No words, just scroll and be inspired….Enjoy!
No words, just scroll and be inspired….Enjoy!
I’ve recently been covering an armchair for our living room. It’s one we’ve had for about 18 years (yikes), but it’s well made and if the cat hadn’t scratched it all up I probably wouldn’t be changing the covers either.
I’ve already covered one of the couches in our sitting room, and I want to do a post later on my tips and tricks to get the material cheap and make covers that last. However, as ever, I often get inspired to do a job by trawling Pinterest and there are lovely examples of upholstery details there – which have come in handy for inspiration for problem solving with style when I’ve needed it. I thought I’d share ten of my favourite examples here.
1. Buttons down the back to close and decorate
I love this, it’s so stylish and for a minimal amount of effort. Neither of these have button holes on them even, just loops, so it’s a lot less tricky. The one on the right I love especially because it reminds me of a wedding dress with the fabric’s pattern. So beautiful – this will always be my favourite detail.
2. Small pleats on the base
Coupled with the pleats on the arm’s curve this is such an elegant touch to a slip cover. Again a simple process with lots of style.
3. Pleats with coordinating trim and buttons
There are a lot of different design details here, but due to the monochrome pattern it actually manages to avoid being overdone. I think that’s one of the general take aways from this – you can include several elements, but make sure that they all blend together rather than standing out.
4. Coordinating coloured trim
What’s especially great about the one on the left is that if you’d bought a regular, inexpensive sofa and had wanted to add your own twist to it you could easily do this yourself.
5. Ties at the back
I’m someone who’s managed to avoid my button hole function on the sewing machine. Recently I’ve developed confidence in my sewing skills and I’ve been thinking more and more about giving it a go. After all there’s always some lovely person on Pinterest or YouTube who’s made a ‘how to’ to help you along – it’s how I mastered zips as I’ve taught myself everything I know about sewing so far.
As a result I often look for solutions that don’t use buttons as I’ve found they add detail, but without the fuss.
The other good thing about this example is that this style of closing mean that slip covers are easier to put on as there’s more room in them (that does mean more material too though).
6. Buttons to shape and decorate
Again these buttons have visual interest, but what interested me about the one top, left is that they’re also used to form a shape for the sofa underneath. Most sofas aren’t straight up and down and have some curve, so this is a way to ensure they don’t look too baggy and undone.
7. Complimentary fabrics
Sometimes you find a piece of fabric that’s beautiful, but way too expensive for your pocket. Or on other occasions you love it, but imagining it on the chair causes you too think it would be too much, particularly if it depicts a scene of nature – how do you make it work with the furniture itself?
This is a solution to all those problems. By using the expensive fabric in conjunction with a complimentary fabric you can reduce the cost, and allow the stronger piece to stand out.
8. Chinese knot fasteners
The fastener with the complimentary trim gives subtle detail to what would be a non-descript ottoman. Perfect.
9. Valances that make a statement or compliment the fabric
The valance on the left perfectly echoes the simple lines and curves of the sofa. It’s a little trickier than a regular pleated frill, I think you would need a pattern to replicate it. However it would be worth it.
The one on the right is far fuller, flowing and captures the romantic material of the chairs fabric.
10. Pleated corners
I talked about the pleated corners on the sofa above, but obviously they were only a few pleats. These ones though are superb. I love them!
Which ones are your favourite?
In this post I told you about how my itchy fingers had uncovered a beautiful stone floor in the dining room hidden under a brown carpet. Well the dining room is taking shape, but that doesn’t stop me from making plans for the rest of the house.
Our home used to belong to a local doctor and here in France the doctor’s surgery is often in the residence of the practitioner. It use to be two separate houseus, with the second, smaller houses knocked through for the doctor to use as his office. It’s this room that we intend to turn into a kitchen one day, with the current kitchen becoming the family dining room.
The ‘kitchen’ has a ceiling made from some kind of large tiles. It looks a little industrial to be honest. I’ve been wondering for some time what’s underneath it. It’s been jam packed with things after we moved and I’ve been going into it, selecting items, then moving them elsewhere for some time. Yet there was still lots in there and as the children are off school I decided I’d set about clearing as much down as I can (my thinking is, whatever I do in the house in terms of cleaning up they’re immedtaly going to undo, so I keep my cleaning at a basic level to save my sanity).
