Sweet Sofa !

I am in the process of recovering my sofa. Make that SOFAS . . . as in I have four of ‘em. Well, technically I have a sofa that seats three and then a three piece sectional with a chaise lounge. The cat has decided that she does not care for the current fabric on the sectional and so has attempted to remove it herself. Hence the need to get it recovered.

I also love fabric and can not bring myself to part with the often beautiful pieces I have left over at the end of a project. I’m not talking simple synthetics or bits of broadcloth . . .I’m talking half meters of embroidered silk taffeta or supple soft suede.

And then I fold THIS chaise lounge by namedesignstudio and lemme tell you . . .my eyes got wider, my mouth dropped open . I am in LUST for this piece. But at $2,200.00 and $500.00 in shipping costs from Istanbul, Turkey (and unmentioned import duties and taxes), it is a little outside of my price budget right now. And only because I’m still looking at getting new drapes and having my dining room table refinished. Otherwise, it would be on the next flight home to me. Never mind that it would drive my cat bonkers.
So my solution is going to be to take all those lovely pieces of fabric I have left and create the same effect. In a slip cover. Not the frilly slipcover your grandma has in her sitting room with the ruffles and bows at the arm rests. No, a sleek, close fitting slip cover with button detailing and shaped darts that I can take off and have professionally cleaned.

Mais, c'est clever, non?

Mirror, Mirror on the wall . . . or floor, or dressing table . . .

Today’s clever trick is how to increase the look of your space without increasing your physical space. Confused? Think of a restaurant or a store that has mirrors on either side of the room. The space seems to go on endlessly. But yet the physical space may not be that big at all. Ah haaaa !Here are a few examples of mirrors I have found that would help you increase (and yet not increase) your space.

I have several large floor to ceiling mirrors in my home, and often guests remark "Oh, your place is so spacious and roomy!", when in reality it's not. It's about 1100 sq feet. Large by downtown living standards, but then I don't live downtown. Maybe my place just is roomy compared to their 400sq ft downtown dwellings. There is something to be said for not choosing to live downtown. But I digress . .

Back to the mirrors. The examples shown here are all either rectangle or square, but you could go with any shape. I particularly like the frames on these, and they illustrate how ornate and fancy-smancy frames can work with contemporary or modern furniture.

Another good source for finding mirror ideas is by searching on Pinterest (yeh Pinterest! my new favourite way to waste time!). I also found some great ideas on the websites lehuge and decorativemirrorsonline , but since both of these are based in the UK, shipping such a large mirror would probably end up costing more than the mirror itself. Still, it's nice to get ideas.

If you're handy, you could opt to build your own mirror. Local building centers and hardware stores have many choices of decorative crown moldings and baseboards to choose from. Decide the dimensions of your finnished mirror including frame, have the customer service rep cut the pieces on a 45 degree angle (or do this at home yourself if you have the tools and the know how.) the frame together, clamp, allow to dry, paint, stain, vanish, insert your mirrored glass . . . .eh, might be cheaper and less stress to purchase one. However, I will tell you from experience that transporting a store bought mirror this size presents its own challenges.

Whichever route you decide to go, a large mirror will add interesting detail and become a conversation piece. It is interesting how a room will look completely different when viewed in the mirror.

Beautiful Baubles

I love beads, I love baubles. And these beautiful baubles are created by the husband and wife team of Valentin and Patricia Hernandez; also know as Atlantis Glass & Bead.

Working out of their home studio in southern California for close to ten years, these two artists anneal their beads in a digitally controlled kiln. This helps ensure two things: the highest quality in their pieces and the beads' increased strength over glass beads that do not receive this special sauna.

These beads are made from borosilicate glass, which is known for its range of colour spectrum, clarity in colour and consistent strength, which all help to make it an ideal choice to work with when designing jewelry pieces than can be enjoyed for generations. Borosilicate also refracts light more readily than Murano or other “soft glass” mediums . . which translates as “more sparkle from your baubles” . . .

These individually unique pieces are best displayed with as little fuss as possible; a silver wire, an organza ribbon. They don’t need any other sparkle such as crystals or gemstones to help them stand out. And because no two beads are the same, nor repeated, you will truly be owning one-of-a-kind piece of arts with these.

For the purpose of this exercise, I chose a series of examples of their blue-green bead sets but Atlantis Glass & Bead offers a whole range of color options to choose from.

Let the compliments begin . . .