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Adventures with Fabric

My latest project involves performing experiments on fabrics by intentionally spilling liquids on them.  Why would I do that you ask?  Well, I shall tell you.  A few years ago, I bought a down-filled sofa off of Craigslist for $300.  Before ever physically seeing the sofa, I knew I was going to be in for something special.  When we arrived, we drove up the driveway to a home (estate) that must have been worth in the millions.  I’m not joking – at one point I thought we were at the wrong house.  Why would these people post anything on Craigslist?  This gorgeous home boasted 9 bathrooms and over 8,000 sq. ft.  Ok, back on topic (I could go on about this home).  Once we got the sofa to home, I was able to trace its origins to a super high quality line.  With the information I was able to gather, my guess is was that it was originally purchased for thousands of dollars.  It’s got beautiful lines that are classic and ever so solid construction.  However, while the fabric is durable and in good shape, the color does not go well in my home (I kinda knew this buying it).  So now I am working on having it re-upholstered and selecting the right fabric is tricky.

If you’ve never researched upholstery fabrics, you may not know that the majority are non-machine washable – not so great when you have two kids under 4.   In fact, many even stated that only “non-water solvents” are to be used when cleaning.  What are non-water solvents?  Does that mean dry-cleaning?  I contacted one of the upholstery manufacturers and asked, “So what happens if you spill water or juice on your fabric?”  Silence.  I guess no one has asked her this question before.  She didn’t really have an answer (or want to say).  She did mentioned that it might leave a water ring or that the fabric could shrink.  I then asked, “What if I machine washed the entire fabric before it’s used for re-upholstery?”   Again, no real answer.  So I’ve setup a series of experiments in which I spill various liquids (that are likely to spill) on my sample fabric.  I’ve left the spills to sit overnight and so far the results are quite favorable.  But the ultimate test will be running it through the wash.

Some of the fabrics I’m exploring are from:

1.  West Elm

2. Pottery Barn

3. House of Fabric

4. Fabric Guru

5. Inside Fabric

Images:  House of Many Hues

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April 24, 2012   1 Comment

Furniture + Updates + More!

There has been a lot exciting things going on the last few weeks at the House of Many Hues home!  I’m not exactly sure where we left off so excuse me if my updates are a bit all over the place.

After much thought and many quotes, we have decided to hold off on getting a deck this year.  We could have changed up our design, reduced the overall size, switched to a cheaper material all to reduce the cost but my husband said something one evening that made a lot of sense.  “Let’s enjoy our patio this summer and not give up on what we want”.  And so, I’ve decided (for now) to let it go and save up the additional funds to try and build the deck we want next year.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that at one point many years ago I use to refinish wood furniture.  I have never really been able to completely let go of the satisfaction of watching a piece go from grungy to gorgeous and so I’m back in the game!  This has been on my mind for some time but due to transportation limitations (we do not have a pickup truck) I was never able to easily rescue these pieces.  While we didn’t buy a truck, we did purchase a trailer which works just as well and was a much cheaper solution.  I plan to post these beauties on the House of Many Hues Facebook page (here) which I finally got around to setting up!  In addition to furniture, I will be posting home related items for sale – some of which are from my home.  So if you have some time or are curious, stop on by!

(The pic above is my latest buy.  I am undecided on which lampshade to use but I’m leaning on the one in the picture).

I’m also working on the next House of Many Hues Newsletter (if you missed the last one, you can still check it out.  It’s located on the right side of the site).  To ensure that you don’t miss out, make sure to sign up with your email (top right side of the site).  I want to send thanks to everyone that sent supporting words regarding the Newsletter.  One suggestion that came up a few times was that it wasn’t long enough and that they wanted more material!  To be honest, I was a bit worried that the Newsletter was on the longish side so this makes me feel a little better.  Anyway, for now the format will stay the same.

Ok, that’s enough updates.  How are you doing?

Images:  House of Many Hues

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April 18, 2012   1 Comment

And the Giveaway WINNER is….

Today is the day that the winner for the book giveaway is selected.  Thank you all for your emails, submissions, and kind words!  Using the random number generator, the number 6 was pulled.   Our winner for the [the nest] home design book is… (drum roll) … MaryBeth C!

