Crafty Things · Slipcovers

Sunroom Makeover

The sunroom of this repeat customer just underwent a makeover, piece by piece.  A couple of years ago I slipcovered the little yellow slipper chair in the bottom right corner, along with two yellow accent pillows.  Recently she had a couple of chair cushions recovered for her sunroom.  They went from a faded red stripe cushion to a taupe/gray buffalo check.  We also replaced the crumbling foam to give them new life.

It’s a nice balance between farmhouse and a classic modern trend.   With the new cushions and the yellow slipper chair complete her loveseat felt a little left out still in it’s red stripe. 

Toni and her husband decided to go with a solid stone-washed canvas in a charcoal grey.   This beefy heavy weight canvas from Big Duck Canvas was prewashed to get out any remaining shrinkage.  Because it is a blend it also did not wrinkle very much at all.

Design details included a French style seam on the back of the chair and cushions.  The width of the fabric was over fifty-five inches, the length of home decorating fabric.   So this decision was partly due to that and partly due to a design factor. It was just enough to break up the gray and give it some interest.

A skirt on the bottom of the loveseat with similar pleats covers the existing pleated skirt.  A placket-concealed zipper in the center of the back allows Toni to easily remove and wash the slipcover.

We had just enough leftover buffalo check fabric to create a couple of small throw pillows to tie into to two side wicker chairs.   Toni wanted a big bulky zipper on the back that was not concealed.  In fact she wanted to have it be part of the design.

  I chose a creamy white colored coat zipper with metal teeth and stitched it so that it showed on the charcoal colored back of the pillow. A fun little tassel finished the look (it looks green in this photo, but I promise it is gray).   Sometimes it is all about the details.  Now she has a beautiful sunroom that exudes a calmness with the gray loveseat, a little break and interest with the buffalo check cushions and the  just the right amount of yellow to warm things up just in time for the warm weather.  Do you have a favorite color that draws you in?

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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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Decorating · Slipcovers

From Good to Better

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.img_0601

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.

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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.

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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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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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Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Have cushions, will travel.

Here is another example of a great patio furniture set that was in desperate need of a cushion update. The fabric was faded, worn,  stained, dated and basically just needed an update.  Because all of the cushions are custom fitted to this furniture with rounded edges and shaped to fit each piece perfectly, it made sense for Jessica to have new cushions made instead of buying ready-made.

Not only would they fit better, she could pick the exact color scheme she wanted in a fabric that would stand up to several years of wear and tear, dogs and kids.  Jessica chose a Sunbrella fabric in Cast Shale with a Sunbrella canvas black for the piping contrast from Decorativefabricsdirect.com. 

Though Jessica lives in PA, she travels back and forth to northern VA for business periodically.  So she loaded up her vehicle with the thirteen cushions.  After making thirty five yards of piping, I began work on the custom cushions for a three-seat patio couch, two-seat loveseat, side chair and ottoman.

This fabric was a dream to work with.  It was lightweight, non-directional and the same on both sides. What more could a  slipcover girl ask for?  It’s also easy to clean, durable, and a solution dyed acrylic that resists mildew, stains and fading. What more could a family with an active lifestyle ask for?

I have a busy month ahead with more cushions, twin chairs, a loveseat and swivel rocker all waiting for their chance to get redone.  If you have a special piece you need done for the holidays, now’s the time to start planning.  Give me a call. 

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