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

 

 

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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Decorating · Lakehouse · Sewing · Slipcovers

Bonus Chairs in Boucle’

I found these two chairs and ottoman for $100 with the intention of slipcovering them for my  soon to be finished bonus room/workroom/she-shed/study/escape room at the lake.  I was looking for matching club chairs that wouldn’t be too big but would be comfortable enough to snuggle up on and were in good condition.

Almost immediately after I got them home, I started to doubt my decision.  They “looked” stiff and uncomfortable.  I considered reselling them and starting over before I invested any more in them, but after further “comfort testing”,  I decided it was probably the  dark and “office-like” fabric that was getting under my skin.  If I found the right fabric, they might just work.  Since I’m a hands-on kind of person, I went fabric shopping so I could actually feel the fabric and drape.  I found a knobby textured yet soft boucle fabric.   It reminds me a little bit of terry cloth, but not snaggy.  Normally I don’t recommend upholstery fabric for slipcovers as it is harder to sew, doesn’t have the drape of natural fibers, and isn’t machine washable.  Since these chairs had very simple lines, would be in a room with very little traffic and I wasn’t planning on removing them to wash them, I didn’t think this would be a problem.  I planned to Scotch Guard them as well.

I chose a neutral color so I could accent them with pops of seasonal colored throw pillows.   A tan velvet piping  and two-inch velvet band on the bottom gave the chairs even more softness and elevated these chairs to another level.  I LOVE them.

I think they turned out great and now meet all my criteria….matching, comfortable, soft and versatile.    My plan was to use these as the fall/winter slipcovers and make something lighter and “lakey” for the spring and summer (stay tuned).   That’s the beauty of slipcovers.  You can actually change your mind and recover them if you get tired of the fabric or just want to change things up by the season or your mood. 

If you are trying to decide if slipcovering is right for you, checkout one of my favorite blogs and inspirations,  The Slipcover Maker to know when it is a good idea to go with a slipcover and when it is not.  detailsbydenise_3x5-smaller

 

 

 

Decorating · Lakehouse · Sewing · Slipcovers

Wings & the Test of Time

I never considered myself the “wingback” type, but for an affordable $35 it seemed like a good buy and would help fill an empty room in our new home twenty one years ago.  The seam on the pink cushion is busted but other than that it doesn’t look much different today than back then.   The chair served us well for the next twenty years by just moving it around from house to house and room to room whether it be a bedroom corner, a music room, a study, or a nook in my kitchen.  But over the years, my taste in color, style and fabric also changed.  

This chair had been through the sea-foam green and dusty pink decade and then with the help of a slipcover, went on through the gold and burgundy years .  It would not only be my first piece to slipcover but later served as my inspiration for Details by Denise.  I found an inexpensive home décor fabric, a slipcover pattern, some self-motivation and eventually finished it.   These days I am feeling a lot more neutral…with a touch of blue.  So, with a new spot for it in a corner of my lake house bedroom, it was time for a new slipcover. 

I have always wanted to try a fabric combination and wingback chairs are perfect for this concept.  I picked out a two-toned brown striped linen, and a blue and brown plaid.   I had two challenges…. dealing with stripes and matching plaids.  I made the cushion with plaid on one side and stripe of the flip side to change it up if I wanted to, but I really like the look of the plaid.  I only have one wingback but I am sort of partial to it.  I can’t bear to part with it, so I guess I will keep reinventing it as my mood or colors changes.

You can never go wrong with something neutral for slipcovers for the most versatility, but sometimes you just want it a little unexpected and interesting.  You could consider using old quilts, chenille or matelassé bedspreads, ticking or drop cloth for parts or all of your slipcover.  Pinterest is a wonderful place to search for ideas. 

If you have ever wondered about slipping a piece that needs an update, I would love to help you design it and make that thought a reality.  Now is the time if you want it done before the end of the year.

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Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Tickled Pink

My client has an eye for flair and design and was constantly drawn to blue and pink. The blues are navy, bright and bold, creating a contemporary yet fun and inviting atmosphere.  The pink is fuchsia or dark pink in small pops mainly from accessories such as pillows, flowers and pictures, but enough to make a statement and draw you in.

 

 When she wanted to change her two side chairs  in her front room she  tried painting them blue.  Not impressed with the outcome, but not willing to give up on finding a way to salvage and reinvent the two comfortable chairs, she decided on another option, slipcovers.   Initially she imagined white chairs with blue trim.  Though it was what she always envisioned, her gut was saying to step out of the box and be a little daring. 

