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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bluer Than Velvet Was the Night ...

Blue Velvet Slipper Chair - Source
Because I am of a certain age, the song "Blue Velvet" will always be a great "slow dancing song" - when dances at the gym were regular, high-anxiety occasions and the girls and the boys only got together for the slow dances - link to lyrics.

I just introduced a blue velvet love seat / settee (and soon its partner - a blue velvet chair) to my collection and the June issue of House Beautiful link to magazine just arrived with a glorious blue velvet sofa on the cover.  Call it a coincidence - I'm not so sure.
Photo of House Beautiful Layout with Blue Sofa in a Library

FIrst, some research on velvet:
Velvet is a luxurious fabric with a history that dates back thousands of years. In many ages and cultures, velvet was a highly prized textile which symbolized wealth, power and prestige. The pile weave that characterizes velvet gives it a rich look that is often associated with royalty. Source
 And suggestions for its use:
Used sparingly, velvet furniture brings opulence to a decorating scheme. A velvet armchair, a classic or cutting-edge velvet couch, a plush chaise lounge in the bedroom reminiscent of classic Hollywood movies -- a single piece of velvet furniture adds a rich feel to a room.  Source
I love the look and feel of velvet and agree that one piece can make a room!

What a great look! Source
Dark and moody! Source
My Love Seat / Settee - available thru Etsy and eBay - I am also doing a chair with the same styling (although tufted back) and base in same fabric!  Love it!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Red White and Blue Decorating in Honor of Memorial Day

You don't have to be celebrating a patriotic holiday to know that home furnishings and accessories look great in red, white and blue. Source
I agree with the above sentiment, a color combination of red, white and blue always looks great!  Although, while I love the flag in this photo, I'm not sure about seeing it this big all year round!

In celebration of Memorial Day, I am doing a short post mostly with photos of red, white and blue furnishings and decorations.

Love the red and white checks on the sofa - this would be a great beach or lake-themed home! source

The blue wingback and ottoman would work in so many settings - this could be a very versatile set with lots of opportunities for change! source
Look at that great rug with these striped chairs - not as sure about the head/antlers over the fireplace - source
Great French style chair - and I love the view of the console table in front of the window! -  source

Again, this may be a little much for me but certainly well executed! Source 

Clearly, using red, white and blue in a home color palette is not just a patriotic thing to do!

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Upholstered Furniture Styles - Slipper Chairs

Great set of slipper chairs at the end of this bed - one of the many places where slipper chairs work so well!  Source - my pinterest board will lead you there.
I love all types of upholstered furniture and am particularly fond of slipper chairs - I try to have at least several pairs (or singles) available for sale at any time. they are timeless and fit anywhere.

I thought I would do some quick research on slipper chairs and find some nice images - mine as well as those I have found and "parked" on my pinterest boards.

First the definitions - I particularly like this one which shows words which rhyme with slipper chair - in case you are using the term in poetry - now that is an idea  - merriam-webster:

Definition of SLIPPER CHAIR
: an armless upholstered chair with short legs 
First Known Use of SLIPPER CHAIR
I love this sweet set - particularly in this color - see source above.
Some of the definitions included more historical information:

The first slipper chair dates back to the Queen Ann era---the first half of the 18th century. The chair featured an upholstered seat and back and cabriolet legs, which are curved and typically feature a pad foot.

Innovations in chair making during the 19th century led to slipper chairs in a variety of Victorian styles, including Gothic Revival, Rococo, Renaissance Revival and Greco-Egyptian Revival.

Some demonstrations of slipper characteristics although these do not begin to show the variations possible - see source above
When I need to squeeze in extra seating in a room that is short on space, I turn to the classic slipper chair: an armless, upholstered chair with short legs so it sits lower to the ground. It is a space-saving chair because its total dimensions are smaller than an upholstered arm chair.

Historically the slipper chair was used in bedrooms to help ladies get dressed. The armless design offered plenty of room for those petticoats, inflated skirts, and corsets, so you could sit down to pull stockings and shoes on and off. While we typically no longer wear such extravagant pieces, we still love the slipper chair, only with a more modernized style.

