joy of nesting

joy of nesting
Shiree Hanson Segerstrom Design and Wellness for Women with Arthritis and Other Chronic Pain.

Healthy at Home: Seven Powerful Keys to a Consistent at Home Wellness Practice


I bet like most of us girls you're still struggling with maintaining a consistent wellness practice. You have the gym membership, yoga classes, you try to eat right and even make yourself the occasional green drink but overall if we’re being completely honest, we women as a whole… are not all that healthy these days.

I've created this little article just for you my friend. I know you struggle just like me because I've been there, done that. If you know of anyone who struggles with consistency like we do, please share because this is a disheartening struggle for all of us. 



















Image credit unknown

First and most importantly is the "where". Where do you eat right, rejuvenate, groom and perhaps even exercise most consistently? If you said home, you're on the right track.

Home

The truth is the most consistent wellness practices happen at home simply because you have more control over what you eat there; where you don’t have to “go somewhere” or “stop some place” to exercise; where you have the option to have or not have tempting wine, dairy and sugary treats on hand; and where you can always find a quiet and pretty spot to restore yourself.

It's important to identify a spot that you feel good about, one that you'll return to time after time. This will reinforce a habit. f you don’t have a stand-alone workout space, let's talk about alternatives.

Not all of us have workout rooms and I have some suggestions. I've successfully used one end of my large formal living room; my den/ television room and my home office a little less successfully. In my current home my workout space is in the upstairs loft. This is where most of my home workouts happen now and it works really well because there’s room for my bike and other small equipment; the views are great; and the space is inspiring, clean, well lit and quiet.

What I don’t recommend is using the guest room because you're routines will fall apart the moment company comes. And I don’t recommend the master bed or bath simply because it’s already a hub of activities for hair styling, dressing, make up, dental care, etc. You need something that’s not so busy and one that doesn't represent sleep.

IN HOUSE EQUIPMENT IS 'KEY'

No, you don't need major weights or benches for this plan. All you need is a stay-bike, a re-bounder, two different size hand weights and a yoga mat. Some optional equipment could be yoga blocks, a stability ball, a kettle ball, and foam rollers for myo-fascial release.

If you haven’t tried the re-bounder yet, do yourself a big ol’ favor and fork out the $130 and get yourself one stat. Rebounding, is basically dance-bouncing, bare footed, in place to awesome music. It is mega fun, moves lymph, gets your heart rate up, burns calories and best of all alleviates depression in just 15-20 minutes a day. They are easy to store and feel super good on your legs, calves and feet.   

Yoga can happen at home my friend, with or without a mat. However, I like the mat because it’s a visual prompt and a great habit enhancer. I’ve been practicing it since I was a child, long before it became popular in this country. I’ve taken one yoga class in my adult life yet I’ve been consistently practicing it at home for more years than I can count.

Gym

Having a gym membership is beneficial too, don't get me wrong.  But the whole idea is not to skip working out just because you don't feel like going to the gym or doing your hair, or make up. Or because you don't have time to drive there. If for whatever reason you can't go, you know in a pinch you can get a sufficient workout at home.

I’m in the gym 20- 25 minutes, three times a week. Between the aerobic bike, rebounder, yoga and weights all my exercise needs are covered. 

Stationary bike
Rebounder (mini-trampoline) 
Yoga mat
Stability ball
Hand weights (one pair of light weight; one pair of heavy weight. I use ten lbs. but find what you're comfortable with)
Foam rollers
Yoga blocks
Kettle ball
Silicon foot massage ball (grabbing exercises for feet and toes)
Clothing and proper shoes, natch

KNOWING THE RIGHT EATING PLAN

There is really only one correct eating plan for all of us, and that’s a plant based, whole foods diet. The more organic and the more raw veggies, dark leafy greens, sprouted nuts and fresh fruits you include, the better. You can certainly choose animal products and you won’t die from them. But the fact remains alcohol, sugar, packaged foods, meat and dairy aren’t good for us so at the very least limit your intake. Read the China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. Watch documentary Forks Over Knives. They give excellent science based explanations as to why plants are best for human consumption. Not animals and animal fats.