Sometimes it just takes time and patience for the piece of inspiration to present itself.  It could be a picture, a pillow or some unexpected element that inspires you.  For my client, that was a beautiful rug she found at Homegoods for her kitchen. It was from this rug that she got the idea to trim the chairs with fuchsia.  I totally agree!   IMG_3547

There are endless possibilities with slipcovers depending on your fabric, trim, back and hem details.  If you can dream it and have the inspiration, I can help make that vision a reality.  If you have a piece or two you have been thinking about, let me know how I can help. 

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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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Crafty Things · Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Bathroom Rejuvenation

When you buy a house (not new) your imagination runs wild and free on big plans to remodel or update.  Initially I dreamt of gutting the basement master bathroom, replacing the huge shower, painting the vanity, doing something with the mirrors, maybe change the floor and add a soaker tub.  If I was a true do-it-yourselfer, that wouldn’t be too far out of reach.  That was my initial vision.  As other more important projects took a hold,  my initial plans for that bathroom soon became less important and cost-effective. But there still were a few issues I had with the bathroom.  This bathroom had no windows and felt cold, nothing a little creativity, paint and a sewing machine couldn’t fix.

I decided on a spa theme.  We had put in a hot tub earlier in the year and I thought this bathroom would a great place to change, grab a robe, and some flip-flops and get ready to relax. So piece by piece, issue by issue, I went to work.

Floor:  Since tiling was out of my comfort zone and budget in terms of time and money, I knew finding the right area rug would be a better option to address the plain cold tile. It would probably be the single most expensive fix for this bathroom and if I found the right rug the other pieces of my design puzzle would fall in place.  I found this natural fiber braided 8×10 rug at The Home Store. I love how it lifts up the room, is warm on the feet and pulls in the natural cabinets and blue color (bonus…its reversible!)  And because this rug compliments the vanity perfectly, I was no longer compelled to paint the vanity. reversible area rug

Paint:  Once I had the rug, I knew I was sort of limited in my choices of paint colors.  I didn’t want to go neutral as that would be hard to pick the exact color to go with the vanity/floors.  I really just wanted a warmer shade of blue than what was currently on the walls.  I decided to go with Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue but not after trying out all the different shades of blue that I already had in samples of several walls of the room.

Mirrors:   I never understood the choice of the mirrors over the vanity. The beautiful round mirrors had a rich wood tone that, in my opinion, clashed with the vanity.  So I painted the mirrors the darkest color on the paint strip (2 shades darker than the paint on the walls) and then hotglued a rope around the indent in the mirror.  Instantly nautical and coordinates perfectly with the vanity and rug!  Yay, three pieces of the puzzle were done.

Wall Mirror.  There were still a few things I wanted to do to cozy up the bathroom. I’ve had this big red/gold mirror for thirteen years and love it, but did not have anywhere in my entire house that it “fit”.  While still in my creative painting mood, I decided to paint this piece as well.  So I taped off the mirror with plastic, deglossed the finish, put a coat of the blue paint and then embellished it with some leftover tan and cream-colored paint I had.  Not too bad!  I looks fantastic laying up against the wall as you enter the bathroom, compliments the rug, vanity and mirrors yet doesn’t overpower the room.

Seating.  Besides the toilet, there was no place to sit and change.  The room was certainly big enough to accommodate something.  I stole a black vinyl bench from my daughter’s bedroom, with her permission.  It would be the perfect fit for another big wall in this bathroom.  Of course, the black wouldn’t do, but nothing a slipcover couldn’t cover up.  I looked for the right fabric, got many samples and in the end, used a bleached drop cloth.  I made a floor length pleated  cover  with a separate boxed and tufted cushion.  I am so glad I went a little wild and used a tan ticking for the boxing. It again pulls the tan out of the rug and vanity. It is so comfortable sit down on too while you get ready for the day or the hot tub.

Room Divider.  We had purchased this room divider for another purpose earlier in the year but wasn’t being used to it’s full potential, so I stole it for another room.  By placing it in front of the commode area, you now have a bit more privacy in case there is more than one of you in the room at the same time. It also is great to hang a towel on for the shower, and once again breaks the room up a bit and adds more of the warm  natural tan color.

Accessories.  A few serene pictures, a spa candle, new coordinated towels, sample size products for guests in a pretty jar finishes this room off.   I find myself wanting to visit this room because of the relaxing feeling it gives me. Isn’t this what we want every room to feel like? 

