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Posts Tagged ‘home dec’

More on DIY Upholstery

One of my favorite blogs, Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business, has a post today that thoroughly details the process of making an ottoman from scratch.

Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business: diy: tufted ottoman, in more detail.

Adventures in Upholstery (Then and Now)

When I was about 23, I I discovered a discarded loveseat in front of the apartment building where I lived in Minneapolis. Snow was just starting to fall, and I knew that if I wanted to rescue the sweet little sofa I had to do so right away. (This was before we had to worry about bedbugs.) I ran inside and called a couple of friends, but no one was around. (This was before had phones in our pockets.) So I somehow managed to push/shove/lug the sofa around the building, in the service entrance, up a flight of stairs and into my apartment. Which, by the way, was the one right behind the tree to the left, on the first floor. It had French windows then, and the trim was painted green.

marcelle arms


I loved that apartment. But that’s another post.

I spent that snowy night tearing the damp tweedy fabric from the loveseat’s frame with a pair of needlenose pliers. The next day I bought a staple gun and a few yards of navy jacquard upholstery fabric. And somehow, using a potent combination of 20% skill, 20% proper and improper tools (including but not limited to a needle and thread, the staple gun and a glue gun) and 60% sheer determination, I turned that frame into a pretty decent little sofa. To this day I can’t listen to A Prairie Home Companion without hearing faint echoes of the thunk thunk thunk of the stapler.

I wish I had read Manhattan Nest first. Because this guy did something similar, and far better. He recovered an IKEA bed frame with cotton batting and an Army blanket. And he was smart enough to buy the automatic stapler.


An Anthropological Experiment

I know. I’m not supposed to like Anthropologie, because the owner-founder is a seriously right wing former hippie who has embraced capitalism. But I’ll confess: like most design-minded women of a certain age, I love the store’s upscale boho aesthetic and have been known to scour the sale racks for those drape-y linen pants I can’t resist. I may have dreams of turning their entire selection of French-inspired bowls into pincushions.

And now, this: decor8 tells us that twelve stores will be opening a Decorator Concept shop on March 24. From decor8, the shops will deliver

a unique experience that helps generate design ideas and support decision making, and the decorator shops in stores will have wallpaper swatches, rugs, curtains, printed information about products, and it will host regular workshops with design experts. Main categories such as curtains, furniture, hardware, lighting, rugs and wallpaper, will be helpful to decorators and the in-store shop will look a little different in each location and will serve as both reference and to spark creativity.

As if I didn’t already want to buy a hundred glass drawer pulls for furniture I don’t even own yet.

Of course what I am most interested in is the fabric. And for those of you not near one of the shops (which are listed in both of the blogs I linked to above and here), the online decorator shop launches March 17. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some swatches. Update to follow…

fabric or wallpaper?

Random related fact: Did you know that Ravelry has an extremely active group of knitters who recreate Anthropologie designs?