I get it. Making fresh salads and juices takes time! And it takes some getting used to. But guess what? That time you lose in chopping and juicing you gain from not having to cook as much.  My food prep goes like this: a morning green juice which I make two at a time and freeze, and bowl of berries; a big raw salad at lunch with garbanzo beans or soaked nuts, and roasted vegetable and savory plant based soups and chili for dinner. I make enough to last a few days. Sometimes if I feel like pasta, I'll add some rotelli to my soup and make a minestrone. 

So many people don't have the imagination to give up meat so for them I suggest wild salmon 3 - 4 times a week. Read books by Susan Blum, Joel Fuhrman and Eugene Zamperion on arthritis and fasting. The vegetarian cuisine is beautiful, healthy, flavorful, colorful, joyful, kind, ethical and diverse. I strongly urge you to give this vibrant new lifestyle a try and watch your skin firm up, your waistline shrink and your mood and energy soar. 

SCHEDULING IT

To ensure your own success you will want to seriously consider blocking out the time in your Google Calendar or iCalendar for exercise and meals. I schedule everything I do from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm including work, chores, exercise, errands, juicing, lunch and dinner. Because my workouts are sixty to seventy five minutes a day, five days a week, I have to schedule them tightly around work. I like to break them up into smaller chunks.  Ride your stay-bike or dance on the re-bounder twenty minutes every morning and on alternating days you can do Yoga or workout at your nearby gym. At 25 minutes a session, weights take considerably less time than yoga which is why I only do Yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays, and weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I suggest your bike or re-bounder before work; or a walk during lunch; and your weights or Yoga practice after work. On the weekends do something outside, something less structured. I love tennis, hiking and kayaking with my mate. 

FOLLOW THROUGH

It’s important to set yourself up for success. If that means working out early in the morning then do that. If that means breaking it up into fifteen to twenty minute increments, do that.  Keeping agreements with yourself is incredibly important to not only your health but also your self-esteem. You know that friend who always keeps her word, the one you can always count on? Be her. And don’t forget to schedule it! 

INSPIRATION 

To show up large in life, you need to dream and be inspired! Surround yourself with an environment you find to be beautiful, well-kept and organized. Envision yourself as the stunner you are every day.

If you need more help learning how to design your home and take better care of yourself at home, click here for my free blueprint to wellness at home, Pain Free Design and Wellness

Live beautifully, eat beautifully.

Shiree'

How to Design Your Home Around Your Lifestyle



When you think about it, your home plays some pretty big roles in your life. It supports and enables almost everything you do such as preparing healthy meals, working from home, working on your most important relationships, getting a good night’s sleep, tending to your appearance and wardrobe, pursuing hobbies and much, much more.



















Image Via Doug Atherly

How your home feels and works is often times more important than how it looks. If everyday life around the home doesn’t feel right, if maintaining your home is a challenge, if you’re not able to be highly effective while there, if finding things is next to impossible, if putting things away is like running a gauntlet it’s definitely time to do some work.

I’ve been an interior designer for many years and of course how my home looks is very important to my clients and me. But more important than how your home looks is how it feels to you, how it functions, how it supports, rejuvenates and inspires you. If your home isn’t supporting the many facets of your life, and if you find planning a home overwhelming just thinking about it, maybe it’s time to take action before you're completely burned out, rather than after! Here are some design concepts that will help simplify things for you. If you fail to plan, plan to fail right? That’s a huge concept in my own life and nowhere is it more evident than in the potentially snowballing “mess” of our own home! Hang with me here. I’m going to make this easy for you.



















Image Via House of Pictures

#1- Planning your home via one main concept such as Art and Design, Wellness, Travel or A Large Family.

