I can definitely tell it’s January. Once everything is neatly put away for the next ten to eleven months for Christmas, things are looking a little stark. With this clean slate, you start to reimagine a space and want to fill it with something new. Everyone is thinking about refreshing, renewing and (applaud)…repurposing.
Before Christmas I picked up this beautiful and comfortable second-hand chair from a client that she found for a steal. It could definitely slide into any decor with its creamy solid fabric that was still in excellent condition with very little wear or soiling. But sometimes you just want a little more. That’s where I come in. Emily didn’t have to think too hard about what fabric she wanted. She had already used this “Fawn” printed fabric from Hobby Lobby on some dinette chairs seat cushions.
It washes beautifully with very few wrinkles so if need be, she can remove it, wash it and slip it back on. The print and color fit perfectly into her beautiful neutral color scheme that is throughout the main level of her home.
This chair had a couple of questionable design elements to consider, the large scrolled arms and the attached back cushion. My client wanted to keep the casual look of the arms so I created a slipcover with tucks around the arm curve and with the help of self-cording, followed the flow of the side.
The other challenge was what to do with the attached back. I had two options. 1. Detach the pillow case, leaving a fabric hole in the back, though it would be covered with the slipcover. 2. After removing the pillow case with stuffing (did you know that there is a zipper on the bottom?), flatten the case and tuck into the back. I decided to start with the second option to see if that would work so if she ever wanted to back to the original fabric, she could easily do it. And it did.
Finishing the chair with a corded bottom really leaves the chair looking like it’s been reupholstered but with the flexibility for change and cleaning.
When I brought the chair back to Emily’s house this week, she had a space all ready for it where the Christmas tree had been. Once placed it was like it was always meant to be there and gave the corner of the room a subtle punch of personality. The nice thing is that she could still slide this chair into any corner of her house and it would look great and fit right in with her design.
Do you have a piece that you have been putting off updating? If you are wondering if it is a good candidate for a slipcover, I would be happy to help you decide.
Terre was on a mission to pull together her living room for her daughter’s high school graduation and the faded striped chair and fraying ottoman either had to go or get a redo. The Pennsylvania House chair was in good shape except for the faded fabric and dated red stripe that didn’t go with her new neutral and relaxed room.
Chair and ottoman before
The ottoman on the other hand was questionable. She wasn’t sure it was salvageable and neither was I. The top fabric had worn so thin that it had frayed. With my newly acquired samples from Big Duck in hand, we found the perfect shade of fabric. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t have the yardage she needed until after the graduation so she picked a second choice, a Bull Denim Cotton Poly Blend in Sand. It washed up beautifully with very little wrinkles. Although it was preshrunk, I was advised by the fabric company to wash it again as there still might be up to 3% shrinkage left. I didn’t want to take any chances as she definitely wanted to be able to wash the slipcovers.
With just four days until the festivities there wasn’t any time to waste. I went to work first on the chair. Following the lines of the chair, the fabric covered the red perfectly and felt so soft to the touch. We kept it simple with cording on the bottom to show off the wood legs. It would be a great chair to snuggle up on, put your feet up on the ottoman and read a book….or take a nap.
The ottoman took a bit of research and thinking. I mended what I could, pressed on a fusible interfacing and finally made a muslin wrap to pull the ottoman all together, hiding the top fix and giving it a clean start before making the slipcover.
Once I took the time to fix the ottoman, the construction of the cover was pretty straight forward. Again, we kept it simple with a corded bottom to match the chair. The cover fits like a glove and the new ensemble really brightens up that corner of the room, pulling it all together. And the best thing is, it’s washable! I’d say this chair and ottoman graduated with honors.
Chair and ottoman before
(Follow-up from “Inspiration” blog post)
Boy have I been a sewing maniac. Once I decided on the colors, fabric and layout of my repurposed dining room, I was off to the races. Initially, I was planning of using the plaid fabric to slipcover the chair, but for $25 a yard and needing at least nine yards for the directional plaid matching, I decided it would be better suited for throw pillows. I could hardly wait to start the transformation. In the essence of time, I worked on the structured part of the chair and loveseat at the lake house and brought the cushions back to NOVA to work on during the week.
Both furniture pieces were different from what I have slipcovered in the past as far as shape and structure. I took this as a challenge, one that I thought might kick my butt. But with a little perseverance and a lot of personal encouragement (my internal pep talk) I was able to tackle it. It went something like, “It’s only a chair…you can do this, you are smarter than this chair, you have the skills, just take your time”.
These are the “before” pictures…
These are the “after” pictures…
I made the two plaid accent pillows with blue denim piping, transformed a place mat into a pillow with a little paint and filling, made new blue denim liners for my baskets to put under the bench table and added my last year project of a crocheted Christmas tree pillow. It was starting to come together.
But of course the main inspiration for my room was the quilt. I finally finished it. I can actually cross something off my list from last January!
What do you think? I love it. It’s exactly the warm, cozy, comfortable, quiet space that I was looking for. You would never even know it was a dining room.
Spoiler alert….the little wingback chair in the background is a sneak peek of my first client project. Until next time, do something creative!