Thursday, May 26, 2016

Love seat makeover: modern farmhouse original

When I'm out at the flea markets, estate sales, garage sales... I will inevitably come across some amazing thing, at an amazing price, but that I absolutely do not need. That's when I get out my phone and reach out to family and friends... and that was the case when I came across this fantastic little love seat in a local thrift shop. My mom was the first person that popped into my head, since I knew she had a room to refurnish and wasn't looking to spend a lot. But finding and buying this little treasure was just the beginning, the real story is the awesome transformation it went through to become a one of a kind piece she will enjoy for years!
 So with the love seat in the room, I asked Mom what she had in mind... knowing she would be looking for a complete transformation. After looking through a number of inspiration pics, and some of the other items she had collected for the redesigned room, I was pretty sure I knew the look she was going for: modern farmhouse with a New England shore feel (think Maine coast). This means clean linen, weathered wood, exposed hardware, and a touch of burlap. A stark contrast to the gold toned, floral print, skirted sofa in front of us! Time to get designing...


In order to really know what we could do with this thing, we had to first deconstruct it. Mom was a pro at this! With all that fabric and padding out of the way, we could really see the real bones of the piece... and just as expected it was in great shape! We did have one small break to contest with, but not an issue for us.


First design decision, how much of the frame should we leave showing? The great curved angles at the front and back corners were so awesome, we decided that had to remain exposed. That meant sanding, patching, staining and finishing: Mom's homework. And I got started on the pillows; simple seat and back cushions, no piping, zipper in the back. We kept the arm pillows, but simplified that design as well; taking them from a boxed cushion to a simple rectangle, with single piping edge.

Next, we had to figure out how to handle covering the frame to get the look we wanted. Following the standard upholstery process, we started on the inside and worked our way out. That meant covering the exposed springs on the seat. We were able to reuse the original padding, and when Mom saw how it looked with just the burlap, we didn't need to do anything else! The burlap wrapped all the way around the frame in the front and sides, covering the brace that held that break in the frame. Next was the inside arms and back. This was tricky knowing that we had to create clean seams in all the corners while dealing with those curves!!! Finally, we had to cover up our exposed fabric edges (and staples). I was able to convince Mom that a double piped edge would be the best finish; quick, inexpensive, and clean design! We attached it with some tiny black upholstery tacks every inch, taking it from the front, all the way over the length of the arm, and down the back. Speaking of the back, it looks awesome! From the back you can really see the clean line of the curved wood accented by the light colored canvas fabric.

This project took a few weekends for the 2 of us to complete, and was too much fun! By the time we were done, we had already made plans for at least 3 more projects... The only thing better than getting high design on a budget, is getting a one of a kind feature piece by doing it yourself!

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