Q. I see many beautiful home magazines with easy, breezy coastal living rooms that employ white sofa slipcovers. The articles assure me that bleaching the slipcovers is easy when they get dirty. How easy is this? And where is a good place to buy nice-looking yet affordable ones? (Custom-made would be way out of my budget.)
I use only non-chlorine bleach. Some laundry detergents have non-chlorine bleach as part of their formula, or you can buy something such as Clorox2 and add it to your cycle. I like the Tide pods for tough stains because they have detergent, stain remover and brightener in them. They would be great on white slipcovers.
I know what you mean, that you don’t want to get custom slipcovers, but they really would be the best look for your sofa, unless you can contact the manufacturer and see whether they sell slipcovers to fit your particular style. I know Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams offers this service.
Otherwise, there are Sure-Fit white slipcovers, and sometimes you can find them at Wal-Mart or Overstock.com.
Q. I love the idea of mixing and matching frames to decorate a wall, but don’t know where to begin. Should I just go to the store and buy a bunch, or do I need to map out on the wall where to place them?
You could go one of two ways. First of all, you could go the same-frame route. I might go to a store such as Michaels, Marshalls, Target or the Container Store and pick up some identical frames in different sizes. You could go black, white, gold or silver. Buy more than you need because you can return the ones you don’t use. Measure your wall and lay out the frames in a neat pattern. Figure out which photographs or artworks will work together in a pleasing arrangement. Don’t put any holes in the wall until you are sure you like your arrangement. A second route would be to use an eclectic assortment of old and new frames – some carved, some modern, some painted, etc. I prefer the frames to be in the same general color scheme, but some people like to mix the whole thing up. Do the same process of laying everything out before you nail.
Q. Does anyone have any good ideas for storing magazines? I can’t bear to throw away my old, beautiful Martha Stewarts. Not only is the collection big, but it’s also heavy.
I once was doing a photo shoot at a designer’s house and found that they stacked their magazines under all the skirted tables in their house. I actually love to see stacks of magazines neatly piled on shelves, whether in slipcases or just in simple rows. Lucite cases are attractive and don’t take up visual space. They also look great in big, oversize baskets. I recently bought some wonderful big woven baskets in the Marshalls linen department for $20. They have an expensive look and would be great for stashing your magazines.
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