glider similar to this for my daughter in a white bull denim cotton to put in the nursery for their newest arrival.  Here it is in the new room, new house, with my new granddaughter, Charlotte Anne.   Happy gliding!img_6065

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Slipcovers

Optical Illusions

How many of you remember the “Magic Eye” pictures from the 90’s.  The abstract-looking pictures you stare at it until you see the hidden picture?   No matter how hard I tried I could never “see” the picture.  I wonder what that says about me? 

 

 

For some reason I kept this book.  I thought it would be fun to take some of the pages and frame them for the kids room at the lake.   Now if they are “bored” (which by the way, is a word that no one is allowed to use at the lake), I can send them to the room to stare at the pictures. Ha!  This is leading somewhere, I promise.

 

 

Let’s switch gears a minute.  I acquired two of these blue velvet-like chairs for free. They looked liked an odd chair with the fabric covered arms and legs.   A little strange, but I figured it would all be covered anyway and since they were free I could practice on them  and  wouldn’t have much invested in them.

 Blue velvet "free" chairWhile visiting one of my new favorite fabric spots in Alexandria, The Fabric Place Basement, I found this cool linen like fabric that I actually had my eye on for a long time.  The first time I saw this fabric was at the Fabric Emporium in Warrenton.  It was showcased on a side chair as a slipcover and I fell in love with its wild side. But I didn’t have a project in mind for it. 3C17DB12-D440-4409-A0EB-1C4DF0304F4FMonths later I found this same fabric on clearance for $5 a yard at the Fabric Place Basement!  I snatched up 12 yards for some future project that was yet to be determined at that time.  Well, the two projects seemed to find each other.   This fabric would be perfect to try my hand at slipcovering these two chairs. It was lightweight, crisp, interesting and whimsical. With the simple straight lines on the chairs, these chairs would be a breeze to construct.  At first glance it looks like an easy pattern match, but once you step back from the chair your eyes can start to play tricks on you, if you OCD like me, and notice the “optical illusion” of the pattern.

 

 

To give your eyes a break from the zig-zagging pattern and to make it a little softer looking, I put a light brown velvet piping around the base of the seat. A floor-length corner-pleated skirt hides the blue legs and finishes the chairs perfectly.

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The slipcover gives the illusion of upholstered arms and really transforms these wacky blue chairs to an eye-catching statement chairs.  A colorful lumbar style pillow adds the perfect complement to the chair and gives your eyes a little break from the design.

I am officially on “baby watch” and am trying to position myself so I can be on call when my daughter calls me to tell me it’s time.   

Have a great summer!

Denise

 

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Slipcovers

Cushions in Cameo Cove

 It seems we sort of skipped spring and have jumped right into summer this week.  Thankfully Jamie thought way ahead (probably back in February when we had similar weather for a brief period) and realized she had to replace her cushions on her backyard porch.  You know when they get to the point where you just don’t want to sit on them anymore and something has to be done.  They looked a little greener, felt dingy and the cushions were limp.

She looked at store-bought cushions, but because of the unique shape of her furniture, she couldn’t find anything that fit perfectly and would hold up in the elements on her back porch.  She opted for custom-made cushions so she could choose exactly what she wanted in a quality high performance fabric.

Jamie, with the help of her husband (yay, husband!), picked a Sunbrella solid fabric in Echo Dune for one side of her cushions and a stripe Cove Cameo for the other side to reconstruct their cushions.  She also picked a solid melon fabric to pull out the tiny stripe in the Cove Cameo to use as throw pillows.  

The foam in the core of the seats that had completely compressed. New layers of an outdoor Nu-Foam perked them right up.

 With the dual sided cushions, Jamie has options.  She can have solid chairs and a stripe loveseat or vise versa.  The pop of Melon on the reverse of the throw pillows was a great choice for a burst of color in the calming taupe and peach combination she picked.  IMG_2664What a difference! With eighties and nineties expected for this week (and with the pollen season done) Jamie and her husband can now really enjoy sitting on their old furniture with NEW cushions. 

More cushions coming!!

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Slipcovers

Lake Rental Retreat Cushions

It’s right about this time of year when the weather starts the rollercoaster ride.  We totter1E00B65F-C436-48DE-9FBA-3269152D01D7 between seventy’s and rain and the chance of wintry mix.  The daffodils and crocuses burst through the ground as if to say “yay spring!”  We’ve put our holiday decor away and start to fill our empty-feeling spaces with spring wreathes, lighter pillows, and spring accents.  We clean, organize and get things ready in anticipation for the new season.  Yay spring! Our attention also turns to the outside, cleaning flower beds, raking remnants of leaves, pruning and taking assessment of what needs attention.

