My client Jenny is in that familiar state of transition. You know, the time where your kids have all but left the nest and pursuing a life of their own but you’re too young to retire just yet. Currently in a townhome, they do envision this a temporary place until the next phase. Even then, they wanted to update and freshen it up to enjoy it themselves before any resale in the future. My sentiments exactly. Why wait until you are ready to sell before updating! Been there, done that. Do it now so you can enjoy it, keeping in mind what is timeless and sellable.
In addition to the typical repainting and kitchen updates, their furniture needed a bit of a refresh as well. They had a heavy, comfortable and still functional couch, arm chair and ottoman that fit there space just fine and they wanted to repurpose instead of buying something new at this point. The textured chenille couch was a dated gold tone and the microfiber on the arm chair and ottoman were worn smooth in spots.
The couch, arm chair and ottoman all required a bit of prep work before construction of the new slipcovers. Did you know that on attached back cushions there is a zipper on the bottom so you can remove the cushion insert? FYI, if your cushions are looking a bit flat or squishy, you can remove the inserts and refill them to give them more fluff. Check out The Slipcover Makers tutorial on how to do this yourself. With Jenny’s permission, I removed the back cushions and made templates with the old cushions to make new loose cushions. This was a first for me and I felt a little intimidated to cut off the existing cushions, but I followed some awesome instructions and all went well. The Slipcover Maker has a great tutorial on this process. I also cut off the skirt on the couch and stapled the skirts on the chair and ottoman to the bottom wood of the chair to reduce bulk so they would not interfere with the new skirts. With the newly deconstructed furniture I was ready to tackle the slipcovers.
For the armchair, Jenny chose a high performance, linen-look, washable fabric called Phoenician from Revolution Fabrics in a Toast color. It compliments the fabric she chose for her couch and the rug and other chair she has in her living room. A pair of arm covers will help extend the life of the slipcover and reduce the need to remove the entire slipcover should the arms get soiled. But lets face it, in a house without kids full time, it shouldn’t need to be cleaned often.
In addition to stapling the skirt to the wood base of the ottoman, I converted the pillow top ottoman to a solid ottoman by add a layer of batting and a muslin slip slipstitched to the piping. The end result is a clean and simple ottoman with a slipcover that can be easily removed and laundered.
Jenny chose an oatmeal colored cotton/rayon blend from Big Duck Canvas . This fabric definitely required prewashing in order to preshrink it for any future washing. It did wrinkle a bit but nothing an iron and a little spray starch or steam can work out. The back featured two zipper panels that line up with the bottom pleats to make it easier to take on and off yet still allow for a tight fit. The final result is a more casual updated sofa to give them a few more years.
I always try to learn something new from my projects. After tackling the removal of the attached back pillows, I am inspired to try this on my own gray microfiber couch and loveseat for a fresh update sometime in the near future.
I always think it’s neat when I describe a paint or fabric color by the feeling it gives me or something it reminds me of and then find out that the name of that paint color or fabric color is actually called something very similar. I’m sure this isn’t a coincidence.
By looking at this twenty year old eggplant colored loveseat you would think it’s seen better days. The fabric has a few rips in places and the print and color are dark and busy. But all you have to do is sit for a second on this loveseat and you will know why my client decided she had to give it an update.
Loveseat before in floral eggplant
original topstitched finish
The foam seat cushions have a down pillow top and bottom. Ooo-la-la. It’s so soft and comfortable. The back pillows needed just a little refresh with some poly-fill, but that’s it.
Natalie wanted to pull the colors together in her sitting room by finding a color similar to her window treatments, the print in her side chair and an accent color in her rug. She was looking for something with texture, neutral and easy to care for. We found the perfect shade of creamy buttery yellow from Revolution Fabrics called Grande Butter. Coincidence? I think not.
Though this high performance fabric is not “washable” like a slipcover would typically be, it is removeable for cleaning if needed. Revolution fabrics are inherently stain resistant and can be spot cleaned for most stains and if need be can even be bleached without damaging the fabric or stripping the color.
The original loveseat had a very relaxed, uncorded, topstitched cushions but Natalie wanted to go for something a bit more structured looking and so opted to go with cording in the same color, to outline the chair and cushions.
Arm covers for added protection
A set of arm covers to protect the arms, a couple of updated throw pillows and you have a “new” loveseat that pulls together the whole room.
What an impressive makeover and my client and her husband were thrilled!
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).
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.
Back Velcro Closure
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).