Think about your values or the things you stand for. What are the one to three things that are stand outs to you and the people living with you? Do you value design, art and fine music above all else? Or are travel and the memories and mementos collected while traveling a bigger priority? Or are wellness, eating right and exercising your top priorities? Or do you have a large family with high needs for organization?

Each of these scenarios creates different priorities in the home and require planning. Your lifestyle should always be addressed before decorative decisions are made. Surprisingly, each of the above mentioned scenarios will play a small role in the home’s overall aesthetic.

For an art lover, wall space and often times floor space is highly valued for displaying art and for areas to view and appreciate them. Less pattern on the furniture and floors. More emphasis on each individual piece of art. White walls. Ebony hardwood floors. Modern furniture.

For a large family, kid friendly surfaces such as patterned flooring and fabrics; washable paint finishes; and large, sturdy and comfy furniture.

Can you see how this could work for you? What would your one main concept be? What do you value? Be careful designing your entire home around hobbies. Hobbies come and go and usually, they’re only valued by one person in the home! So if you love dolls and if you have other people living in the home with you, planning your home around your doll collection is not fair to the other household members! Just as planning a home around golf would be unfair too. For hobbies, see the next concept on planning your home in zones.

#2- Planning your home via activities or zones such as areas for Connecting, Rejuvenation, Work or Studying, Exercise, or Hobbies.

There is something so freeing about having to make fewer decisions, such as having a capsule wardrobe or following a workout dvd or having a recipe to follow. Less decisions equal less stress and that’s incredibly freeing in today’s world. What about having zones in your home designed around individual activities? Today’s homes are tricked out with media rooms, exercise and wellness rooms, home offices, hobby rooms and even recording studios! Having rooms serve one main activity or grouped activities saves time from collecting various equipment and props that must otherwise be stored elsewhere. It saves decision making about where the activity will take place and what you’ll need for it. It can even add more joy to the activity when the space is specifically designed around it.

The idea in these two first concepts is to make decision making easy for you. In interior design, there are hundreds if not thousands of decisions to make and worse yet, tens of thousands of choices! No wonder design is such a stressful industry. So the first thing we pro’s do is narrow the playing field by determining lifestyle, aesthetics, a color palate, scale, metals, wood finishes, things the client wants to keep and work around. All these things narrow down the amount of decisions we have to make.

 #3- Planning your home around comfort, safety and convenience or design based on aging, disabilities or physical challenges.

The concept is not as simple but still, it does narrow down choices. For people who are infirm, who have growing disabilities or even small physical challenges, it adds up.  This is called Universal Design and it’s an industry standard. This includes conveniences such as extra wide hallways and doors; one level living; rocker style light switches; lever doorknobs; lever style faucets; level flooring material changes from area to area; sufficient overhead task and ambient lighting; abundant natural light; home security features, et cetera. Extra attention is also devoted to the kitchen, appliances, counter heights, storage and more.

Here are some of the amenities in a well-designed home:

Abundant window space and beautiful views
Media rooms and great audio/video/security systems
Comfortable, well made furniture, particularly for seating and beds .
Art and quality accessories like rugs and lighting
Well stocked library
Well designed kitchens/equipment and “smart” appliances to make meal prep easier and more pleasant
Wine cellars (however, drinking in moderation and even abstaining altogether is a huge facet of a healthy lifestyle).
Home gym/spa/sauna
Ample storage/built-ins
Adequate ventilation and air quality/air purifiers
Filtered water for bathing and drinking
Indoor plants and flowers to oxygenate and cleanse the air
Sound absorption

A dysfunctional home affects everyone and every aspect of your life and most homes are dysfunctional to one degree or another. Like everything else in life, you get out of your home what you put into it.

And if you'd like to delve deeper into how your home can work for you, see my beautiful new website shireesegerstrom.com for some great design and wellness tools. There is a digital book, strategy sessions, a decorating course in the making (due out soon!) and even a freebie to get you started!

Live beautifully, eat beautifully.

