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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!

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!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Whites - Wine, Clothing, Decor and More!

See article about summer white wines - link
As we approach the dog days of summer, I am seeing more and more whites in my environment - from clothing to decor and even to wines - perhaps in that order. White is soothing and reflects rather than absorbs the sun making it an ideal choice this time of year in the sunny South.

The US Navy sports summer whites this time of year - I have often wondered how they keep these sparkling uniforms so pristine!

Website for summer whites - Navy Personnel Summer White Uniforms
White and its variations (snow-white, off-white, cream, chalk, blanc, ivory, bone) provide wonderful options for "reflective" summer clothing.

Pinterest Board for summer whites - link
Whites and their variations look great in home decor all year round but particularly sparkle this time of year. There are many ways in which white can be incorporated into decorating - all the way from an all-white motif to splashes throughout the space.
Love this "beachy" look with its textures - the slight addition of taupe also helps differentiate the whites. 

Check out various predominantly white settings here - Pinterest board 

I always have a fair amount of neutrals/whites in my refurbished furniture inventory. It is always good looking and remains the easiest items for me to sell. The colors (or lack thereof) can be incorporated into just about any decor.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fearless Color Combinations!

I faithfully follow House Beautiful link to magazine both on-line and in print - it has been on my reading table for over 15 years. Today, I saw an article entitled, Color Combinations for the Truly Fearless link to article, that showed some wonderful combinations that are probably a little out of the norm but work quite well together.

Several of the color combos show variations of purple/lavender with other colors. Purple is one of the colors I have NEVER yet used on my refurbished upholstered pieces. I have over the years bought nice fabrics that incorporate purple (purple and grey, purple and green, purple and yellow) but have remained nervous about the "sale-ability" of this color combo - other than for little (or big) girl's rooms. I am not sure that this article or the illustrations will make me bolder but some of the other color combos I can readily see.

I have created several collages showing photos from this article with some of the pieces in my current collection that would work in the illustrated setting.

This sweet mint chair would work so well in this type of setting.
Big color for 2013/2014 is this emerald/kelly green - and how wonderful with pink and other warm colors.
I have always loved red and use it extensively in my home. This color combo is one of the "with purples" illustrated in the article - it certainly does draw your attention. My chair is a Henredon and the fabric a matelasse - quite a combo in and of itself!
I see purple in this one too but the intended color combo is red and teal - quite striking. This set of chairs is upholstered in a rich red cotton velvet. 
Nice - and my chairs work so well. They did just sell but I hope to find more in the great look.
Well, this article just shows that you need to be fearless in thinking about color combinations and sometimes to take "... the road less traveled".

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shout Out to Lou's Antiques - Danville, VA

My husband and I traveled to Wintergreen, VA, to join my brother and his family for the July 4th holiday last week. We traveled in our new Honda Odyssey to do some "shopping" to and from the destination in central Virginia. I am ALWAYS on the look-out for refurbish-able good quality upholstered furniture and thought this trip would allow me to expand my geographic boundaries.

On the way up to VA from the Atlanta area, I had researched some craigslist ads and made appointments in Charlotte and High Point, NC, to see and possibly buy some furniture. At the latter home, we bought two French style chairs which I have already started refurbishing.

On the way back to Atlanta on Monday, we stopped at various antique and consignment shops along the highway and picked up brochures identifying other likely shopping opportunities. This brought us to Lou's Antique Mall in Danville, VA. link to information including location.

Lou's Antique Mall is located in downtown Danville - an old city center that the city residents are clearly trying to keep lively and productive. The Mall itself is large (30,000 square feet) on three floors. I found a lot to look at and the prices were often in the "negotiable range" - a range that I define as what I am willing to pay for a piece and spent money on to sell. If I do not believe I can make any money, I do not waste time on even the loveliest choices. I ended up buying three French style chairs (made in Italy) - well constructed and just waiting for my special treatment.

I was able to negotiate a price I was willing to pay and will definitely be stopping again if I am in this area of the country!