Saturday, February 25, 2012

What you need to know about your outdoor cushions.

Spring is coming. I don’t really care what Punxsutawney Phil said.  I know because I am getting lots of requests to re-cover outdoor  and RV cushions.  A lady I know was telling me about the waterproofing spray she was going to buy to spray her outdoor cushions.  We had a bit of a conversation about this, and I thought I should share some of it. 
First of all, if you expect the covers to be totally waterproof, you will be  disappointed. Unless you seal each line of stitching, glue the zipper shut, and evenly apply multiple layers of waterproofing, the cushion will not be totally impervious to water collection.
Walter collecting in the inner foam will mold and mildew.  Hence ruined cushions.
The clever DIYer will make her outdoor cushions so the water runs through them and does not collect in the filler. Makes a  lot of sense when you think about it, doesn’t it?
If you are making your cushions yourself, or having them made, ensure you use a foam or filler specifically designed for outdoor use. The most common outdoor cushion  material is a quilt batt-like product. (Often made from recycled plastic bottles.) Water passes through the product, inhibiting mildew growth. Available one or two inches thick, it is stacked to the required depth and can be cut easily with scissors. It is available online and in large do-it-yourself home decor stores; it is priced about the same as high quality foam. Fabricland carries it as  Fiber Form-Ext.
My current favorite is Dri-Fast. Thick polyethylene fibers are spun into a sheet typically 2 or 3 inches thick to create a product that is firm, does not support mildew growth and can be cut with an exacto-knife.  Water passes through the material quickly and does not accumulate. It is about twice as expensive as foam, but some varieties are guaranteed for at least five years of outdoor use. It is available through upholsters and drapery workrooms. 
The fabric used to cover outdoor furniture foam requires consideration as well. Good-quality outdoor fabric resists sun-bleaching and allows moisture to pass. If the filler is wrapped with a batting, it should not be glued in place as the glue will inhibit water passing though. Spend the extra money on top-quality materials now and you won’t be replacing the cushions in a few  years.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

5 Reasons to Hire a Decorator

 A decorator will save you money. If a gallon of paint costs $65.00 and you buy two in the wrong color; you have lost $130.00. Plus all the time it took to choose, shop and paint. The smaller your budget, the less room you have for mistakes - you need help to get it right the first time. 
A decorator will help you clarify your vision - she can take all the pictures you have in your ‘wish’ folder and make sense of it. She will work with you to help you get the elements just right, in the right proportion and in the right place. She should have some formal training;  it is indicative of a serious dedication to the profession. She should be able to provide you with a scale drawing of the finished room.  Think about it, who would you prefer to have working in your home- a self-taught plumber or one who has taken some training? Training will help a decorator help you. 
A decorator will  help you make a plan. A decorator should provide a plan that meets your vision and your budget  and details the steps to take, and in what order. With her knowledge and training, she will be able to devise a plan that fits  your budget and your timeline.  You can then schedule your time and expenditures to fit your life. 
A decorator can provide scale floorplans of a new space. Downsizing, renovating, moving, or buying new furniture is much easier, takes less time, and is much less stressful if you know where each piece is to be placed. A floorplan will show you possible trouble spots for using existing furniture, and will  clearly show you the size that new furniture should be.  Floorplans will also reveal such elements as the size of the rug needed, the size and shape of coffee table,  bedside tables, and lighting.
A decorator can help you solve design dilemmas.  A good decorator brings a wealth of knowledge of interior fashion and function and will be able to help you with such diverse problems as how to deal with an off-center window or how to maximize storage  Often just having a trained set of eyes look at the problem and discuss it with you will show the solution.

If you need help, or just want to talk, call me. And.. Happy Belated Birthday to Art, my ‘Biggest Fan.’