Shiree’



Case Study: A Restful Saratoga Craftsman Walks on the Wild Side, Baby



Most of my design clients are women. I love collaborating with them because I know I can make an impact on how they live in their homes. For some uncanny reason I understand the style they’re after through what I can only describe as a kind of mental telepathy.




















Friends and clients ask how I’m able to create such different looks for individual clients and I’ve tried to understand it myself. The short answer is I don’t know. It just hits me, like one eleven month project that’s now almost completed.

But let’s regress for a moment because here is where the confusion starts. When you ask people what style they like, they’re not always able to give you a reliable answer. I hear terms like cozy, or classic, or fresh which give me nothing to go on because one woman’s fresh is another woman’s salad. Classic can be used to describe a blazer. And cozy in my terms means wrapped up in a blanket by the fire. These are hardly terms to describe a design style so that leaves me to figure things out with my own devices.



Initially I spent an hour or two with this particular client in her Saratoga, California home, discussing the usual things like scope of work, color preferences, scale and some things that are very important to her such as her music collection and extraordinary career as former head of worldwide HR at a powerhouse tech company, as well as being a noted soprano. I love it when a client can offer me such a rich and personal backdrop. It lends itself to a better project.

The drive home from her home to mine is 3 ½ hours at best. On this day it took five. Within the first hour of the drive I had the major elements of the scheme in my head: fabrics, furniture style and colors. Another week to ten days and I had the specifics flushed out as well.

We did the living room, breakfast room, entry, hall, two bathrooms and some pieces for the master bedroom. I also consulted on the music studio downstairs though my designs weren’t brought to fruition.

The home’s architectural style is “arts and crafts” and falls under the traditional heading but the client prefers contemporary furnishings.  

I chose large scale furnishings for added comfort and also to match the scale of the home. The 97 inch bench made, pillow back sofa, the 37 inch armchair and 40 inch ottoman were covered in a soft and durable Pindler upholstery fabric in a color called Chai Latte. I did the pillows and cushions in a Fabricut zebra print and the welts in a Stroheim and Romann red velvet. There was also a wood framed accent chair the client was particularly fond of so I had it refinished in an espresso stain, and recovered the seat in the red velvet and the back in the zebra print.




















The cocktail table took some time to find but when I finally saw it, I knew it was perfect. It’s a 40 inch round drum style carved mango wood with a white marble top and an ebony finish from Selamat Designs. The carvings are pomegranates.

In the breakfast room I did a round, very contemporary table that looks a bit like stone. It has a cone shaped base and a carved-look surface. The upholstered breakfast room chairs from Lazar have metal nail heads around the perimeter. The fabric is kind of an oyster colored texture with bits of metallic fleck in it. The client wanted to keep the little sitting area by the breakfast room window so we kept the existing Restoration Hardware armless chairs and round aluminum table and added 20 inch throw pillows in the red velvet with a mustard velvet welt to pick up the little mustard colored tufted ottoman that’s nearby.

In the entry, which is almost done we did a gorgeous hand knotted area rug with reds and blues, a huge midnight blue hand beaded mirror and a burnished iron and marble top console.

In the bathrooms we wallpapered and did wall to wall mirror over the vanities. One wall paper reminds me of a Keith Haring painting. It’s in burnished gold and cream colors. The other wallpaper, shown only in the powder room, is an amazing silver metallic cork. In the long narrow halls I did zebra print runners and a gorgeous framed mirror that looks like melted gold cutwork.

My vision of this design scheme was inspired by the art filled bungalows of Berkeley, California. The craftsman architecture and contemporary furnishings were brought together by one common thread: the look and feel of hand crafted, high quality products.

Live beautifully, eat beautifully. Shiree’

Creating the Perfect Master Bedroom, Cool Weather Retreat


The days are getting shorter and the nights are a little cooler! If you live in an area with distinct seasonal changes, making your bedroom supportive of your arthritis and other health conditions will be a priority. It will get you through fall and winter much more smoothly. Arthritis is the number one crippler in this country but staying on top of your wellness practices and planning your home ahead of time will give you more balance in life and don't we all need that, right? Let's get started.




