Shower.   The  shower is still big.  Theres no getting around that.  I jazzed it up a little by adding some green glass jars on the shelf to bring the color upwards. For something whimsical, I placed a little mermaid on the shelf (my granddaughter Addy loves).  I stole an idea from Pinterest regarding the shower rod with hanging baskets spring-rodded between two walls of the shower. It worked great unless you overload the baskets.   I really like the idea and so will work on a more permanent solution that is similar.  The last piece of the shower that I would love to do is a smooth stone shower floor.   I have one in my master shower and it is heavenly.  The smooth roundness of the natural stones feels so rejuvenating on your feet.  This will definitely be added to my winter project list. Eventually I will carry this serene feeling into redoing the master bedroom that this bathroom is attached to. I just need to get inspired by something and right now the lake is calling me!

Spa-a-a-a-h.

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Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

From Drab to Fab

I have to admit when I was asked if I could slipcover over these Arhaus chairs, I wasn’t sure it would work. With the attached pillow-type curved back, I knew it would be a challenge.  I took that challenge and was determined to find a solution so that my friend could get updated chairs to put in her room.

I decided to make a partial under-slip for the top part of the chair to smooth out the back first.  Then I could treat the back as normal. It ended up looking similar to a wingback.  Easy-peasy.

My client decided on a Robert Allen print that would work well with her floor rug, compliment her brown leather couch and give the chair a fresh updated current look.  The print would also work well with the décor and fabrics in the adjoining rooms so if she wanted to move things around they would look great no matter where they landed.  IMG_0257

So with my scissors, pins, and bobbins all loaded I began the transformation.  I was antsy to see the end result.   But slipcovers are a patient and methodical process….there would be no races on these.  There was a lot to match and think through.  Because of the directional print with a repeat, I had my client order extra fabric. I had to be very careful in cutting my pieces and matching.  I wanted to match as much as I could not only on each chair singly but in relationship to each other and from the back view to give the chairs a professional clean and upholstered look. I think I achieved that.

Things were coming together great when we had a tornado warning and a two-hour power outage in the last couple hours of work.  So the dogs and I hunkered down in the basement, with the slipcovers, trimming and clipping seams. 

Initially we thought we would do a Velcro closure on the back, but with the extra tuck in and small “wings”, I was able to make a solid back for a cleaner very fitted look.  You just slip it on, position it, tuck, smooth and wallah! You can hardly tell it is a slipcover.  I am so happy with it and hope my client is too.

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Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Cottage Chair Facelift

This cute little cottage upholstered wingback chair came to me with a desperate need for an update.   It was a chair my client had in her stall at the store “Reclaimed” at Smith Mountain Lake.  It just wasn’t selling in its current state.  It was a little dated and very definitely a Victorian shabby chic cottage style.  She provided me with a large drop cloth for the job. img_8274

Not all drop clothes are created equal.  This one (Sibiu brand) was a blend of cotton and polyester. It did shrink a little but not near as much as the 100% cotton drop clothes I had worked with in the past.  It also did not ravel or wrinkle as much, didn’t have as much stretch, ironed beautifully and was easy to work with. 

Normally a wingback would take about 9 yards of fabric, give or take, but this chair did not have a separate seat cushion, thankfully.  I was a little worried I wouldn’t have enough fabric to do the job especially since she wanted to have a gathered skirt.  I decided to be very methodical about this before doing any ripping or cutting of fabric to be sure I would have enough and if not, that I could get this same drop cloth somewhere.   The large drop cloth had a seam down the middle, which I proceeded to rip out, essentially giving me two  69×100 pieces, which was just easier to handle.   I graphed out the two pieces and measured all the pieces of the chair in rectangles that I would need to complete the chair to include a gathered skirt.  img_8634I then started to draw out the rectangle pieces on the graph paper, using up every space in the most efficient manner.  I am so grateful I did this, as it saved me a lot of time, guessing, 2nd guessing and most importantly, I had enough fabric….barely.  If I made a mistake, I would be screwed.  I was not going to make a mistake.

Once I had all the rectangle pieces cut, I was on to structuring of the chair cover. 

I finished most of the chair the first day and spent the next day on the gathered skirt and finishing details of trimming and finishing seams, clipping corners, clipping threads and adding a tie detail to the back skirt. I always feel like I am giving my slipcovers a hair trim at this point.

Here are the before and after pictures.

What a transformation!  It’s like it went to a salon and got a whole new makeover.  If it could talk it probably would say it feels ten years younger and ready to take on anything. The creamy drop cloth fabric worked beautifully for this chair and now this chair can be the perfect accent in any room regardless of the color scheme.   The best part is it is completely removable so it can be thrown in the wash if need be.

I think Kathy loved the chair so much she decided to keep the chair for herself. Until next time, do something creative!

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Crafty Things · Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Room Transformation

(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!

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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!

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