The dark, dreary days of winter are coming to an end, and the promise of spring is in the air. As you look around your home, is it filled with dark, heavy fabrics, dated colors and drab accessories? Spring is the perfect time to update your decorating scheme, and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
Beverly Draper, sales associate at the Wal-Mart fabric department for the past two years, has a bunch of new, fun fabrics to use in freshening up your décor.
"We just received a new shipment of spring fabrics. People use them to make curtains, throw pillows, tablecloths and aprons," Draper said.
Here are some simple suggestions to spruce up any room.
First, take stock of what you currently have. Then, purge, purge, purge, says interior designer Pam Damour. "People get too hung up on stuff," says the New York-based designer. Too much clutter means that there is no focus for the room. Damour has a rule she uses in her own house -- "for every five things I purge, I can put one back in," she says.
A relatively quick and inexpensive way to instantly update a room is to give the walls a fresh coat of paint in a new color. "Blue is coming back," notes Damour. "We'll see all shades this spring, from robin's egg blue to baby blue to soft teal. And pink, which was so hot in clothes this past year, is now showing up in homes as a fresh new accent color." Of course, you'll want to choose a color that works with your current furnishings, but a visit to your local paint store should give you plenty of options.
Next, consider adding some additional color to your rooms with fabric -- whether that means a new window treatment, new pillows for the sofa or even something as simple as a new tablecloth. Damour likes to mix and match textures and styles/designs for interest. She favors natural fabrics, including silk. "Silk can be dressed up or down, and adds a touch of elegance to any room," she says.
The good news is, anyone who can sew a straight seam can put this skill to use making easy-to-sew pillows and simple window treatments to brighten up a room. The choice of home decorating fabrics available has never been better, and a quick look through the pattern books turns up patterns for everything from seat cushions to curtains.
"Aprons are really big right now, especially retro-style aprons," Draper said. "I make and sell aprons. We get a lot of people who will use these fun, new spring colors to recover kitchen stools and other things to redecorate their home."
The key is to use the right tool for the job, it just makes your life easier! For example, Bernina's newest sewing machine, The Aurora, has a stitch regulator foot with a sensor that "reads" the fabric. This allows you to use free motion sewing techniques and still have consistent, even stitches. It is the only home sewing machine with this technology.
Tips from the pros for perfect accent pillows
Here are a few hints to make your pillows look professionally made:
- Start with quality fabrics and materials and use different shapes and sizes together for a more interesting arrangement.
- You can insert a zipper and change your cover seasonally.
- To avoid "empty corners," try this professional trick: find the center of each side seam and draw a line from the center point to 1/4-inch in from the corner; trim your fabric along this line.
- Embellish your pillow front with pin tucking, use welt cording, beads, buttons, fringe or other trim to make it truly unique and uniquely yours.
- Ruffled pillows are classic and easy to make. To determine ruffle fullness add the measurement of all four pillow sides and multiply it by 3 to get the correct length before you start to gather.
The folks at the Wal-Mart fabric department are available to help with fabric and pattern selections.
"A lot of the fun of working here is helping people do design" Draper said. "We help them put together fabrics for clothing, home decorating, and quilts -- lots and lots of quilts."
Having the right sewing accessories makes creating home fashions easier, too. Tools like Bernina's leather roller foot make applying trim on projects like these pillows, as well as cushions and slipcovers, a snap. The bulky overlock foot simplifies the use of covered cording; in many applications, corded piping can be made and applied in one simple operation.
With a little imagination, perhaps some paint and some gorgeous fabric, you can add a touch of spring and update the look of your home.
For more home decorating tips as well as information on the latest sewing machines and accessories from Bernina, visit www.berninausa.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content