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Archive for August 2008

Caring for your Loose Covers

If you own loose covers your concern will be to preserve their quality and good looks.

As time goes by daily life can cause stains, damage and wear. It’s important to know how to remove, clean and refit.

However you may not need to remove and wash your covers at all. By using arm covers and following the tips below, you really can keep that showroom finish.

How to keep the showroom finish for years and years:

    • Loose cushion covers can be rotated regularly and reversed to give even wear.
    • Plumping up the cushions regularly helps to keep the covers looking full and fitted.
    • Regular redressing of the loose covers can really help in maintaining appearance. This includes straightening the seams. Any excess fabric can be tucked into the pockets between the arm or back and the seat area.
    • Keep out of direct sunlight. Fading is unavoidable on any fabric exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
    • Accidental spills can be spot cleaned very effectively if you are quick. It’s a good idea to do a test in a small area which isn’t visible.
    • One chenille and velvet fabrics, the pile will flatten with use. This can result in a ‘shaded’ area where there is contact e.g. on the arms. This is normal with this type of fabric but vacuuming with a brush attachment can help.

Top Tip: Vacuum your covers regularly using a brush attachment. Accumulated dirt in the fibres can cause wear.

How to machine wash your covers:

    • Use a non-colour enhancing liquid detergent.
    • Check the wash label in the covers just to check that they can be washed. Some heavyweight fabrics are dry clean only.
    • Typically the correct temperature is 30 degrees C. The same is true if hand washing.
    • Lightly spin or line dry cotton covers.
    • Run a cool iron over cotton covers while damp.
    • Polyester covers should be dried on the line and do not need ironing as they are almost always crease free.

Top Tip: A good tip is to wash all components of the cover at the same time. With all that fabric this may be easier said than done.

How to re-fit your covers:

    • Remove all loose cushions. Find the sewing label and stand at the back.
    • If there is a zip undo it. Pull the cover down over the back until the cover fits snugly along the top edge.
    • Continue to pull the cover down over the arms and seat base tucking in firmly where appropriate. There is usually a gap between the arm or back and the seat base. If the covers have piping, make sure the piping sits correctly on the arm scrolls.
    • Pull down and smooth the fabric and make sure the valance sits straight at floor level. Close the zip if there is one.
    • Finally pull on the separate cushion covers and make sure the piped edges are straight, and replace the cushions.

Top Tip: The sewing label is almost always at the back of the cover in the centre. All that fabric can seem a bit daunting. Stand at the back of the chair or sofa, find the label and it will soon fall into place.

If Loose Covers are damaged:

    • If snagged threads are caused accidentally on stretch (polyester) fabrics, draw them through to the reverse side i.e. so the thread is on the inside.
    • Arm covers are a great help to protect and prolong the life of covers.
    • If the damage is serious be careful to make sure that any replacements are colour matched to other covers. You may need to send a sample.

Top Tip: Avoid sharp objects - If you have cats try and discourage them from scratching. There are a few products available and some good advice at


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Using Colour in your Home Decor

In a previous post I hopefully helped you understand how colour can affect your mood and bring out your personality. If you haven't read it, please click on the link below:

Colour can effect your mood in all sorts of ways

You should have a vague idea of what colours you are wanting to use in your home. The tricky part now is, how do you put them together to give a cohesive and flowing feel throughout your home?

Often people assume paint is the main factor when decorating a room, in fact it is as much about the colour of accessories, furniture and soft furnishings. You should always consider the contrast between them all. When painting a room, remember that paint looks a different colour in the shop than it is in your home, so always take a test sample home with you to try out before buying in quantity! Whatever you do though don't worry about choosing the wrong colour, walls can easily be painted over.

When using bold and spicy colours, also known as 'Active' colours, keep them simple and in small doses so they are not competing. 'Active' colours such as yellow, orange and red will stand out in a room and dominate most other colours so should ideally be used against a neutral backdrop.

Using bold colours to achieve a visual effect can also be done by combining neutral colours with different textures, which can be just as visually stimulating. Also lighter, less saturated, natural colours will make a room seem larger than it is, whereas the deeper and more intense range of the spectrum will pull the walls in around you and give a cosier felling.

When mixing and matching colours, natural shades of greens and browns are by far the easiest to use, as you tend to find them in nature. If decorating with a brown colour scheme, adding plants and greenery will lighten up the feeling and bring life to your room.

A flowing feel of colour throughout your home creates a greater impact but can sometimes be quite difficult to achieve. However, simple touches such as using the same colour in the skirting boards and door surrounds can go a long way to pull it all together.

When you have large areas or objects to colour like floors and sofas that generally have a higher price associated. Keeping them neutral will help when tastes and fashions inevitably change. Painting over a few walls is always going to be more cost effective than changing a carpet or sofa. If you don't have the time or energy to start painting again, the alternative option for your sofa would be loose covers, which are far cheaper than buying new and have the same effect.

People generally forget about ceilings so most often than not are just left white. If you do want to be different then using a lighter shade of the wall colour will usually work quite well, unless the ceiling is over 8 feet then use a darker shade.

Just remember getting used to a new room colour might take a few days. Once you start filling a room with other elements you'll probably be pleasantly surprised to see that your new colours harmonise

Learn more tips here about how to choose a colour scheme here.


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