Image via Witford SF


Bedding

A well equipped bedroom looks like this: two weights of comforters (one light weight for warm weather and one heavier weight for winter), one decorative duvet cover (it’s basically a giant pillow case that protects your comforter), two foam pillows for sitting upright or reading in bed, two decorative pillow shams, two extra soft sleeping pillows, two decorative rectangular throw pillows (also called kidney pillows because they support your kidneys when you sit against them), one throw blanket for over the foot of the bed, and one bed skirt. If you don’t have a head board, consider getting an upholstered one. They're functional additions especially if you enjoy reading in bed. Most designers can have these made-to-order for you. They're available in a wide range of prices and styles and are comparatively priced to wood or wicker ones.

One of the best things you can invest in is an electric bed warmer. These especially wonderful for arthritic joints. About fifteen minutes before bed, say for instance, right before you wash your face, brush your teeth and get undressed, turn the blanket on high or semi-high. When you crawl in, turn it down or off. It is apparently not a good idea to sleep with it on. I don't know the ramifications with our circadian rhythms but I've read that they are not healthy for prolonged use. They are however, perfectly okay to use as a bed warmer before you get in bed.

Sleep

A few things you should know. First you need your room dark and cool. Second, try and slowly adjust yourself to back sleeping without a pillow. I can hear the groans but trust me this is a huge game changer for those of us with back, hip or especially neck problems. Instead, put your pillow under your knees.

One little hack I created is instead of wearing a sleeping mask, I prefer a soft clean sock draped over my eyes. I promise you, there is nothing like sleeping in complete darkness and waking up when you're ready rather than daylight waking you. I wake up completely energized this way.

And lastly, before you get out of bed, sit up and spend three to four minutes doing some light stretches. Roll your feet in circles. Bend your neck. Roll your shoulders. Stretch your arms above your head.

Windows

There are so many options on window coverings. In the bedroom your main concern will be light and privacy control. These issues should really be addressed before aesthetics because it's been determined that a dark room is so necessary to get into the deeper levels of sleep. For some great info on sleep, read Arianna Huffington's best selling The Sleep Revolution.

In the master bedroom, plan on a room darkening treatment such as lined Roman shades, lined woven shades, or wooden blinds or shutters. To ensure darkness, have them measured and installed to be big enough for exterior mounting. If you mount them inside the window frame, the gaps will allow light to seep through.  

In my homes I love doing either the small, traditional shutters with 1 1/4" inch slats but most people prefer plantation shutters. Or I love a two layered treatment such as floor length curtain panels over sheers or Roman shades.

Lighting

Never rely solely on overhead lighting for the bedroom. Matching table lamps on the night stands each with it's dimmer switch is great for ambiance and function both. Dimmer switches for lamps are available at better lighting stores. The lamp dimmer concept is great because you simply plug the dimmer cord into the wall and plug the lamp into the dimmer cord. In this way, you can control the level of light as well as access the dimmer cord’s on/off switch without even sitting up in bed. I love this feature so so much.

Bed Sheets

White bed sheets are clean looking but a little unforgiving so plan on weekly changes. Or cheat a little and go two weeks, but not longer than that. I swear I sleep better when my sheets are freshly changed and smell good. It's a great Friday morning tradition. It makes me feel pampered come Friday night. 

A cozy bed is really an investment in yourself because you and your mate are the only ones who will enjoy these small luxuries. It’s a nice way to express “self-care” too.

The softest, most comfortable sheets are Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton. A 400 thread count is sufficient for a quality, comfortable bed sheet. Anything higher is overkill. Remember there is more to sheets than just thread count. If the cotton is poor quality they will wrinkle.   

