Friday, June 17, 2016

Building a Swedish Gustavian Style Sofa Frame

I first fell in love with Swedish Gustavian style in 1989, when I was starting interior design school.
I loved the simple lines, the fresh, pastel colors and respect for light.  The style used simple fabrics which I have always felt more at ease with then fancier fabrics that might require one to keep up appearances to a level I did not aspire to!

In other words, no pretensions here, I was a small-town girl born and bred, who loves simple florals, checks, stripes and a fresh coat of paint.  Cottage style.

But I also am attracted to a bit of bling in unexpected places, like a bit of gold leaf on the trim of a chair or table skirt.

Swedish Gustavian seemed the perfect fit for my style, which up until then, I couldn't really define on my own.

Its been a dream of mine for years to own a Swedish Gustavian style sofa but up until now, I certainly couldn't afford a real one!  I also have "real life" to factor in.  (Pets and messy partners)
I need everything slipcovered and washable.

I began designing my own fabrics a few years ago and have 2 places online where you can find them, to shop.
LilyOake on Spoonflower
LilyOake on

A few weeks ago I stumbled across an image on outdoor bench by Ana White, on her blog, here:
Weatherly Sofa Frame
Ana White's gorgeous Weatherly Sofa, on her blog. All the plans are there for download.

OH MY!  Exactly what I have been looking for all these years.  The "X" back is a very Swedish look and I knew I could take it beyond the outdoor look it had in her blog, to an indoor look that would work for everyday use.

Well, I have yet to get the thing painted (lots of prep involved) but I did get one built, with the help of my ex, with the second one planned this weekend.

After we get both built, I can begin filling holes, sanding, conditioning the wood, priming and painting.
My two sofas will end up being all white with gold leaf ormolu in certain places.
And the seat cushions will be slipcovered in one of my own check fabrics printed on linen cotton ultra through Spoonflower.
I named it "Harold Check" in blueberry.  It will be a great neutral print that can travel from room to room should I need to do some furniture rearranging!

Enjoy the construction photos and check back for more posts as I work my way through this exciting project.
The real thing 

Love the higher, solid carved sides on this antique Swedish sofa as well.

I will add matching pillows along the back of mine too.

These are some real, original Swedish Gustavian wooden sofas.  You can see why they appealed to me - so fresh, clean and unique.

And here are the photos I took of the construction of the Weatherly sofa, made with the downloadable plans off the Ana White blog.  The shopping list was easy to follow.  I just went to Home Depot after work and bought what she had on the list.  She had estimated around $35 in wood - pretty much right on!  I was making 2 frames so I doubled everything, plus bought a few extra pieces in a few of the sizes (just in case) and my total was $90.  Not too bad for TWO sofa frames.

My handyman helper comes with tools!

After precutting, we were ready to roll.

Precut all the pieces and the project will go much quicker!

Building the sides on a table.  Precutting pieces meant construction went quickly and smoothly.

Laid out the back on the ground and cut a 1" wide piece of wood as a spacer guide.

Once the sides were attached tot he back, we could see how beautiful this sofa was going to be!

The finials can be found at Lowes for $2.98 a pair.  They add loads of personality.

Adding the front rail - we were very excited at this point, seeing the project nearly completed!

Just needed to add the slats!  We took her advice and lowered the support in the back by 1.25", to make it easier to sit on.

The Weatherly sofa in its final stage of construction.  I could only find two of the finials for the corners but have since bought more, to complete the look.

HAROLD CHECK in blueberry and white.  A classic Swedish Gustavian style fabric to use on this sofa.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Blue & White Fabrics

I decided to take a few snaps of some of the blue & white fabrics I use around my house for curtains, tabletoppers, pillows, slipcovers, tea towels, etc.

I love to design using the same color formula blue (I call it blueberry) so everything goes together, whether the same pattern or not.
It prevents the decor from being dull but its also subtle enough to not overpower the senses.

Here is a link to my Spoonflower shop, LilyOake, where you can purchase any of my 612 designs on 21 different fabrics, wallpaper and gift wrap!

Summery Stripes in Blue and White

With the in-home art studio tour over with and a small craft fair this weekend, I have had little time for home projects, other then cleaning and getting art ready!
But Memorial Day afternoon I took some time for myself to sew the slipcover for an ottoman I had found at Goodwill in Edmonds for $5!
It was in like-new condition but was an awful color (that 1970's burnt orange velveteen look).

That had to change!
Luckily I have been teaching myself how to sew slipcovers so that ended up being an easier solution then reupholstering it.

