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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Revamping Lackluster Furniture, Here Its Tips

 We’re all familiar with the old idiom, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, that same wisdom applies to home décor. Seemingly outdated furniture is a fantastic low-price solution for your interior design needs. We’ll show you how, with a little cleaning and paint, this “trash” will become the “treasure” of your home.

When most people look at a dirty, old piece of furniture, they see something ready for the garbage, when perhaps they should begin to see the possibilities. You can actually find furnishings and odds and ends that can become artistic canvases for as little as a dollar.

# Redesign with New Purpose

Take this three-dollar box found at an antique store. While its original use maybe a mystery, its future prospects are limitless. As part of a floral or spring collection, it would be perfect for mail, rolled towels on the bathroom counter, or anything else you can imagine. With a bit of cleaning and paint, it becomes something usable-and beautiful.

# Keep it Simple

The crate is one of the most popular pieces to restore because of its versatility. It can be used to store toys or shoes or even on its side as a bookcase. Instead of trying to mask what it is, embrace the innate beauty of its simplicity.

# Choose your Muse

Remember that everyone’s inner artist is not the same, so decorate within your artistic means. Sometimes the most basic touch ups to these pieces are the most meaningful. A little paint and some very simple decorations can go a long way.

A great source for ideas are children’s books because their illustrations are often simple, yet effective. For additional inspiration though, look everywhere-a scrap of fabric, a swatch of wallpaper, books, magazines. Whatever catches your eye can be an source of creativity now-or later.

Instruction :

  1. Clean the item. Steel wool is good. Limit sanding if at all possible, since there’s no way of knowing what type of paint was used before.
  2. Patch the holes, if necessary, with plastic wood or wood filler, similar to patching a plaster wall. Simply smooth it with your finger.
  3. Paint with an all-purpose primer. Follow label instructions.
  4. Paint as desired. Basic paint from the craft store works well.
  5. Decorate if desired. Use stamps, available at most craft stores, as a quick and easy way to add some fun to your project. Try practicing on a paper bag until you feel comfortable with your design or use dots made with a large brush. Stencils or freehand can also be used.
  6. Protect the item by spraying it with sprayable polyurethane, varnish, or sealer.

Upholstery Tips

Whether it’s a family heirloom or second-hand purchase, antique furniture is a real reflection of what a home really is – an extension of yourself. Our straightforward upholstery tips illustrate how to take these unique furnishings and make them truly your own.

# Revive your furniture

Bring an old furniture piece back to life with bold, luxurious fabrics that enhance-or play against-the silhouette of your piece. Perhaps it’s a French paisley pattern that repeats the curve of the legs of a stool, or a bold graphic textile that counteracts clean, quiet lines.

Whatever your look, with a few simple steps and the perfect fabric, creating a one-of-a-kind piece is so easy. And because you only need a yard or so of fabric, this is the perfect project for splurging on a gorgeous silk or one-of-a-kind pattern you’ve been eyeing. With custom upholstering, you can bring any furniture piece back to life and add depth, texture and color to your space.

# Choose Wisely

Consider these ideas when selecting furniture and fabric for a winning combination :

  • Choose your furniture first: The fabric you use will depend on your furniture piece. If you already have a fabric you are in love with or an heirloom textile, then you can tailor your furniture search to the fabric. When browsing furniture, look for pieces that have a sturdy, decorative frame and a removable seat cushion. Consider pieces like ottomans, footstools, side stools, piano stools, dining chairs and small benches.Tip: Don’t feel like your furniture piece has to be perfect. Regardless of nicks and blemishes, your piece simply needs an interesting, vintage silhouette. Imperfections enhance the historic, unique nature of this project. If the shape is right but the finish is simply an eyesore, consider painting or staining your piece.
  • The shape of things: Use the shape of your furniture as a guide for deciding on a fabric. If the piece features rounded edges and circular details, look for fabrics that echo these curves-think ornate paisleys and florals. For a square or rectangular piece, fabrics that share the same geometric lines will look best.Tip: Remember, when it comes to creative projects, there are guidelines-but no rules. To put a serious twist on your look, try creating tension by pairing a free-flowing floral print with a heavy, masculine furniture piece. Contrasting elements adds instant depth and texture and is a major trend in current décor.
  • Unexpected finds: When looking for your furniture, get creative with the places you search. Perhaps there’s an old piece collecting dust in your attic or a one-of-a-kind find your friend is throwing out. You can also browse local flea markets, antique stores and garage sales. Just be sure the piece has a seat that is screwed down and pops off easily. These cushions are typically comprised of a piece of wood cushioned by foam. Many furniture pieces are constructed this way, making it easy to apply new fabrics.

