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Sleep well, my Friend! House Hack #7

It’s November!  I realize the calendar doesn’t declare Winter until around December 21st but in my mind, when the clock strikes 12 midnight on Halloween, Autumn is over and Winter has arrived. Are you with me? Time to break out the woolies, quilts, and turn on the fireplace.Dogs by the fire

While I won’t begin Christmas decorating until after Remembrance Day on November 11th, I do like to start changing over my decor from light & bright to warm & cozy. The first place I always start is with the bedding in our Master Bedroom.  My husband loves flannel sheets and would gladly use them year round but I would probably spontaneously combust (women of a certain age, you know what I mean LOL).  Our compromise? We keep the house cooler at night (thanks to a programmable thermostat coming on at 5am – no one is frozen when they get up in the morning) and we use the flannel sheets and a down duvet.  Everyone is happy and I can “un-layer” should the need arise.

I love the convenience of a duvet, such a simple way to change decor. What I don’t love is finding it at the bottom of the cover at the foot of the bed or bunched up in one corner. A simple addition to your duvet and duvet cover reduces/eliminates this problem and I have a method of inserting it into the cover that can be handled by one person and doesn’t involve you crawling inside!

Let’s start with the duvet itself. Take a look at the one you already own. Some duvets have a small buttonhole in the corners and spaced out along the perimeter of the duvet. Ever wonder what those were for? Prepare to be amazed. That is where you insert ties from the duvet cover and tie them off to secure the duvet inside the cover.  What?!!  “But my duvet doesn’t have those buttonholes” you say. https://throughthecommon.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/duvet-strap-detail.jpgHere’s an easy fix.

Take ribbon or seam binding (I prefer seam binding, it doesn’t fray or tear) https://throughthecommon.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/duvet-cover-and-strap-detail.jpgand attach it to the corners of your duvet. This can be done by hand sewing but secure it well, it will be pulled on.

 

Now turn your duvet cover inside out and attach ties to the “seam allowance” of the duvet cover as well. You now have a way to secure the duvet to all four corners of the duvet cover. But wait…there’s more…

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Lay your duvet flat over the bed. Take your inside out duvet cover and lay it over top of the duvet.  The bottom, or closure area, should line up with the head of the bed like this.

Tie the ties together in the corners to secure the duvet to the duvet cover.  https://throughthecommon.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/duvet-and-cover-tied-together.jpg https://throughthecommon.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/duvet-roll-beginning.jpg https://throughthecommon.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/duvet-roll-finish.jpgStarting at the foot of the bed, begin to roll the two pieces together. Continue to roll until you’ve got something resembling a cinnamon bun (sorry for the food reference).

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This is where the magic happens (I cannot believe I just wrote that!).
Turn that roll inside out so the duvet cover is now on the outside of the roll and the duvet is on the inside of the roll.

https://throughthecommon.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/duvet-zipped.jpgOnce it’s all nicely tucked inside, zip it closed and begin unrolling the duvet/duvet cover sandwich (again, another food reference, dinner is almost ready). It’s really that simple.  Makes you want to change your duvet cover all the time, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

Give it a bit of a fluffing to distribute the duvet inside the cover and you are done.  Sleep well, my friend!https://throughthecommon.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/duvet-insertion-complete.jpg

 

How to EASILY re-stuff a cushion or pillow – House Hack #6

I’ve been absent from the blog for a good part of the summer but have kept busy with all sorts of projects around the house. Mixed in with travel and other summer activities, there has been much going on around here. I have started many projects but there are not many completed! So, I’m spending the last few days of summer to try to get some things finished up.

My beautiful Rosie sneaking a nap on the furniture. Bad Dog!One thing that has annoyed me for a while is how saggy and misshapen the sofa in our Great Room has become. It is the most popular spot in the room with the best view of the TV. The pets think so too and it’s an ongoing battle with the dogs to keep them off the furniture. We have never allowed it, but as Rosie gets older, she has become more devious about getting up on the furniture. I have resorted to barricading the soft upholstery when we’re not in the room for any length of time but now if you just step into the kitchen, she makes her way to the sofa. Bad dog!

