Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you find interesting ideas and inspiring images. Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated! Check out my facebook page and website - wydevendesigns.com and check my Houzz site here -
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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Before and After - My Own Projects!

It has been some time since I've posted my own "before" and "after" miracles - so here is an update. I love them all! Included in the descriptions are all of my purchasing and "fixing up" secrets. Enjoy!

I purchased this chair at an estate sale held by Annette - one of my favorite sellers. It is a Woodmark - great North Carolina company. The fabric came from Fabric World (Stone Mountain fabric warehouse) - a bright buffalo plaid!
I found these chairs on Craigslist. I refinished the woodwork in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint's Duck Egg Blue (one of my favorite colors) and had the chairs reupholstered in a Charles Cantrell cotton print purchased at Fabric World. 
The history of this set of fabulous chairs is a little convoluted. I had originally spotted them at an estate sale (Vicki's) and left a bid. I did not hear back on my bid but saw them on Craigslist a little later being sold for exactly my bid offer. I did (of course) try to get a better deal but ended up paying the bid price - a little steep for me but a great price for this set - $250. The fabric was an eBay purchase - a heavy cream matellase.  Needless to say, this sold almost immediately.
I purchased this great little chair at an estate sale. The woodwork is exactly like one I have in my own home with a darker finish. I had the chair recovered in a blue plaid purchased at Calico Corners Fine Fabrics (major discount).
I purchased this sweet little settee at a nearby neighbor's craigslist sale. The original woodwork was in great condition. The piece was reupholstered in a very durable blue woven fabric (composition unknown) purchased at a super bolt sale at Fabric World.
I bought this set at an estate sale on a bid. The original woodwork is very interesting! The chairs were upholstered in a heavy woven fabric - teal and cream - from Fabric World. These were sold on One King's Lane.
These wonderful chairs came from an estate sale. I had them reupholstered in a wonderful soft woven organic cotton purchased on eBay. They are enjoying their new home in Colorado. 
I bought these chairs thru a Craigslist ad and refinished the woodwork in ASCP - Country Grey. The upholstery is a cream-white twill from Fabric World. 
Well, that's the latest on this hot sunny Sunday morning in Atlanta. Have a great week!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blue and White Combos Continue to be Best Sellers!

Check out my pinterest page referenced below for source!
TRUE STORY:  Over 10 years ago, I was shopping at Calico Corners Fine Fabrics checking out their deep discount bolts. I found a nice deep blue and white toile fabric that was discounted over 75%. I asked the saleswoman/designer about the fabric and why it was so deeply discounted. She said that blue and white were just not a popular color combination and were well past their prime. Since I LOVE (and have always loved) this combo, I was surprised by the vehemence of her pronouncement. I also bought the fabric thinking that at least I would love it! End of story: I bought the fabric, used it on a pair of club chairs intended for resale, liked the results and installed the chairs in my (then) new sunroom where they remain proudly today!

Today, you cannot pick up a decorating magazine without seeing a lot of blue and white - in some cases this color combo dominates the entire interior. I pinterest boards for each major color and my blue one has the largest number of pins - link to board.

I save my House Beautiful Magazines (link) and happened upon an article called "Blue and Brio" in their April, 2014, issue. The owner had indicated that "Navy blue is my favorite color" and the designer, Megan Winters, took that color throughout the house in very creative ways. The blue and white combo connects every room. In the same issue, a segment called "Blue Crush" leads out with "Paired with white, the many shades of this popular color have graced rooms in grand castles and humble cottages".
Blue-and-white is practically a neutral - it works with everything!
In just looking at my files - current and archival for the past 10 years - I have chosen the combo of blue and white quite a bit. It is always fresh and always "in".

 Well, I guess this color combo will not be going away any time soon - I do love it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Goodwill Tuesday - Great Bargains!

Today is Tuesday and that means Senior Citizen Day at Goodwill Industries of North Georgia (a whopping 25% off for anyone over 55). I try to get over there fairly frequently and have been remiss lately but did manage to make it to three stores today. The local Goodwill stores are well organized, clear and bright, and have the nicest employees. It was VERY busy today at all the stores.