Whilst in there I decided to have a little look see and underneath these…..
there is this….
My plan is to carefully take it down, marking each section as I go, and then using it as a ceiling in the garage beneath my husband’s office. As there’s thick insulation as well as it should be of benefit to him there for keeping the heat in.
There are two things my mind is turning to now; whats underneath the laminate floor (many old houses have tiled floors) and what am I going to do with those beams. For the latter, of course, Pinterest is my friend. Here’s what I’ve discovered.
As the beams are already painted I’m going to have to stick with white as the idea of stripping all of them is just depressing. This is the first picture I liked with whitish beams, though the colour is a little too light and seems to be a whitewash rather than solid paint. But the pale green contrasting tongue and groove walls are great and add interest in a mainly white kitchen. The cupboards are fitted though and, although I’ve thought of buying second hand cupboards and painting them, this would still mean fitting the kitchen. However in the brocantes near here there are lots of old, freestanding kitchen furniture I’m starting to think this be an inexpensive solution.
These images aren’t of a kitchen, but as we want the family dining room next door they’re making me wonder what’s underneath that kitchen ceiling (mmm, I must go and have a look). I wanted to include the one on the right in particular because I love that stone floor. There are only electric heaters in the soon to be kitchen, and if there are no stone tiles underneath the laminate we’ve discussed laying our own with underfloor heating. It’s not too expensive and you can turn it on and off, so there’s potential.
I love these bench islands and I’m hoping to find something similar. Both of these kitchens are fitted, but I love the rustic feel of the baskets don’t you?
The island in this one is made out of an old buffet, and again the way the tongue and groove walls are painted with pale green looks really good against the beamed ceiling. A lot of the walls in this old house, like many in these ancient stone homes, are very uneven. So I know there’s no way I’ll be able to paint without a plasterer, which could be pricey.
As I’m sticking to a tight budget I’ll probably go for tongue and groove on three, if not all of the walls. The fourth wall, well, I’ll be interested to know what’s underneath the wall paper. Some rustic stonework? It could look pretty good having one wall with exposed brick maybe. We’ll see.
Back to finishing the dining room, the house front is coming together and I’m starting to add some touches to the front hallway. I know, I know, I should stick to one room at a time.
By the way, you can follow my Pinterest boards throw the link at the top of the page.
I’m coming to the end of decorating our dining room which, thanks to the fabulous floor I’ve found, hasn’t taken as long as I expected. The valance for the curtains I’m sewing our a little tricky and I expect they’ll take another week. Then I want to finish painting the cornice I’ve put up. Yes, that’s right, me – all be myself! I’ll tell you about it and the curtain valance later.
But at the moment their are daffodils outside our house; a sure sign hat spring is on its way. So my mind is turning to the front of the house and the plans I have for it.
As I said in my introduction to our French home the house front was not a selling point for me. I’d dreamed of something like this…
and got this…
Now, I’m one of those people who love, love, love to decorate. Since I’ve had my own money I’ve bought Country Living Interiors magazines and pored over them ,as well as any other similar magazines (two things to note here: firstly, I mean my first Saturday job money, yes that obsessed. Secondly Pinterest has saved me a fortune). So it wasn’t the lack of shutters or any kerb side appeal, I can do that, but it was the door. UPVC. No scroll iron work. Can’t paint it my own colour (little sigh, reminds herself that there are people actually suffering and we’ve just got our dream home).
I think you need to be wise with both your money and the earth’s resources; it’s one of the reasons why I post about up-cycling and repurposing. There are so many things just thrown out; better to invest some time in them rather than let them go on the scrap heap, yes? So no new front door.
Prior to buying our home we rented an old farmhouse to find out if we liked living in the country and an old house. I’m so glad we did, although I think that was more God’s design than mine as I was impatient to buy. Our dream of rural living was isolating with two young children and a second language to contend with.
The house was lovely, but it was ancient and the windows were weathered, wooden ones. We spent about 700 euros a month on fuel and as soon as the fuel went the house would freeze. Not a great way to live with two small children.
When we were waiting to move and I was pinning away, making my plans, I had lots of images of wooden, French doors on my site. I’d even made a deal with my husband that we’d get a new one. But gradually over time I started to reconsider; surely the money would be better spent elsewhere? If not given where God wants it to go.
