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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, April 13, 2015

Decorating In Grey

I love this great combo of grey and Bright yellow. - Source
 Grey is seen everywhere in decorating these days. It is a versatile neutral and blends well with so many other colors. I have been somewhat hesitant to add too many really grey products to my Wydeven Designs Collections but certainly have included "grey-tones" and what I will call "gently  greys".
Here are some of the pieces from my collections that would work well in a grey setting - all from my European Linen Collection.
In decorating circles, gray is the new white—and has been for a while. It’s a more elegant neutral that gives depth to subtle colors and makes bold tones pop (rather than shout). But getting gray right is tricky: The “temperature” of a particular shade—cool or warm—can evoke very different feelings and have an enormous impact on the mood of a room.
Here's a perfect example of a "gentle grey" used as a background color. It provides a sophisticated background for the neutrals and sisal-colored floor covering -Source
Again, a very neutral room with grey patterned floor covering and accents - Source
I like how this added pink warms up this cool room - Source

Grey certainly is a wonderful color and provides a wonderful foundation for adding a multitude of warm and cool complementary colors. It would be my number one choice if I were redecorating my home right now - not that there is much chance of getting my husband to agree to that this soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Before and After - Magical Transformations!

My little business thrives on the fact that there are SO many great pieces of heirloom-quality furniture out there in desperate need of being saved. It is just a matter of finding the piece and transforming it to perpetuate its life for another 20-30 plus years. I just had this discussion with a new client yesterday - it is worth spending the time and money to find and refurbish a well manufactured piece of furniture and it creates a value that is very hard to duplicate today at anywhere near the same cost (if at all). And the best part - it is an environmentally friendly approach to home furnishings!

Here is my latest crop of "before and after" transformations - all deserving a gold star!

I found this little chair at a local thrift shop and redid the woodwork with chalk paint. This lovely Waverly print has now been used on four pieces. 
This chair came from the same thrift store as above - I do love this lively linen-blend fabric! 
This chair came from an estate sale and the dark brown wood was badly scarred. It is heavy and very comfortable - a little more "masculine" than my normal transformations.
This vintage settee was purchased at a "Vicki's" estate sale. I love the french stripe!
These three chairs were bought at a consignment shop during one of our road trips (this one to Virginia). The looks are very different. Both were refinished in chalk paint (two chairs in duck egg blue and the other old ochre).  
This set of chairs was purchased at a flea market during our recent trip to West Palm Beach, FL. The set was totally transformed with a lacquer paint and cream linen fabric.
This is another chair from one of "Vicki's" estate sales. The wood was in perfect condition - it just needed a fresh fabric.
Another vintage chaise from "Vicki's" sales. I did have to discard the down cushion - it was not salvable. The new high density foam cushion gives the piece a more tailored look.
I bought these lovely chairs from a craigslist add - eight lovely Baker chairs. I waited a long time before selecting the yellow silk (with velvet backs). They are on their way to Naples, Florida. 
Another "Vicki's" estate sale purchase! I have used this highly textured cream fabric on a set of Baker settees last year so it is only fitting to use the remaining fabric on this great chair!
ANOTHER "Vicki's" sale piece (hidden in garage and in plastic wrap and found by my husband). The soft cotton velvet was the right fabric for this lovely piece which is already in its new home in Southern California. 
I bought this great chair in a consignment shop right after the holidays. It will be on its way to its new home in Pennsylvania soon!
OK - this is the last "Vicki's" estate sale piece for today (although I have more). This nicely sized chair with down cushion was redone in a nice woven tweed.
Well, that's the latest batch! I hope it inspires others to look for and refurbish these gems from yesteryear - happy hunting!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The World of Settees

I was perusing a House Beautiful magazine (link) and happened upon an article entitled "The World of Settees".
The versatile, streamlined settee can go where the more substantial sofa cannot - a narrow hallway, a living room nook, in place of a banquette at a dining table. 
I would add:
  • end of a bed
  • office 
  • sunroom 
  • in front of a fireplace
The article includes photos of about two dozen settees demonstrating multiple shapes, sizes, designs, fabric treatments and decorating styles. The largest width was 72" but most were quite a bit smaller.