Thank you for all your continued support!

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March 16, 2012   No Comments

House to Home Bedrooms

Hello Peeps!  Oh my, was this weekend ever so busy and dramatic!  Not to mention, the week hasn’t been any different.  I don’t think that we’ve had one this jam packed in a long time; with activities going all the way up to late Sunday evening.  Much of our time has been spent preparing our previous home for leasing out.  While I think we’ve accomplished a lot, I don’t feel very rested.  To make matters worse, next week is also filled with tons of appointments and things to do.  Ugh.  So is life.  And so my mind has been on bedrooms and the fantasy of just laying around and doing nothing.  Here are some sleeping beauties…

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to enter the House of Many Hues giveaway!  Take a look here.

Images:  House to Home

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March 15, 2012   No Comments

Blog Spotlight – Hilda’s Hem

I came across one of the sweetest blog’s the other day and just had to share.  Hilda’s Hem is a fantastic inspiration blog that is invigorating and includes such topics as flea markets, crafts, cakes, and sweets.  The blogs author Sofia Brolin, is authentic in her writing and demonstrates talent in her designs and photography.  The website is named after her grandmother Hilda and so the blogs name translates to Hilda’s Home.

Sofia also runs a shop at Barntavlor where she sells personalized children’s paintings.

Images:  Hilda’s Hem

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March 5, 2012   No Comments

Happy 2nd Birthday House of Many Hues + [the nest] Home Design Book Giveaway

The House of Many Hues will celebrate its 2nd birthday this month with another book giveaway!  This years birthday giveaway is a copy of [the nest] Home Design book.  If you don’t have this book in your collection, you are missing out!  It is chuck full of beautiful photos and offers a practical guide to the beginner decorator.



If you would like to enter the giveaway, the rules are as follows:

1.  Leave a comment here with your first name, the initial of your last name, and a couple words why you love House of Many Hues.

2.  Include a valid email address (don’t worry, only I will be able to see your email).

3.  One entry per person.

The winner will be announced in a new post on Friday, March 16, 2012.

Thank you for your continued support.

Good luck everyone!

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March 2, 2012   8 Comments

Paper Art

Years ago while at one of my favorite art stores, I couldn’t help but notice the huge hand cut paper lace draping the front window.  It reminded me of a gorgeous vintage tablecloth that was to only be seen and never used.  It had such an intricate design that I was baffled as to how they accomplished this.  Did they use small scissors? Was the paper folded and cut?  Did it take days or weeks to make?

Paper art can take on many forms.  I haven’t tried my hand at any paper lace projects mainly because I fear that my kids curiosity would probably destroy it.  But I did come across a paper project that is just lovely, durable, and doesn’t take much time at all.  Paper stars.  Take a look at the few I started:

It took me a few tries until I was able to make some decent ones.  I mainly used 1/2″ strips of paper that were about 10″ long.  It seemed that if they were any longer, I had a hard time fluffing them out.

One suggestion that comes up often is to write positive affirmations inside each star and then put them a jar or basket at home, work, or wherever.   Each day one can be picked by you or a visitor and unraveled and read.   I love it!

Want to try your hand at making these stellar beauties?  You can find video instructions here.

Images:  House of Many Hues

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March 1, 2012   No Comments

Parisian + Moroccan

The topic of strange gifts came up the other day and I really had to think about any unusual (and I don’t mean that in a good way) gifts that I’ve received.  Honestly, I can’t think of anything that falls under weird – but I have had people give me used stuff and then try to pass it off as brand new.  I’m not sure why they felt compelled to do this as I buy used items all the time!

Take a look at this Parisian home that has a Moroccan flavor.  It incorporates the old (including used items) with new and simply looks stunning!

Tooth Update:  I must say that I have the best dentist ever!  He had a huge task ahead of him last night by having to redo someone else’s poor work.  Numbing this tooth was no easy job and required lots of anesthetic which made me pass out momentarily (I’m sure the anxiety didn’t help either!).  I’m so glad that this is all over and behind me.

Images: Le Journal de la Maison

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February 29, 2012   No Comments