Carolyn is doing just that.  She uses this transition season to update and fix things in her fantastic rental property on Smith Mountain Lake before the busy rental season hits.   This year she wanted to update her cushions for her sunroom furniture. 4A566417-B9E4-47EC-ABC2-A06811DFEBF2

They were starting to look a little weathered, frayed, faded and very tired. 34d52ac9-3360-42ac-9cd5-02482d376f5b-e1519647797173.jpeg

She was looking for something with a little more “pop” and with a bit of a raspberry color to tie in with the wall color.  I think she nailed it with this floral Syla Multi by Magnolia fabric with a high rub count from U-Fab in Richmond, VA.  5f2abf60-8e43-4532-ad37-103a53072e4f-e1519609296627.jpegWhat is rub count? It’s a rating given to fabric in either a code or number ranging from delicate duty (DD) with rub counts around 3000, which would be appropriate for pillows and decorative purposes, to heavy-duty (HD) with rub counts over 30,000, perfect for family rooms with kids and pets.   The higher the number the better when it comes to wearability.  This beauty has a rub count of 30,000!

To coordinate with the beautiful, almost tropical floral, she chose this Peka Poolside teal color for her two side chairs.  It’s the perfect contrast and reminds me of waves in the water. 4a3f5f5c-8786-42e1-a2f1-f7575c7f0fb9.jpeg

Add a couple of new throw pillows done with the floral on one side and the stripe on the flip side, and you not only add extra comfort but versatility.7bdaedb5-b0a2-4c04-ac88-f5eb00da680d-e1519613632662.jpeg

What a perfect place to wake up in the morning with a cup a coffee and watch the sun rise and the early morning fishermen or kayakers….6faad949-5a94-4c40-a3c5-98be2cd3ab4b.jpeg

or gather at night with a glass of wine and watch the sun set.  I can assure you with the 180 degree view of the lake from this room, I would never want to leave.7699047b-f2ae-49c3-be70-f6c27a2c9328.jpeg

If you still love your outdoor furniture but all you need is a little update and refresh on your cushions now is the perfect time to do it.  Contact me today to find out the next steps.

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Slipcovers

From Freebie to Fresh and Fabulous

Have you ever inherited a piece of furniture that you felt obligated to keep but doesn’t fit your decor or color scheme?  Or maybe you found a chair for a steal of a deal (or free) that would be perfect if only it had a different fabric.  I have!  I admit I have a slight compulsion (addiction) with this.  I am constantly looking for pieces to rescue.  For instance, right now I have two blue side chairs, a couple of barrel back office chairs, and some stools I snagged for super cheap that I thought still had potential.  I am working on a couple of those projects now so stay tuned for an update on those transformations.

My daughter picked up this free upholstered rocker and ottoman from a mom’s group in Charlotte for the baby’s room.  It was in perfect condition, except for the fact that it was a pale yellow stripe and very dingy (if you zoom in you can see what I mean).

Before: yellow striped cotton
Before: yellow striped cotton

Of course, my daughter looked past the outer shell and thought that her mom might be  able to cover it.  So she hauled it to the lake one week, I got to work, and in a couple of days she was able to bring it home with her completely refreshed …the chair that is.

I chose a vintage white bull denim from Big Duck Canvas.   White, you say?  Of course! Don’t be afraid to go light with slipcovers.  This creamy soft white is a perfect color to coordinate with whatever color scheme you have.  Or if you are like me and like to change colors and move furniture around often, it will go with anything.

As long as the fabric is washable and easy care, you can simply remove it and throw it in the wash.   I preshrunk this fabric so it would  be able to be washed frequently. A pair of arm covers would be an added bonus to lengthen the time between laundering.

The ottoman and chair would be a great addition in their new house and baby’s room whether it is a boy or girl.  I can’t wait until July to find out!

Update:  This chair will be perfect in a shiplap and pink floral inspired room….(it’s a girl).

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Crafty Things · Decorating · family · Organization · Slipcovers

A Thankful Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to Me!

When I finally took the leap and “hung my shingle” a little over a year ago, I had no idea where this business would take me, but I felt strongly about doing something that used my skills that was also a creative outlet, allowed me the flexibility to work around my husband’s schedule, our lake trips,  family commitments and grammy time. This endeavor has been that and so much more.  As a bit of reflection, here is a recap of all the projects completed since I started just over a year (whew….I’ve been busy).

“Fresh Look” features a drop cloth slipcover for my dining room table benches.  With the move, they split up, one going to the foot of a bed and one in a mudroom.  After a year of reconciling, they are back together at the same table but in my basement (I move things around a lot).