I love settees and do include them in my Wydeven Design collections. My rule of thumb about acquiring pieces is that they must fit into my trusty minivan (Honda Odyssey) and settees do fit the bill (while sofas do not). In putting together this article, I looked at settees that are (mostly) currently available and was quite surprised that I had so many - and now do better understand why my storage capacity is stretched to the limit.

Here are some of the nice pieces - quite a variety!

This lovely shade of blue would work in most of my house! 
This is the most "modern" of the settees but would really work anywhere.
I am a sucker for silk - even though it does require some care in placement (away from direct light and potential exposure to water). This one is so lovely! 
This one is going to Auburn, AL - wish I had a dozen of these! The companion bergere chairs found a home in NYC.
I do not often have a pair of settees and these are as nice as can be. Their lower profile would work well in many settings.
I just love this sweet piece!
This nicely sized settee is just out in time for a Spring debut! 
My European Linen Collection settees never last long - I have another one ready to be listed. These are all in new homes. 
One of my favorites! This one is already in a new home in California!
Well, I continue to acquire settees - have two more "in production". They work well in so many settings!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring is in the Air!

Signage at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia
Last Sunday was a beautiful day in the greater Atlanta area. The sun was bright and the temperature was a moderate mid-70's. My husband and I decided to take a quick trip to Gibbs Gardens - link to website. We have a four-season membership to these great gardens and the current feature is a series of fields of over 20 MILLION daffodils. We were not the only ones with this idea and had to wait over 20 minutes for their famous chicken salad sandwich (on walnut raison bread from a local bakery) - but it was worth it. The fields were lovely!

Of course, anything in nature reminds me of my lovely Wydeven Design inventory (available on Etsy, eBay and One King's Lane (link to One King's Lane) and this occasion was no exception. Spring is definitely in the air - even inside!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Decorating in Reds!

LOTS of red in this room - see pinterest board for details and origin (link)
Now this is a stimulating room - see pinterest board for details.
I love the color red and would love to see more of it in home decor. I have a pinterest board dedicated to the subject (link).  It is a color that I've used extensively in my own home. I have a traditional/transitional style in my living and dining rooms anchored by Chinese red rugs. The color may not be at its height of popularity right now (although "burgundy" is a 2015 color of the year), but it never entirely looses its advocates and is a favorite for many designers.

Red 101
When people walk into a red room, they immediately respond,” says New York City interior designer Scott Sanders. Color experts describe red as a stimulating shade. It grabs focus (think stop signs and fire engines) and, on walls, becomes the defining element of a space.link to article
One article I found talks about how to incorporate red into a variety of decorating styles - with an emphasis on walls and woodwork:

Contemporary design incorporates neutral elements with pops of bold color, often red.On the door: Bold, bright redInside: Bright red shades in a pillow, rug or throw Modern design calls for all kinds of reds: from primary hues to classic shades with burgundy or brown undertones.On the door: Any red you love that makes a statement.Inside: Consider injecting red through a painting or piece of art. Traditional design stays away from primary reds and instead involves burgundy or black tones.On the door: A deep, rich redInside: Decorate with Oriental rugs injected with darker reds. Transitional design relies on a neutral palette, a perfect canvas for pops of red.On the door: Match this red to hues you use inside the home, or skip the red door entirely to keep a more neutral theme.Inside: Choose a softer and more indirect approach like a red lamp or piece of art. Country reds are chalkier and softer: Think barn or scarlet reds. Choose reds with pinkish and purplish hues, like the color of a ripening apple.On the door: Barn redInside: Accessorize with country reds in knickknacks and fabrics.link to article

Illustration of Country Red decor - link  
I love the red "pops" in this space - a good example of contemporary design - see pinterest board for source information
This is a little dark for me but does illustrate how reds can brighten and energize the space - see pinterest board.
Lovely space - I would call this one transitional! 
Red in a French Country style - love the fabrics used here - see pinterest board for details.
 I always have a few reds in my Wydeven Design Collections but never more than a few. Truthfully, they do not sell as well as either neutrals or blues but they certainly do need to be available for those discerning clients who want that pop of color in whatever decorating space/design they like! My pieces are currently available on Etsy, eBay and One King's Lane!