The slipper chair makes a great accent chair. It can look sharp and tailored, detailed and traditional, or eclectic and fun. And they often are more affordable than armchairs. Let's take a look at how a slipper chair is a excellent seating option for a variety of situations in today's home.  How to Use Slipper Chairs in Home Decor.

Here are just some of the slipper chairs I have bought and refurbished recently. With the right fabric and styling, they really can work just about anywhere.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Sales and Inventory Control

It is tricky for me to retain a balance between inventory (both before and after refurbishing) and sales. I want to have enough on hand for potential customers to see a range of options in colors, styles and price-points. I want them not just to visit my on-line stores (mostly eBay and Etsy these days) but come back often for new and exciting offerings. With that in mind, I am almost always searching out great "before" pieces and the weekend estate and garage sales in the greater Atlanta area are amongst my best sources. Storage is a problem - I have limited home storage and my great upholsterers (the fabulous Lees at Sun's Upholstery in Norcross) very generously allow me to store both my before and some of my after pieces at their shop. Sometimes, however, it gets overly crowded and that is currently the case.

Given all of my misgivings about my inventory and space problems, however, I still went out on Friday and Saturday for the sales and found three nice pieces to buy!  I just can't stop myself!
This sale (in high-end Buckhead part of the city) was being held by a group of friends who put together quite an array of items for sale creating a real festival market atmosphere!
Just sine of the items for sale at the sale - tempting, tempting!
This company had two nice sales going this weekend and I visited both. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately given my inventory situation), their prices are always very high and they are not negotiable enough to make it worth my while even leaving a bid. The company has warehouse space and they bring unsold items there and, therefore, do not seem to have the incentive to reduce the items enough to move them out. I would have liked all of the items shown here but the settee was $1100 and the pink chair $495 - about 80% more than I want to spent!
These three pieces are well constructed and will look amazing redone. The wingback is a Hickory Chair - can't buy a better piece than that!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Craigslist Buying - Redux

I have previously written about using craigslist as a source for finding and buying "refurbish-able" fine upholstered furniture. I continue to be an avid user and am sometimes amazed (shocked) by how people post their items for sale. I thought it was time for a refresher.

I  check out the craigslist "furniture by owner" section - I try to check it at least 2-3 times a day.  In the Atlanta metropolitan area, it is widely used and updates are constant.  Really great and reasonable items go fast so it is good to be the first to see it and respond.
Actual craigslist posting - trying to sell these two "designer" chairs.

First, I never (or almost never) respond to:
  • furniture descriptions without photos - with the volume online and even for "free items", a photo needs to accompany any ad to provide at least a clue as to what the item looks like and whether further inquiry is worth it 
  • postings with photos that are not helpful (too small or dark), not flattering (messy surroundings) or that show the piece in a larger setting with other items (whole living room or space).
Actual craigslist posting photo - trying to sell this sofa underneath sheet/cover.
  • postings that do not allow me to send an email with questions (requires a phone call or sometimes text) - I always have questions and actually do not want this level of engagement at this point 
  • postings that are not straight forward (e.g., go into lengthy detail about why owner is selling or how very beautiful and desirable the item is ...)
  • postings with prices that are WAY too high or even just a little high but with a statement that price if firm - I have found that these people are easily insulted when I offer less so I don't bother
I use the following search criteria when scanning large numbers of listings to make sure I didn't miss anything:
  • desirable labels - Sherrill, Hickory Chair, Baker, Henredon
  • categories - settees, bergere chairs, chaises, French chairs
As you can see from the above "after" pieces, shopping craigslist can be a great source as well as an adventure. Despite my homework, I probably reject at least a third of the items once I get in the car and actually go to the location. The workmanship/quality is just not there and not worth redoing.  

