Thursday, January 05, 2012

Home Time

Hope the New Year has been kind to you so far. I've been enjoying a particularly long break away from my shop - I have found it very useful to just have some time to think about home, rather than the pressures of running the business all of the time.
I've spent a leisurely day taking down the Christmas decorations for another year...

Whilst storms raged outside.
I've been creative too...
A friend of mine decorated my Christmas present with dried hydrangea heads...So I saved them and used them to make this simple wreath. I used silver birch twigs to make the base again and a hot glue gun to fix the flowers to it.
A larger project was to make a slip-cover for a second-hand arm chair that I bought recently. I wasn't keen on the tapestry effect upholstery, but the chair itself was a good size and was comfortable.
I decided to use an antique French linen sheet to make the cover as it is good hard-wearing fabric and there's plenty of it for the whole project. Some careful pinning and cutting, then it was all stitched together. I didn't worry about piping the seams or adding too many darts etc - It just fits where it touches.
I've had another arm chair at home, covered in a linen sheet, for about 5 years - They wash brilliantly, on a high temperature, so the fact that its white, isn't a great problem.
The beautifully hand embroidered monogram on the sheet, decorates the front of the chair, just beneath the seat pad.
I happened to have this smaller monogram saved from another sheet, so I used it on one of the arms.
The slip-cover ties closed at the back of the chair - Easy for removal on wash-day. And I added a pretty floral eiderdown cotton frill to the bottom hemline.

I've been making a lot of changes in the room I'm using the chair (the fact that most of the walls in our home are painted various shades of white, means that its easy to move furniture around from one room to another without having to worry about a whole new decorating scheme.)
The seat pad on the chair is very firm (I don't think the chair has been used very much in the past.) - Yesterday I hit on the idea of using a very large feather filled cushion (it is probably one of the traditional French pillows) that I bought at an antiques fair once. It has a gorgeous patchwork of early C18th French fabrics as its cover and is lovely and squishy!

It fits perfectly on the chair and makes it even more comfy and cosy.
I'll be back at my shop tomorrow, so need to push myself into the routine again, but I have enjoyed the time away. There will be some changes at the shop over the next few weeks, but first I have to build a new display system that I have been working on.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x


  1. Anonymous12:09 pm

    Hi Niki,
    The storms are horrendous and very scary at times so it has been nice to be safe in doors,i love your slip covered chair and your the hydrangea wreath is very pretty.
    I can't wait for your post on Annie Sloan paint as i have a table and chairs i am making over and was thinking of making it easier for myself and ordering some.

  2. Oooh I love the chair Niki. People are always surprised I've got a white sofa and chaise with small children but you're right it all goes in the machine (frequently)!
    Happy New Year to you.

  3. Hi Niki
    Inspirational as usual, not being a seamstress, looking at your pictures I think that I could try to make a cover like yours - thank you.
    I have been using Annie Sloan for about a year, it is good paint and lovely colours.
    See you in April if not before.
    T x

  4. How inspiring! will tear myself away from my comfort blanket as the wind howls around the house and do something!!! ( I'm also having shop free time but have turned into a vegetable!) jennyx

  5. Gorgeous Chair.
    Julie xxxxxx

  6. Hi Niki
    I want your chair please! I love the patchwork cushion you have used for the seat. We are being blown away here in Derbyshire too, I couldn't sleep last night because the wind was so fierce.
    Jo xx

  7. Your upholstered chair is fabulous... I love your use of the monogrammed linens!

  8. Lovely chair coverings Niki.
    We've had really fierce storms here (East Dorset), it's really blown away any remnants of 2011 :o)

    Love your little 'let me introduce you to my blog' button. Sorry if it's been there a while, I only noticed it today!
    Have a great time at your shop my dear, and take care,
    Donna x

  9. Thank you for your comment, glad you approve of my new scheme in the bedroom! Love your make-over on the chair, it looks fab. xx

  10. Very creative - the chair looks wonderful. Great job!

  11. the cushion looks wonderful on he chair! Kx

  12. Very innovative and I love the finished effect of the chair! Lovely ! Sharon

  13. Anonymous7:50 pm

    Love the Hydrangea wreath, love the chair, love the frill... love everything. Glad you've found the Annie Sloan paint range, I've been using her paints for about 12 years now, after doing a course with her in Oxfordshire, she & her paints are just great to work with aren't they? Her books are very inspirational too.
    LOL Frances

  14. Hope the storm soon passes you by, its been wild here too.
    That chair looks fabulous, brilliant makeover.
    Carol xx

  15. Love the slipcovered chair... looks so inviting.
    Happy New Year!

  16. Hi Niki.
    I hope 2012 is a happy year for everyone and thank you for the company that your pictures are we!
    Hugs and kisses, Maria. :):)
    (with translator)

  17. Great chair makeover and I love the red initial detail on the arm...
    Julie x


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx