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Dream Home News, Issue #014 -- Quick Spring Makeover Ideas With Slipcovers
March 01, 2010
Welcome ...

... to your new (or your first!) issue of Dream Home Decorating News.
This month, it’s all about giving your home a fresh look for little (or no) money - with fabric, scissors, and a simple pattern.

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Thanks for joining me today, and enjoy this issue!
Renate Hering-Shepherd

PS) If the newsletter is difficult to read as an e-mail,
read this issue online.

  1. Publisher’s Note
  2. Featured Article: 'Slip' Into Spring!
  3. Legal Stuff

Publisher's Note

Spring is peeking out from under the snow ... and Dream Home Decorating is finally getting its long-awaited new look & layout! The transition is still under way, and pages can get a little wobbly in the process, but I do hope you
a) like the new look,
b) enjoy the new color articles (more's on the way!), and
c) don't come across any broken links during the transition process (please let me know if you do)!

Your feedback is, of course, very welcome - whether 'negative' or positive, it's all good. Your contribution will make this site more useful and inspiring for everyone in the future.


All the Best,

'Slip' Into Spring!

Paint and fabric are your best friends if you're hankering after a new look for your home but don't want to spend a lot of money.

Just two or three chairs in new 'dress' can change the face of a whole room. Add a lick of fresh wall paint, and your home's more than ready for spring!

No need to stop at the seating, either - you can rejuvenate, disappear, or re-purpose almost anything with the help of a length of fabric:
  • chairs (& parts of chairs)
  • stools, benches & garden furniture
  • sofas
  • cushions, pillows & bolsters
  • headboards and bed ends
  • (side) tables
  • shelving
  • containers of almost any size
  • organizers, folders & books ...
... dress 'em up!

Slipcovering is only one of many options. Here's a list of things to try:
  • hide a cluttered shelf behind a sleek roller blind
  • 'cloak' a simple table in a box-pleated, floor-length custom cover
  • turn a wooden crate into a coffee/bedside table, or into a footstool (for the footstool, add a cushion in the same fabric!)
  • present family snapshots in oversized, fabric-covered photo mats
  • turn an old cigar box into a velvet-lined jewelry case
  • hide your magazines in fabric-covered organizers
  • turn shoebox lids into offbeat, crafty picture frames
  • dress up a less-than-amazing table with a pretty fabric print, tucked and stapled into place underneath the tabletop, and covered with a pane of glass (cut to fit the table).
Ah, the possibilities! For a more in-depth example of the ins, outs, overs and arounds of fabric covers, let's look at some of the stuff you can do to a humble chair.

Sitting Pretty:
How To Dress A Chair

Let's assume you want to give a perfectly functional (and not necessarily pretty) chair a new look. What are your options?
  • If the room is small, you need 'leggy' furniture that allows the eye to see as much floor space as possible. In this case, it's better to slipcover the seat and/or back only, and leave the legs free. Consider painting the legs to match the color of the slipcover (or, use a contrasting color for effect).
  • If the chair has good 'bones', create a tight-fitting slipcover that models the chair's lines to best effect. For this, you need to be (or know someone who is) a dab hand with a Singer. Nowadays, there are more and more of these people around.
  • If you need elegant seating, go to town with fine fabrics, and add a bit of a flourish - piping, a big bow, a monogram, tassels or glitzy buttons down the back. (For a 'feminine' room, you could lace your chairs up like a modern-day corsets.)
  • To make a statement, try unusual fabrics: tweed, bouclé wool, tartan, real nettle, the good bits of an old quilt, a patchwork of used work shirts, or a strip of antique fabric.
  • To create a distinct style, try eye-catching patterns or interesting hemlines: a scalloped or picot edge, asymmetric overlapping layers in different fabrics, translucent or transparent fabrics. The latter can look great (with the right chair underneath), but most transparent fabrics are a bit too fragile for everyday use.
  • For a girly look, try ruffles: for example, make a fluffy tulle 'underskirt' for a short slipcover, or an elegant 'bustle' at the back of a floor-length cover. If you have plain slipcovers, add playful detail with pom-pom trims or beaded fringes.
  • To combine a set of 'odd' chairs, use the same fabric/color/pattern for all of them and adjust the shape of the slipcovers to each individual chair.
  • For a bit of variety, dress chairs of the same style & shape in different colors. (You'll find lots of color combination ideas in the September '09, November '09, and January '10 issues of Dream Home News.)
There, that's my tips for a quick spring update. I've just returned from a 2-week trip to Continental Europe, and my camera card is bursting at the seams. You've got a motherlode of European decorating ideas coming your way. Stay tuned!

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Legal Stuff

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Here's to a gorgeous home – yours!

"See" you again on May 1, 2010 -
Renate Hering-Shepherd

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