I look for three primary items when shopping:
Wing Back chairs bought at Sandy Springs store.

  • upholstered furniture with good bones (and smaller than a sofa) - my best score was a $35 Baker love seat I purchased about three years ago and I keep going back hoping to find comparable bargains
  • accent pillow inserts - I only buy feather/down and only when I can unzip the outer cover to see the condition of the inserts
  • books - the Buckhead store (Roswell Road) in our area seems the have the best readership 
I did end up finding a set of wingback chairs (woodwork in good condition, nice styling, and hand-tied 8-way coil springs) at a cost of $49 for the pair (after discount). I also bought eight pillow inserts ranging from 22" to 16" squares to lumbars. The most I paid was about $3 - the least $1.75.  I also bought five books and cannot wait to start one soon.
My book purchases from Goodwill - Buckhead store
Well, I did pretty well today! I will definitely need to plan better and make it to more of these great stores on Senior Citizen Tuesdays - I cannot resist a good bargain!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

French Style Trio Transformed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Pieces bought at Scott's Antique Market - BEFORE refurbishing.
I continue to enjoy the wonderful transformations possible with heirloom quality furniture - sometimes just new fabric is needed but at other times the wood needs attention as well.  Recently, I wrote about the culmination (to date) of lessons learned using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) link to posting and highlighted some of my 2014 projects.

This posting is about a very special trio of French style pieces bought from a Florida vendor at the June Atlanta Scott's Antique Market link to website. I recently listed the three pieces (and have already sold one through One King's Lane link to one of the listings on OKL.

The basic construction on these pieces (estimated to be 60-70's vintage) was solid. Each has hand-tied eight-way steel coil springs which ensure a stable seat platform foundation (and their presence is a GREAT way to determine the quality of a piece of upholstered furniture - only the best have these coils). The woodwork was fully intact but had old finishes which had become dirty and discolored over time. The fabric, of course, desperately needed replacing - it may have been original. The set was perfect for me and the seller said she did not want to truck these back to Florida so she gave me a very good price on them.

First two steps illustrated. I always use Goof Off to thoroughly clean the woodwork of oils, dirt, grease, tobacco staining and anything else that would interfere with good adhesion or create stubbles in the painted surface.
This is the one that has already sold on One King's Lane ($999). I choose a "French linen" cream fabric to offset the neutral wood finish. My upholsterers (the fabulous Lee's of Sun's Upholstery in Norcross, WI) do a wonderful job with the double welting and extensive back tufting. 
This bergere was upholstered in a paler cream fabric which beautifully offsets the chalk paint finish. The first paint coat was ASCP Old White with a diluted Duck Egg Blue light brush (almost dry) overcoat. The double-welted fabric is a duck egg color and highlights the wood finish. I love how this turned out!
The finish and fabric on this slightly oversized - almost a settee - chair is the same as the first item above. It does create a nice clean look!
I will be keeping my eye out for more French style pieces - my overall favorite style - and need to get to work on the pieces in my garage. This is, after all, just procrastination but I am getting inspired to get out there to start the new projects!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Last Fabric Run in July - Atlanta Fabric Marketplace

My shopping cart at Fabric World - Stone Mountain, GA
I spent some time last week shopping for fabrics with my daughter who is in the process of furnishing her new home. She has learned some valuable lessons from her dear old mom including the benefits of taking well constructed upholstered pieces and having them professionally reupholstered with designer fabrics to save $$$ and get truly unique pieces.

So far, she has used one of my fabrics to redo a set of vintage wingback chairs for the home office (look wonderful); selected one of my finished sets (Storehouse settee and matching chair) as a move-in gift; and taken over two sets of my "before" sets of chairs to redo. We were shopping for the latter pieces and ended up at several renowned fabric shops in the area: Forsyth Fabrics (link) and Lewis and Sheron (link). She fell in love with several fabrics in the $33-40 per yard range and purchased one for two of the chairs. We also stopped by Calico Corners and looked at their selection. She is still looking for the second set of chairs but has some firm ideas about where she wants to go with them. Even at the (for me) high price of fabric, she will have GREAT pieces at very reasonable prices for her home.