Needless to say, a long hot, dusty summer has wreaked havoc on the upholstery. The leather pieces are easy enough to wipe down but the sofa has really paid the price. I decided to remove all the cushion covers and wash them. I checked the contents of the fabric and washed one by hand to make sure it would be okay.  It was, so all six pieces went into the washer.

They turned out great!  But the biggest challenge is not the washing – it’s stuffing them all back inside the covers when it’s time to re-assemble. I hate that part. By the time you get them put back in, they’re all out of shape and the batting is twisting around the foam – frustrating to say the least!

I had read about an easier way to accomplish this task using a plastic bag so I’ve made a video to show you how easy it really is.

And here’s the “after” shot (forgot to take the “before”!)

Sofa after polyfil has been added to the cushions.I’m pretty happy how a cleaning and a bit of polyfil have breathed new life into our sofa.  It definitely gets heavy use in our home and this should extend its life a little longer.  Have you tried adding fill to furniture to plump it up?  Would you try this hack to make it easier to put the cushion inside the cover? Did you notice how Dexter even photobombed my video…

Amazing results after adding polyfil batting to the cushions on our sofa

Our summer has been spectacular in British Columbia.  Hope yours has been as great! Can’t wait to share my next project with you,

Kelly

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Pine Pie Safe Reinvented with Chalk Paint

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve got a lot of pine furniture that I’m anxious to reinvent.  I have a Pie Safe that was purchased at a big box lumber store more than 20 years ago.  I originally used Varathane to finish the piece and it was used to store items in our family room.  I am not, however, a fan of how orange everything is becoming. Pie Safe Reinvented http:::ThroughTheCommon.wordpress.com.jpg 1019

It was an inexpensive piece and it has served our family well.  The problem with pine, even with a good finish, is that it is soft and easily damaged. Pie Safe Reinvented http:::ThroughTheCommon.wordpress.com.jpg 1019Pie Safe Reinvented http:::ThroughTheCommon.wordpress.com.jpg 1019Here is one of the culprits!  This is Dexter, one of our two Basset Hounds.  He always has to be in the middle of whatever I am doing – he is my dog photo bomber…

 

I have decided to paint out this piece with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.  As you may remember from my previous post on the Outdoor Bench, I have fallen in love with this paint!  It applies so easily and I have discovered that touch ups are a breeze.  No need to completely re-do your finish, simply touch up the spot, right over the wax finish, and re-apply the wax.  Doesn’t get any easier than that, does it?

https://throughthecommon.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/chalk-paint-outdoor-bench/ I’m painting the inside of the piece.  It’s not necessary but I like a uniform look.  I have only done one coat and and I will wax the shelves to give them some added protection but I’m not going to bother with the interior sides and back of the piece.  The more I use this paint, the more I discover how really versatile it is.  If you’ve ever tried painting furniture, you know that drips and sag are a constant battle.  It’s not always possible with furniture to paint on a flat, horizontal surface but with this paint, it doesn’t seem to matter.

Here it is with two coats of paint.  I am loving this colour!  French Linen is kind of a poor description of what the colour really is – to me it’s a lovely greige – not the creamy beige colour one might expect from the word Linen.https://throughthecommon.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/chalk-paint-outdoor-bench/

And now for the magichttps://throughthecommon.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/chalk-paint-outdoor-bench/!  This wax is incredible and I love how it deepens the colour once you apply it.  https://throughthecommon.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/chalk-paint-outdoor-bench/I’ve tried to capture that in this comparison photo but I’m not sure it does it justice.  It might look like a lighting issue in the photo but that is just what the wax does to the colour.

Can you believe the difference?  I think this might be good for another 20 years!Pie Safe Reinvented http:::ThroughTheCommon.wordpress.com.jpg 1046Supply List:

  • Pine Pie Safe
  • ASCP in French Linen (for a list of retailers near you, click here Annie Sloan Stockists )
  • ASCP Clear Wax
  • Wax Brush
  • Old sheet to polish wax once it has dried
  • Paint Brush – I use Purdy because they last a long time if you keep them clean

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