# Measuring Up Materials

When it comes to choosing a fabric for your upholstery project, the options are virtually endless. Make sure your textile is of upholstery grade-tougher and heavier than drapery or fashion varieties-and then let your imagination run wild.

Tip: If a salesperson can’t assist you, you can perform a basic test on your fabric swatch to ensure it is of upholstery grade. Hold the swatch from two corners (diagonally opposite each other) and pull gently. Then switch your hands and pull from the other two corners. If the fabric maintains its basic shape, it’s suitable for upholstery purposes.

Consider swatches in bold colors, vibrant patterns and interesting textures. Try colors like burnt orange, deep plum and Kelly green that will pop against wood and add a splash of color to an otherwise neutral space. Textures like satin, velvet and suede create warmth and depth, while oversized prints play with scale and proportion for added interest.

As you’re combing through options, remember that many different textiles can be applied in upholstery form. Bring instant texture and depth with unexpected choices like embroidery, crewel work, cross-stitch, cotton rugs, wool rugs, batiks and tweeds.

  • Measure twice, cut once: When upholstering any furniture seat, the piece of fabric must be large enough to fully cover the top and wrap over the sides. At the fabric store, cut your fabric with an extra allowance to ensure the fabric can be securely fastened to the bottom of the seat.Tip: There’s no reason you can’t remove your cushion from the furniture and bring it with you to the fabric store. It’s a simple way to guarantee a fool-proof purchase.
  • Something special: Upholstering a seat doesn’t require a large amount of fabric, meaning you can splurge and purchase an “occasional” fabric. Occasional fabrics feature more luxurious designs, dyes and thread counts than typical fabrics. So go ahead, choose something you wouldn’t normally consider and pump up the wow factor in your home.

# Upholstery Basics

Once you’ve selected your fabric and a furniture piece with a removable seat, you’re ready to begin upholstering.


  1. Flip your furniture piece over and identify the clasps or screws that fasten the seat onto the piece (these are often Phillips’ head screws). Simply use a screwdriver to unscrew the cushion from the piece.
  2. Tear the existing fabric off of the foam cushioning, then check if the foam needs to be replaced before reupholstering the cushion. Check for yellowing color, dirt, large tears and holes. If the foam seems old and in need of replacement, measure the foam piece or take it with you to the craft store and purchase a new piece in the same size. You can buy a larger piece and simply use the old one as a template to cut out with a utility knife.
  3. Cut your fabric to the appropriate size, then lay it (right side out) over the foam and wood base. Adjust the fabric to your liking, then begin to pull it from diagonal sides around the sides of the wood base.
  4. Pull and fold the first corner as it slightly gathers and secure it on the bottom side with your hands.
  5. Flip the seat over and secure with either a commercial flat stapler or hot glue. Stapling the fabric is recommended to ensure longevity, but glue can be used as a flexible way to ensure that the placement is perfect before stapling.
  6. Fold down the remaining corners, fastening them to the underside of the seat as you go.
  7. Once the fabric is secure all of the way around, flip your seat over and place back on the piece. Firmly pressing the cushion against the wood frame, use your screwdriver to reinsert the seat screws.
  8. Sit your piece upright, stand back and admire your beautiful new piece.

See These Home Improvement Tips

Making home improvements not only creates beautiful upgrades to your home but can also increase its overall value. The following tips from industry experts offer some of the most cost-effective and valuable enhancements you can make to your home.

# Tip 1
Updated homes frequently sell faster. The renovation of dark or dated kitchens is one of the most profitable home improvements you can make.

# Tip 2
Time to refinance your mortgage? If interest rates are lower now than when you closed on your current mortgage, you may be able to save money by refinancing. For details, call 888-444-BANK (2265) or visit your local U.S. Bank branch to speak to one of our experts.

# Tip 3
Updating an old bathroom is one of the most profitable home improvements you can make.

# Tip 4
Adding casual living areas like a den or family room is a smart home improvement.

# Tip 5
Thinking of updating your home with one of these home improvements and wondering how long they generally last?

  • new chimney: 100 years or more
  • asphalt shingles: 15 to 30 years
  • a wooden deck: 15 years
  • ceramic tile or terrazzo: 100 years or more
  • vinyl flooring: 20 to 30 years
  • oak or pine floors: 100 years

# Tip 6
Planning to buy new appliances? Here’s how long they generally last.

  • refrigerators: up to 20 years
  • microwave: 10 years or more
  • stove: 15 years or more
  • washer and dryer: about 13 years

# Tip 7
Adding a second bath to a house can be a significantly profitable home improvement.

# Tip 8
It’s true: sometimes you have to spend money to save money. Buying a new refrigerator can save you money on electricity. Insulating an attic can save on heating and air-conditioning bills. The improvements you make not only save you money now but may also increase the value of your home.