Sunday, September 25, 2011

fall trend 2011

According to the fine folks at style at home, one of the top trends for Fall 2011 is wooden accessories.

I know that as the season changes, although I never seem to be ready for it, I get excited about warm, cozy sweaters and soft, extra layers on my bed.

So intuitively, it makes sense to me that trends for Fall would be all about warm, inviting spaces.

Using natural materials is one of the top three design trends of the season (to see more, check out

Wooden accessories are the perfect way to bring an earthy and warm tone to your home. Here are a few of my favorites that will bring a natural touch to your living space in no time!

Carpet tiles, tall vases, bamboo dry erase board, salt keepers, iphone case, and ceadar blocks (not pretty, but put a few in your closet for an eco-friendly way to guard against moths…they smell heavenly, too.)

Like any trend…probably best not to overdo it. Just a few accessories here and there will warm up your space just in time for those cold winter months!

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Sunday, September 11, 2011

wing chair makeover, part 2

As you read in last week’s blog (wing chair makeover, part 1), I picked up an old wing chair in desperate need of some lovin’.

Armed with $40 of fabric (what a deal!), some “how-to” information from various other blogs, and more than a bit of stubbornness, I started the makeover.

After deconstructing the chair, it was time to put it all together again…hopefully with an end result that was better than where it started!

Here’s the process:

Take each of the old pieces that you numbered and lay them out on your new fabric to cut a pattern for each.

Start putting them back on the chair in reverse order (from how you took them off). Aren’t you glad you listened to my advice and numbered and marked them all?? I was also really glad I took photos along the way, because it’s easy to forget exactly how each piece was attached….

Sounds easy enough, right?

A few tools you need for this part of the job include a good pair of fabric scissors, some stick pins and a sewing machine. There was only a little sewing in this job…the piping, the wings and the seat cushion.

You’ll find a bunch of suggestions on easy ways to make piping on-line. Here’s the one I used --
The best tip for the rest of the sewing is that, just as you did elsewhere, take the old pieces that were sewn together and carefully take the stitches apart, cut your new fabric from the pieces to make a pattern, and then sew them together in the same way.

Another key tool for this job is a staple gun and lots of staples. Remember the thousand and one staples you ripped out? Well…I think I might have put a thousand and two back in! I invested in an electric staple gun ($30) and it was work every single penny even if I were to never use it again.

A good tip is to also have a glue gun on hand. There are lots of pieces that are “tucked” into parts of the chair…the backs, sides, arms…etc. A little dab or two from the glue gun will ensure these pieces lay flat, stay put and look good.

For the back, I decided not to reuse the big scary metal teeth that were holding the old fabric in place and opted for little metal upholstery tacks instead (you need a hammer to gently tap these in place). These are readily available at places like Canadian Tire for about $4 for a pack of 40.

Finally, where the chair calls for a straight, tight edge of fabric (back of chair and outside below the curve of the arms), cut a length of cardboard (part of an old box will do!), wrap the fabric over it and staple it to the chair, then fold the fabric down, pull taut and voila…a nice straight edge!

All it takes a time and patience. And not to over think it too much!

So now that you know the steps to putting it back together again, here’s a look at my finished product. Remember, this was never meant to be the quality of a professional job, but instead a DIY that would still look good for a much lower cost.

For my first time, I think I achieved good results and am happy with my under $50 makeover!

Enjoy…and good luck with your own wing chair makeover...

 For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Monday, September 5, 2011

wing chair makeover -- part 1

This weekend, I decided to try my hand at the most difficult DIY project I've tackled to date.

Reupholstery. Yup…serious reupholstery.

See, I picked up an old wing chair. And when I say “picked up”, I mean literally picked it up on the side of the street. It was in front of my neighbors’ house across the street.

I know, I know….but I couldn’t help myself.

Anyway, after I acquired my new old chair, I had second thoughts. So, I got a quote to see what it would cost to get it professionally reupholstered. The quote came back at $350 for labour, $60/yard and 6 yards of fabric, and an 8 week wait!

Hmmmm…I could buy a REALLY nice chair for that. Or I could just put this wing chair back out on the street.

Next stop was the trusty old internet. Amazing what you find when you google what you are looking for…”how do I reupholster a wing chair?” I asked. And low and behold, a zillion “how to” links pop up.

Well…if they can do it, why can’t I?

Off to Fabricville I go and pick up this lovely silvery damask print material suitable for the job. Five meters for a TOTAL of $40 and I’m good to go!

The best tips I read online from various sources are these:

Take the existing reupholstery off one piece at a time, you’ll soon realize that each piece is layered on top of another. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion.

Number each of them as they come off. You’ll have to put the pieces back on in reverse order later.

And then mark important information like “top / bottom/ left side/ right side”…etc. these pieces will become your pattern that you lay out on your new fabric, so take the time to do it…it will save you time and frustration later, I swear! You’ll need a few tools for the job including an awl to pull out all the staples (I used a flat head screwdriver instead), pliers to get those pesky ones that just don’t want to let go, and gloves. It gets hard on the hands pulling out a thousand and one staples!

Remember to wear work clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Pulling off old upholstery is sort of like pulling up old carpets….it’s dirty work. And can be more than a little gross, if you don’t mind me saying.

The upside in my case, I found $3.51 in the cushions and hiding in the frame of my chair as I was taking it apart. For a free chair, I just made money!

Here are some pics of my chair being deconstructed…I think you’ll get the idea.

Next week, I’ll show you how to put it back together again, and my finished product…

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/