Mattresses

Choosing a mattress is a matter of personal taste but my favorite, most luxuriant night sleep is on the Simmons Heavenly Bed System pillow top mattress and box spring, the one Westin Hotels use. The mattress thickness is about 12 or 13 inches and the box spring, about 8 to 9 inches. They are available for special order. I also love a high quality down pillow but the next time I purchase a pillow, I’m going to explore hypoallergenic products.


Decorating with Color

When decorating your own bedroom, keep in mind the room is for relaxation. Reds, oranges, and other vibrant colors are not conducive to rest. Color theory is a topic unto itself but follow these easy tips to understand how you can make color work well for you in your bedroom.

Keep the amount of colors in your bedroom to a minimum. Stick with restful colors like greens, blues, and violet. Muted versions of warm colors like peach, pink, and yellow also work nicely if chosen well. These are gone over in more detail in my first ebook Pain Free Design and Wellness. When doing rooms with neutral color schemes, try to think outside the box. Neutral design schemes in formal settings have been overdone. Instead, add interest to your neutral scheme with rustic antiques and textures, as seen in Swedish and Belgian design schemes. White and gray accents look nice with neutrals too, if not overdone. In my own room I went light with Pratt and Lambert’s Accolade paint called “Half and Half”. It’s a warm white which normally wouldn’t be exciting but you wouldn’t believe how pretty and creamy it is.

In the bedroom, less is more. Incorporate tactile elements like soft throws and pillows, pre-warmed sheets in the winter, and light dimming options for bedtime. The quality of furnishings in the master bedroom should be notably better than in the children’s and guest rooms. Choose quality fabrics, original artwork (or good reproductions), and unique furniture and accessories. Keep surfaces clean and dust free. Enjoy your retreat and remember what it’s there for, to replenish your tired spirit. 

Healthy task for the bedroom are ones that align with your wellness practices and they are reading in bed for enjoyment or general knowledge. Not work documents.  Studying topics you're passionate about. Writing thank you cards and letters. Sunday morning coffee or evening supper. Keep television viewing and social media in bed to a minimum by scheduling it in advance and keeping your word with yourself.

For a free copy of my robust eWorkbook that helps you create a beautiful space to practice Yoga and your other wellness endeavors click here... "Pain Free Design and Wellness"

Live beautifully, eat beautifully, Shiree'



Fall Refresher...High Impact Design Ideas that Make the Most of Your Home


Fall has always been the busiest time of year for the design trade. Many homeowners entertain during this time and want their homes to look wonderful and inviting when company arrives for Thanksgiving.


























I’ve put together a list of high impact changes for you to choose from to give your home a noticeable, overall improvement. Any of these are great projects to prioritize this time of year. Starting early will ensure you get your items on time as well as help you budget for the expenses that come along in December.

Upholstery/Slipcovers

There’s no use making improvements if they aren’t noticeable. Recovering or slipcovering your sofa and/or chairs is a high impact item. It’s also a relatively cost efficient improvement, meaning you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Sofas and chairs are large surfaces. If they are stained, the arms are tattered, or if the colors are fading it will have a big effect on the overall appearance of your room. Choose high quality, well designed upholstery and light weight slip cover fabrics to ensure wearability and “lasting style”.


Window treatments

Window treatments are another popular item for fall. Spring too. Heat, cold and aesthetics are the main drivers behind this one.

There are a wide variety of styles and price ranges so it’s important to understand your own budget and timeline.

I try and take some of the challenge out of the decision making process for my clients by sticking with timeless, classic styles. I feel simple window treatments are almost always best. The exceptions are large, Victorian homes, mansions or grand hotels.  

I’ve mentioned this in my column before: a good rule of thumb is to do floor length draperies and sheers on traverse rods in the living room and dining room and in the guest rooms do valances and wooden blinds or shutters. It’s a way to control costs, ensure you get a classic look that doesn’t date quickly, and add resale value to the home.

Custom draperies, shades and valances take several weeks (about five or six, barring surprises) to measure, design, fabricate and install. Sometimes alterations are needed (designers, installers and seamstresses are human) so you must also allow for unforeseen contingencies. Shutters and wood or woven shades are generally quicker.

