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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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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Creative Things · Decorating · Organization · Sewing · Slipcovers

March Home Projects

March felt more like winter than February, but nonetheless, spring is officially here!  But with spring comes the urgency to get things done before the lazy hazy days of summer are upon us. I get motivated to clean, organize, sew, and decorate. Check out what’s been happening in my happy place.

Cushions, Pillows and Chairs….oh my!  My porch cushions were in desperate need of new cushions.  Not only were they dirty, but the fabric had started to tear.  I figured I could get a few more years out of the cushions before actually replacing them so I found a pretty cherry red fabric that would feed my soul for my red obsession.   Since I’m so willy-nilly with commitment to fabric and upholstery, I wanted a solid color so I could change it up at will with throw pillows.  I accented the chairs with lumbar pillows made with a Solarium outdoor fabric in a boat house print.

Homage to Cows      The SML area is surround by the most beautiful farmland I have seen in a while with lots of cows.  It reminds me so much of growing up on a farm (minus the hills). I wanted something fun to redo the cushion on this antique rocker I found at an estate sale so  I found this fun 100% polyester fabric in a brown cow print from Fabrics.com.  It’s unexpected and I think goes with any decor in moderation.cow chair edited

Garden Decor Sprucing Up      A few pieces of garden decor were chipped and needed a bit of a sprucing up. Nothing a little spray paint couldn’t handle.  To achieve an aged patina look, I first sprayed the little boy with a black/bronze color.  I then took a cloth sprayed with a wee bit of green paint and rubbed it on areas of the boy to give him a whole new look.   I hot glued a little butterfly on his hand and it looks good as new!  I was so happy with the results, that I started looking around for more things that might need a quick touch up.

Bippity-Bobbity-Boo       In just a few weeks I will be heading to the happiest place on earth with my daughter’s family.  I wanted to make something special for my little princess, Addy.  She loves to dress up and the colors will be beautiful with her long curly blond locks and bright blue eyes. So, while visiting my grandkids and while they were napping I whipped up this cute little sundress full of Cinderellas.

New Accent Pillows      With warmer weather coming, I lean towards lighter fabrics that look fresh, clean and natural.  I found a remnant of this pretty blue linen-like textured fabric that was just enough for two throw pillows.  A little burlap trim and it’s done.IMG_0435

Spring Cleaning & Springifying      House chores and cleaning are always a bit easier to swallow if you can break them down by season and in manageable chunks so you don’t feel like you are spending your life cleaning.  After being shut in all winter, it is so nice to open the windows and doors before the pollen and heat come. I noticed some yellow film on outside furniture already so my time is running out.  So we opened the windows, cleaned the blinds, washed the rugs, dusted, cleaned windows, switched out front door wreath, cleaned filters, changed batteries, put out my spring decor, switched out pillows and throws, uncovered the lawn furniture, planted my rosemary and sprang forward.  The list is long and some things will just have to wait until next month because it is just too dang nice outside to work all the time. Happy spring y’all.

 

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