I was surprised at how few pieces I had in this great color last year - I have to try harder this year!
I love this stripe and wish I had more than just enough for one small chair. 
I bought this fabric in four colors - love the red version! 
A great piece for a patriotic themed bedroom!
I do love reds and wish more people were bold enough to use them in their space - they really could not go wrong with this great energetic color.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Loving the Chalk Paint Colors and Finishes!

I have now been using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (link to website) for over three years and regularly feature my great pieces under what I am calling "The Custom Chalk Paint Collection" example on eBay. I have accumulated quite a few colors and am into my 2nd, 3rd and even 4th can for some.
Old Ochre with Dark Wax

Old White (most used)
Old Ochre
Paris Grey (least used)
Chateau Grey
Emperor's Silk (like best)
Duck Egg Blue (like second best)
Country Grey (most recent add-on)

I have tried a number of techniques but have not necessarily achieved the "advanced" state - most of my techniques are fairly straight forward. By far, the most common application method is just several (at least two - often three) coats of paint with a clear wax finish.

See illustrations below of simple techniques:
Lightly distressing the woodwork is the simplest technique. It works best when done before waxing but can be done afterwards (wax over distressed areas again if doing after initial waxing). I use a sanding block for best overall application and consistency. Truthfully, sometimes I do the distressing after the piece comes back from the upholstery shop if it has gotten dinged and scratched quite a bit in places that I cannot easily touch up. It's a pretty good trick!
This technique is not difficult but each time i use it, I always start in less obvious places and then move slowly around the piece - usually several times to make sure it is evenly applies. I have had to repaint the base coat and redo the overcoat when it has been too darkly covered.  The trick is to use only a slight amount of paint on a fairly dry brush to do the overcoat. 
This is my trickiest technique. It involved doing an initial coat of clear wax and following that with a coat of dark wax (I use a tooth brush to get it into the crevices). The dark wax coat needs to be managed (and sometimes removed with more clear wax) to keep it consistent. I love the way the technique highlights the curves and crevices of fine woodwork.
I have created several photo boards to demonstrate the use of the different colors I've accumulated. They are all versatile colors.

This is my biggest color - I am on my 4th can. It is a great off-white color that matches most cream/white backgrounds. 
Duck Egg Blue was a very early purchase because I just loved the color. It has worked well on many pieces but does need a lighter fabric to complement it. 
I have always admired black and white combos and like the look of black wood. This is the closest to "flat black" that Annie Sloan carries. It can be made darker by using only dark wax but it is never totally black. I have found that many people love the look of black woodwork (and it works in SO many settings) but it is not as easy of a sale as either natural wood or white/neutral wood finishes.
I love the brightness of Emperor's Silk but have found it hard to sell. I am about to add at least one more red piece to my inventory.
This color was one of my first purchases. White it is called "grey" it definitely has a greenish caste. I have used it when it complements the fabrics and only then. I am in the process of having a vintage love seat upholstered in the same fabric as shown in two of these photos (Chelsea Linen called "Pineapple") . I used this color paint on that piece.
I bought CoCo because I wanted a color that somewhat mimics real "brown" wood. This is the closest color. I am enjoying using it and sometimes just add dark wax to get even closer to the color of brown wood.  
I love this vanilla shade of white - almost a very pale yellow. I hadn't realized that I have used it exclusively with blue and blue and white - although I do see that it works beautifully! I should try with some other combos!
If Old White is too "white", I used Old Ochre. It is a nice neutral shade with just a hint of pale taupe.
Here is a close-up of a "gilding" technique over graphite. I have only done this once but liked how it turned out.
Well, this was nice trip down memory lane and I enjoyed seeing the versatility of the paints. I would like to experiment some more but am always concerned about broader customer appeal. Maybe I'll pick up a can of the bright green in celebration of the upcoming St. Patrick's Day!!