So after considering my many designs in my Spoonflower shop, LilyOake, I decided to go with blue and white stripes.
There's a strong possibility this ottoman (and the chair I'm pairing it with) will be floaters in the house and it needed to fit in each room.
I use the same light blue and white in each room but in different floral patterns so stripes seemed to be the perfect fabric.

I designed Signe Stripe in blueberry and white, to use as wallpaper, originally.  But it also makes a fabulous linen cotton canvas slipcover.

After studying various designs of slipcovers online, I decided I wanted something airy, summery and easy.
So I chose a simple, slightly gathered skirt that dropped to the floor.  I did add light blue piping which picks up one of the blues in the stripes (there are 3 subtly different shades).

As soon as my yardage arrives for the chair, I will sew a cover from the same stripe to make a matching set! (even though that fabulous wide-seat chair was found on Craigslist for $35).

I provided a "before" photo so you could see what I am starting with, both chair and ottoman.

Here's a link to Signe Stripe in blueberry, in my Spoonflower shop, LilyOake Signe Stripe

Slipcover is made with a linen cotton canvas

A simply gathered skirt and piping - perfect summery look!

On the sewing machine. Piping and skirt is on, now for the hem!

Sewing on piping is not my favorite thing to do but I love the look. My new Bernina's piping foot is difficult to use. I sure miss my old Singer's piping foot, but not the machine!
BEFORE - the ottoman and chair I am trying to match up!  The unifier will be Signe Stripe slipcovers.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pillow Heaven!

What a fun and productive weekend I had!
It was full of music, lilacs, sleeping kitties, Seattle rain and the hum of my sewing machine in my studio as I took full advantage of the last few days to round out my collection of handmade pillows for my up-coming studio tour on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st.
I'm one of 11 studios participating in Arts North Studio Tours as studio #2, LilyOake.

I'll have 2 talented guest artists in my dining room as well.  One a pet portraitist in pen and ink and the other a watercolorist.

And I'll be in my small studio with my fabric and wallpaper designs.

One of my favorite things to make with my own fabrics are pillows because they're an easy and inexpensive way to change a room's decor without a huge commitment.  You can add some style and color/pattern to any room by tossing one or two on a sofa or in a chair.

I have found everyone loves the 16" x 26" pillow size - just seems comfortable!  Its the golden rectangle of pillows, I think!
So I made several more this weekend.  Fillers are duck-filled and the backs are thick, soft, white cotton with a simple foldover closure for easy removal to toss in the washer.

I staged these on one of my dining chairs made with my May's Rose pattern on linen cotton canvas, sewn into a slipcover.
And with the clock I've been working on now for 2 months, all completed, I am so excited for the first day of the tour!

Enjoy the images and I'd love to hear from you!  The pillows will end up in my ETSY shop next week, so folks out of town will have a chance to order.
But if you don't see what you want, I have over 600 designs in my Spoonflower shop, LilyOake, where you can either order the fabric yourself or see what I have to offer and commission me to sew up pillows, curtains, table linens, etc., for your home.

I don't know if the clock will sell but if it doesn't, it already has a place in my heart and in my home!
May Day Roses on aqua

May Day Roses on basil stripe

Interior of clock is decoupaged in paper designed by Lilyoake

Hand painted clock in Swedish Gustavian style

Isolde on sorbet pink stripe linen cotton canvas pillow

Saint Elfswythe on sorbet, linen cotton canvas pillow

Elvie in blueberry on eco canvas

Hand painted clock case inspired by 18th C Swedish Gustavian style furniture

Rosewitha on blueberry

Handpainted Swedish Gustavian-inspired clock

Rosewitha on basil stripe

Rosewitha on blueberry stripe

Gold leafed ormolus and trim on Swedish Gustavian-inspired clock case

Isolde on sorbet stripe, linen cotton canvas pillow

Rosewitha on aqua stripe linen cotton canvas pillow

Inside of clock decoupaged with Saint Colette June Roses in blueberry paper

Rosewitha on basil stripe linen cotton canvas

Rosewitha on blueberry stripe linen cotton canvas

Rosewitha on peony stripe linen cotton canvas

LilyOake linen cotton canvas pillows in aqua

Rosewitha Stripes on aqua linen cotton canvas

Linen cotton canvas pillows by LilyOake in both peony and sorbet pinks

Rosewitha on peony stripe

Rosewitha on peony stripe linen cotton canvas

Linen cotton canvas pillows by LilyOake

Rosewitha on blueberry stripe linen cotton canvas