“The Chair with a Purpose” was another drop cloth slipcover to prepare a comfortable chair to welcome my new grandson, Ben.  He is now 18 months old!  This slipcover washes up beautifully and with two little ones, that’s a necessity.

“New Look for a New Home”  took a chair that was perfect for one home but didn’t fit into the color scheme of our new lake house.  It is my absolute favorite chair in which I sip my first cup of coffee in the morning or can curl up on the later to take a nap.  It ‘s not unusual to see evidence of wine or ice cream indulgences, but it is easily  washed away.

 “Red & Blue” featured my two side chairs that got a new look for their new home and my red side window panels.  They since have moved from the upstairs kitchen to the basement.  We sold the pool table and now have a wonderful big space to play Mexican Train, cards, and other games.  This year I plan to have a big family dinner at the table in the basement in front of the fireplace which is getting a makeover (look for blog on this in 2018).

“Inspiration” & “Room Transformation”  took two pieces of furniture in two different colors and with the help of slipcovers blended them together so they could conform to their new home in a new color scheme.  This room is in the process of another transformation which should be done next year.

“Cottage Chair Facelift” turned a classic wingback into a casual and versatile side chair and used a large piece of drop cloth my client already had.  I just love being able to repurpose things!

“Coral Cuteness” highlights twin chairs that were in desperate need of an update in a fun color. The fabric was old and fraying but nothing a slipcover couldn’t hide. You wouldn’t believe they are the same chair.

“Unusual Useful Upscale” isn’t your usual slipcover.  This cool old mail cart can be used for laundry or  on a dock.  Wouldn’t it be cute to see it filled with  colorful Christmas presents?

My Home Projects are featured throughout the year focusing on the projects I completed in moving into our new lake home.  January Home Projects featured drop cloth curtains in a sunny guest bedroom, a pool table cover repurposing inexpensive red and black checked tablecloth, a nautical cover for a parson chair, and a nautical inspired bed skirt.  February Home Projects found me making a teepee for granddaughter to play in, a pillow bed, simple café curtains for our master bedroom,  and window toppers for our master bedroom.  March Home Projects included a couple of Disney dresses for Addy, a cow print faux fur rocker cushion, and a couple of pillows.  Bathroom Rejuvenation  showcases a small update on my basement master bathroom featuring a black vinyl cushion covered in a cozy slipcover.

 

“A Sunny Little Chair” was a fun and springy slipper chair that brought the sun and warmth right when it was needed the most in the middle of winter and features a flirty skirt and cute back button closure.

“Shades of Gray” turned a Florida set with light green fern fabric into a Virginia family set that can withstand kids and dogs in a trendy and versatile gray with blue accents.

“From Drab to Fab” was just that!  All I can say is wow. These two Arhaus chairs now say “look at me!”

Cushions by numbers.   I made 22 cushions in a teal Sunbrella for Mary,  2 bright green swing cushions for Pam’s lake porch,  16 cushions for a poolside seating area, 13 cushions for Jessica who brought me her cushions from Pennsylvania, 4 cushion sets for a cute iron patio set, and not to mention 16 cushions and pillows for my lake house.  All in all I made  77 cushions this year. 

“Ben’s Big Boy Chair” was my attempt at slipcovering a personalized Pottery Barn chair for Ben’s first birthday.  He still loves it and it still looks great.

“Graduation”  took a comfortable but worn chair and ottoman and totally brightened it up with a creamy colored bull denim blend.  It washed up beautiful and was ready in a few days just in time for my client’s daughter high school graduation party.

“White after Labor Day” allowed my client to turn two random pieces into a she-shed beauty complete with all the fluff and frills using a white Bull Denim.

“Tickled Pink”  took two twin chairs that had been loved and half painted and gave them new life.  The little bit of pink was just enough to give the chairs some personality and is a perfect accent color for this trendy client.

“Wings and the Test of Time” showcases a dual-fabric slipcover for a treasured wingback. Looking forward to trying out some other ideas such as chenille or an old quilt.

“Bonus Chair in Boucle” features two club chairsIMG_4415 I got for a steal to put in my new workspace at the lake house.  It should be done by the holidays! I can’t wait to get my hands of the space to decorate. Club chairs are easy to slipcover and so I see seasonal slips in the future….this time something a little more wild. I see a future blog early 2018.

“California Chair in Coral”  was my most recent project.  I can’t say how much I love the difference this slipcover made.  It made a California inspired chair into a Virginia sunny basement chair.

Thank you for allowing me to work on your pieces and welcoming me into your world through my blog.  I hope that I have either inspired you to try something new, go after your passion, and maybe look at an old loved piece through different lense before giving up on it.  Let me know how I can help. I am taking projects for next year!  What will we create in 2-0-1-8?

With a grateful heart, Happy Thanksgiving!

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