Then when we moved; heat! Such luxury. The double glazing in the house has made such a difference to us in a cold, wet winter. I actually went ahead and ordered more fuel the other day as we’d moved in over Christmas and had only ordered a half load and I fully expected there to be an empty tank. I didn’t need the full load at all, unbelievable.
So I may not like the UPVC as it stands, but comfort and bank book is coming first and I’m making plans about what to do to get a more ‘wow’ look (I’m using a lot of the images I found or stored onto Pinterest, follow my boards for more ideas on the links above).
My plans had, of course, involved painting our front door various shades. However although I’ve researched painting upvc it’s a daunting prospect, so I’m sticking with the white. Nevertheless if you look at these examples a white front door doesn’t have to be boring.
At the moment not only is our door white, but our handle is too. Although I can’t get a black handle for upvc (I don’t think) the gold makes a difference yes? I can’t get the detail on these either, but I think that just the contrast between the door and the handle in conjunction with my other planned changes should make a satisfactory difference.
Again a white front door with contrasting hardware, but all of a sudden the lighting either side adds something, yes?
I’ve been hunting various styles on Amazon to give me further inspiration and they are relatively inexpensive. I’ve chosen brass, Victorian or Edwardian era styles as the house is so old.
To accompany these changes and the period I’m considering just a simple upgrade of the doorbell. Very inexpensive, but can add to the impact significantly.
I’d always wanted the metal grillwork of a French front door, but seeing this picture made me think I could have the same feel..
I’ve found this lace curtains or even this transfer from Laura Ashley that would reflect the period I’m going for.
Uploading this transfer from Laura Ashley to my pins led to similar pins emerging of decals for transfer windows. How amazing are these?
I love the ones with the street name as well. Very Sherlock Homes. Classic, not Cumberbatch.
An additional image gave me the idea for an iron mat.
I found this one, which I think is perfect..
Of course as well as framing the door with external lights I want to have some topiary, I especially like spiral clipped ones, but any good evergreen will frame the door well and add character.
I love that colour purple for our shutters by the way.
As well as specific topiary plantings I want to have additional plants along the front of the house. There are some areas that have had the paving stones removed from of the house, so I’ll be using a mixture of in the ground and planters to get this type of effect.
I can’t find an image of the type of purple I like, but you get the impression of purple shutters with this image
As well as the dark purple and colour scheme I like here (the greys I’m thinking of as the stone used for the house, the blue grass for planters, garage door etc).
We only have a letterbox at the moment, but I’m hoping to persuade my hubby to get one of these in the future.
Considering the door would have cost 1000s, and I would have wanted all of these to dress the house front anyway, I think I’m basically just upgrading the door with a handle, lace curtains, transfer and bell. So that will be about 100-150, not bad.
Any ideas? I’d love to hear them.
I just managed to get a secretary desk on the French website Le Bon Coin (like eBay, but no bidding). It only costs €20 and seems to be made of oak, there doesn’t seem to be any woodworm and it seems solid (except for a little gap between one of the drawer bases and the frame).
It has lovely details; here are some images below…
It obviously needs some work doing and I plan to paint. I’d also planned to cover the damaged leatherette interior, but as you can’t remove it this would be a bit hard. So I’ve turned to inspiration from Pinterest and these are my ideas.
I love all of these colours, although the top left and right look like they have a bit more technique then a quick coat of paint to them. I don’t mind this normally, but I’m planning to do something a bit special with the carved central detail, and as we have so much to do in the house then I want the main paint colour to be a simple task.
The bottom right image is simple and effective and the shot of the interior is making me lean towards copying that.
I love all of these interiors, but as I said above the pink against the ivory is lovely and would really suit my dining room where I’m going to put it. I do love that gold and purple though.
As I can’t remove the leatherette I’m going to have to look for other ways to deal with it. The picture on the left above is actually a stencil, and paint with a stencilled design could be a good option (maybe I can get that gold with the pink?!). The other option is to decoupage?
These gold highlighted details are both beautiful, I think that gold details on the ivory would work? The alternative is to do a pink exterior, with white details and a white interior?
The central, carved feature is crying out for a painted area, and I have actually handprinted roses on furniture before. The image on the left has the side panels painted too, and theres similar on mine. The greens not bad either. Mmmmm…maybe I’ll change my mind regarding the colour?
What do you think?