Well, I am off today to see a pair of Sam Moore Country French style chairs - wish me luck!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scott's Antique Market - Great Source of Decorative Signage

Nice themes - decorative signage from Scott's Antique Markets

This is the second weekend of the month and, therefore, Scott's Antique Market Weekend in Atlanta - link to site. I do try to go once a month and find both new and comfortably familiar things to look at - a vast array of items on display. As I tackle this huge market (dubbed the world's biggest flea market), I choose one or more themes on which I can focus and photograph - mostly for this blog but also to organize my wanderings. One of my primary focus areas on this trip was "signage" and particularly signage that could be used in decorating a home. I took dozens of photos and will highlight some here. 

I also googled: "Using Signage in Decorating" and found a few articles that were useful. This one from ehow.com some ways to use signs and why they might work in a particular setting.

Decorate your home with signs to create an unusual décor look. Antique reproduction and cottage chic signs make good conversation starters and focal points. Make group wall arrangements by using home decorating signs and vintage style accessories. Hang signs in nooks and crannies around your home. Decorating signs can set a specific ambiance and be used anywhere in your home.

 There were several articles that talked about using old product signage like this good size bread sign (don't remember this brand at all). I have often seen old Coca Cola signs used in homes - particularly since Atlanta is the home of Coca Cola and there is a lot of memorabilia around - new and old!
This sign was located in a "garden" section of the market with lots of old, rusty implements and garden equipment.  In the right space, this would be a very clever sign. 

I can see this in a boy's room with a great train motif.
And, of course, this would work well in a girl's room - even MINE!
This was a fun theme. Several articles discussed using wooden signage in a country themed setting but I think it is clear from these great signs that you could use them in any setting as long as you have a sense of humor!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Using Large Patterns in Decorating - Upholstered Furniture

Large patterned chair - source - my pinterest board.
I have always loved a dramatic bold pattern in a room setting particularly on upholstered furniture. If well done, it adds drama and interest to the room. It is a little tricky (and sometimes scary) to use the bold patterns but I have tried to incorporate them into my refurbished upholstery offerings over the years and have been pleased with the outcomes.

There are tips and techniques available in decorating magazines and online sources - I have plucked just a few of them but they are easy to find by googling "working with large patterns in decorating".

Love this bright chair - see source above.

Here's a typical list of suggestions:

Playing with pattern Mix patterns such as checks with florals or large-scaled patterns with small-scaled patterns. 
Not sure when enough is enough? Play it safe! Use three different patterns that contrast in scale but relate in color. 
More is more when you confidently mix up to five patterns. To do so, let one large-scaled pattern dominate over one medium-scaled floral and another geometric, and toss in two small-scaled accent patterns (your choice of floral or geometric). Make sure the colors in the large-scaled pattern are repeated in all the others. 
Place pattern everywhere! Put the same pattern on the walls, windows, and furnishings. source
Wow - look at the scale of this one - see source above.
In one article, I found a statement that makes the most sense. It discussed the act of actually choosing a pattern to incorporate and admitted that, in most cases, you just fall in love and work very hard to make it work. It starts with the piece or pattern and then goes from there - that sounds about right to me.

As with anything, pictures tell the story best - here are some photos from my pinterest boards as well as collages of my prior and current large pattern upholstered piece offerings.

I think you can easily see why bringing in large patterns can really make the space and provide a good basis for other decorating elements.

What's not to love about large patterns!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Loving a Teal and Rose Color Palette

Teal walls with Rose Chairs - Great Combination (all of my photos are located on my pinterest board - link to decorating - blues board)
I love the Better Homes and Garden website and often find inspiration there including a recent review of popular color palettes. link to website.  I have featured other palettes but this post is about a wonderful warm & cool combination - teal(s) with rose or even coral/orange.  I love this combination and have been stocking up on fabrics in a teal - turquoise - sea foam color grouping.  Here are some refreshing images found on my pinterest board: decorating - blues:
This color seems more "seafoamy" than teal and looks wonderful with the corals.
Pale seafoam walls with teal club chair and various shades of rose - very calming yet vibrant.
I have been adding refurbished furniture to my inventory that looks well in this palette setting - here are some of these great pieces - all available on eBay and Etsy.

The palette for all of these was found on the BHG webpage (above) and it is paired with some of my refurbished pieces.
What do you think of this great combination - I love it!