Bedding

Custom bedding is a nice touch in the guest room as well as the master bedroom. Once you’ve seen a really good seamstress’ work you’ll know the difference. Paying for custom work is a waste if the workroom doesn’t do quality finish work. You definitely get what you pay for!

I always do either a gathered or box pleated bed skirt. I like to do a duvet rather than a bedspread, sometimes with a tiny welt around the outside edge or a pillow case hem. Duvets are basically covers for comforters. They both protect the comforter and make it look pretty. Additionally I like to do two coordinating pillow shams with flanges and welts and two coordinating kidney pillows with welts or fringe. Too many pillows on the bed are problematic for spouses and guests.

One recent master bedroom project had a framed bed that we tucked the duvet into. The duvet was done up in a pale greenish-blue texture, two pale taupe matelassé pillow shams with a welt to match the duvet and two kidney pillows in a beautiful pussy willow print with the same matching welts. We did a handsome, lined woven shade on the window and a russet chenille upholstery fabric on the small bedroom chair.

Another project, this one a guest room, had a duvet in a gorgeous, pale yellow and coral “open” floral-paisley linen, with cream matelassé shams and bed skirt. The architecture of the home is stunning and I didn’t want to overpower it with too many details. We kept it simple and elegant.

We are in the process of doing the second guest bedroom in another beautiful fabric. This time a cream linen with a kind of latte colored, “open” floral. It looks golden yellow at first glance then you realize it’s more tan than gold. And we are doing bench and chair cushions for both rooms in a striped cotton with contrasting welts.

Makeovers

With a price range of $250 to $1,200, a home makeover using the furniture and accessories you already have is perfect for getting your home ready for fall. Having your furniture properly arranged, and pictures, lighting and accessories artfully placed makes a huge difference in a room.

A hidden benefit is that once the makeover is done, it keeps you from purchasing the wrong things for your home. In many cases, it saves you from buying new things altogether.

Sofas/Love Seats/Chairs

Of the fall projects listed here, new sofas and chairs are one of the biggest investments and therefore require some planning. Choosing the right style, size and fabric will create long lasting satisfaction.

Remember my simple rules for sofas. If the space is small, choose a sofa without a skirt (legs showing). Unless you’re buying an apartment sofa or love seat, three cushions are best. No one likes to sit on the crack. If you prefer a solid colored sofa, go with a heavy texture. If you prefer a print, choose a heavy linen blend. Textures and heavy linen blends wear well and don’t show spots and stain’s as much as other fabrics.

Most sofas are 84 to 97 inches wide. If the cushion quality or fabrics are cheap, it will begin to show in a few years. Kiln-dried, hard wood frames are important for long lasting use.

New Throw Pillows

A great way to perk up a tired looking sofa or chair is with new throw pillows. I prefer down blend (although I’m looking into alternatives because of humane issues with down). Two custom throw pillows require 1 ½ yards of fabric, two forms, labor, and an extra yard to a yard and a half of fabric for welts sewn on the bias. I usually do two to three twenty inch pillows for medium to large sized sofas, and eighteen inch pillows for love seats. I like to do a tiny welt in a contrasting fabric rather than pre-made trims. I also do brushed fringes. I never get tired of brushed fringe though it’s been around awhile.


If you love my blog posts and need more help, hop on a free fifteen minute call with me to get your most pressing design question answered! 


Live beautifully. Eat beautifully, Shiree

Or if you need more, read all about my Pain Free Design Strategy Session . These sessions are super targeted to each individual. In the sessions we:

Discuss in detail what you love about your home and what you hate about it.

Identify your style preferences; lifestyle; short and long term dreams and your other unique set of challenges.

Determine how your home is currently functioning and not functioning for you.

Devise a decorating, remodeling, or building plan for a truly unique version of you.

Choose colors, textures and styles that feed your soul.

Create one ideal furniture layout that enhances your sense of stability.






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