I, on the other hand, continue to shop at Fabric World (link) where for two months now they have been having a $3.00 a yard sale on their upholstery and drapery fabrics. The selection has not been too bad and I have been stopping by almost every week to add to MY collection. This last week, they had acquired a large load of fabric ends that were just beautiful. I picked up 15 pieces ranging from 17 yards to 2.5 - enough to do quite a bit.

Here are some of my choices! These will have to do for the next few weeks since we will be traveling - I just hope there will be even more fabrics available when I get back!

Love these!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Designer Sofa Tips and Secrets - Part II: Construction and Styling

Settee/Sofa - Single Cushion and Tufted Back link to my pinterest board
Tufted Back - My Archives 
Several days ago I discussed Tips and Secrets from House Beautiful link focusing on fabrics. Since my furniture refurbishing business is focused on replacing worn and outdated fabrics with new ones that appeal to today's decorators and consumers, this was a logical starting place. This second posting deals with issues of construction and styling - which provide the foundation and help me determine whether something is worth the expense of redoing and whether it is likely to sell.

Here are some more nuggets from the experts.
I never use two seat cushions, because then three people won't sit on the sofa. I'll use three seat cushions if the sofa is 7' long or longer, and it it's 6" or less, I use just one cushion. Rose Tarlow
The perfect sofa is 40" deep, 60" long, and 36" high with a 19" seat height. For a traditional sofa, I like a scroll arm, and for modern, I love a square arm, both with the same overall measurements. Mary McDonald
Lately, I've been making all of my sofas with tufted backs. I use diamond tufts for traditional living rooms and tight, square biscuit tufts for more contemporary settings. Eddie Lee 
I like curved sofas in square rooms. Vincente Wolf
Sofas so often end up looking like beached whales. I've been using low backs and simple, strict tailoring lately, so they don't look big and fussy. Robert Couturier
Single cushion - tailored arms - tufted back - see my pinterest link 
Single cushion - deep seat - see my pinterest link
Single cushion (tufted) - tailored scrolled arms - see my pinterest link 
The pale gold one has a curved, rounded look - might work as Vincente Wolf suggested above.
 So, plenty of good advice here - hopefully it is useful to you!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Designer Sofa Tips and Secrets - Part I: Fabric

Example of solid color/neutral sofa anchoring the space - color is similar to wall colors.
Solid sofa - color and pattern splash in smaller pieces.

Recently, I cut out an article from House Beautiful (link to magazine), entitled "Designer Tips and Secrets - 50 Things you Need to Know About Sofas". While dedicated followers of my 10-year old refurbishing upholstered furniture business know that "I DO NOT DO SOFAS", many of the tips apply to love seats and other sizable upholstered pieces (which I do refurbish and sell - my anti-sofa mode has more to do with storage and shipping challenges than anything else.)

Here are some of the tips and techniques dealing with the selection of fabric - one of the hardest choices to make. Since my business is almost all about the quality and appeal of the fabric, this is a good place for me to start in reviewing and discussing tips and secrets.
To establish calm, I upholster sofas in a solid that's the same color as the walls and curtains - Barbary Barry
I never use big patterns or trendy colors for large upholstered pieces. The punch of pattern or hot splash of trendy color should come from the throw pillows so they can be easily substituted when you need change - Tom Stringer
Always use dark fabric for skirts so heel scuffs are not visible - Jill Shark Brinson  
Stripes, florals, you name it, I love pattern! But using one of these isn't for the faint of heart.  It says, "I'm bold, fearless, and not afraid of commitment" - Schuyler Samperton 
SO ... many designers suggest using solid fabrics and avoiding patterns or trendy colors.  Yet, there is a "shout-out" for those who dare to be bolder and go with something more eye-catching. My own philosophy is that you can use the bolder patterns/colors if you have serenity in other elements of the room decor. For example, a cream or other neutral rug with calm walls and window treatments sometimes gets just the right balance with a little more "verve" in the upholstered pieces - particularly ones that are the focal point of the room.

Here are some of the fabrics I've used over the years on larger settees and love seats. A lot of the fabrics are solid (and vary neutral) but there are definitely splashes of boldness!