Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Recover: Or How Upholstery Changes Lives

Some parts of my life have stalled of late.  That is another story. But for a moment there it seemed like momentum was back on the menu; a little list ticking and forward motion and lights at end of tunnels and future plans and such. We plugged up the 'third door' in the lounge room.  We had a wall ... and no longer any need for the draught flapping curtain that had covered the gap since we moved in four years ago...(as much as I miss the theatrical way you could enter the room and all...). The gap, so my neighbour tells me was created with a chain saw.  That was the way the DIY rolled round here before we moved in.

So with a new wall, we could move the furniture around.  We could rejiggle.  So after spending the last 5 years thinking I really should have a stab at reupholstering the couch, I just did it.  I'd bought the fabric a while back - Outside Oslo by Jessica Jones.  I really wanted the 'Dawn' colourway but decided that with three smalls under 5 maybe 'Dusk' would do the trick better.
Sure ... the couch which we bought for 50 smackers when a lovely neighbour moved out across the hall in Sydney almost a decade ago ... sure it is not the midcentury model shape the fabric perhaps leans toward ... but it was jolly and an improvement on the stained and faded green it had become in its long and well-sat on life. You can glimpse it here ... in its previous life.  So I unpicked the cushions, used them as templates to cut from.  Saved the industrial plastic piping cord, googled piping and taught myself how to make it and insert it (this alone changed my life ... so easy ...who would have thought?)  But I wasn't a piping purest - I didn't cut the fabric strips on the bias (to save on fabric) and just did a bit of fiddling to make it sit down around the corners.

Then we kind of did the same for the body of the couch ... Duncan helped me here.  Kind of just started taking it apart and working out what order to do the panels in.  Then I just laid over the fabric and chopped it and then stapled gunned it into oblivion.  My remit ... it just has to hold together and look jolly.  We didn't take off the old fabric ... it had a worn pile which just added some more padding ... we didn't replace foam... we repaired the fabric bracing under the cushions.  

Spurred on by the upholstery success, one morning I woke with a spot of the stylist possession frenzy.  A transient condition where some woman appears to have taken hold of your senses - in the fashion of The Exorcist - and you start throwing around, willy nilly, terms like 'pops of colour' and 'draw together' and 'vignette' and 'on trend'  and 'that wow factor' like you actually mean it. When you just want one room that you can sit without thinking 'I really must get round to ...'  Maybe those of you in a constant state of reno (or rental) can relate?  Looking at 'House Porn' is my not-so-secret pleasure. Applying it to my own space makes me feel good.
So I gathered up my collection of mirrors that had been scattered throughout the house (Most of which have been bought from the wonderful Cathy, some dating back to our first months on the island... check out that butterfly one!).  We repositioned the priceless art collection and rearranged the ancestral artefacts. (Read: a life time of gifted and thrifted treasures - each one with their own special stories and memories). Then, on completion fell on the newly upholstered couch and felt like we should have blindfolded each other and had a big 60 Minute Makeover style reveal including mutual back slapping.
Sure ... I'm no Sibella Court...but the list on my fridge that reads 'to do' has a couple of lines through it.  And this stands a testament that I (albeit briefly) got some mojo back.

13 comments:

Kylie Hunt said...

Yah for you! It looks fantastic... I would never have been brave enough to recover a couch - you make it sound so easy but I'm sure it wasn't ;) It's amazing what a difference it makes having a space that doesn't scream 'pending' to you all the time :) Hope you can take time to relax and enjoy it, hon. Re: the other things going on for you: I hope it's all okay and not too serious. Kx

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Your butterfly mirror is exquisite, I love it!

Well done covering the couch. I had that on my to do list for, um, about 10 years. Then we moved countries, and the couches had to go (they were very second hand when we got them)

hideyo. said...

you are AMAZING!!

Mrs Smith said...

I think you are giving Sibella a good run for her money there actually. HOT! I tells ya, damn hot.

Fer said...

Just to complete something these days is a miracle in itself! I hope these little triumphs will keep the creative juices flowing. :-)

Isis said...

nice work on the couch! nice fabric picks :D

hey do you want another couch? we have a cute 70s three seater vinyl number (that looks a bit like a greenish orange chocolate bar) which we are gonna get rid of. super comfy, well as comfy as vinyl gets.

we're gonna give it away on FB but you get first dibs cos you got a tribe to seat :D it's in the store room at work, come check it out

Nettie's Blog said...

Gorgeous you clever girl you...LOVE the fabric and colours...it looks fabulous ..be proud of your talents...you have done good...

Loz and Dinny said...

Thanks, Nettie! It was actually quite fun! Thanks for stopping by!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Your talents are too numerous to mention !!
The sofa is gorgeous now and looks very designery with the mirrors . Well done !

Angie said...

That lounge makeover is amazing (piping and all!)

I'm feeling like maybe adding "empty the compost" to my to-do list just so I could cross it off was cheating!

ally said...

Love the mirror collection (a reflection of mirrors?)
Great work in the couch...the cats are helping ours get even worse before we start!!

iamyoursforever said...

nice blog xx :))


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Cameron Mahmood said...

Oh my, that butterfly mirror just caught my eyes! :) it looks good with all those matching upholstery items.