i wanted a footstool to pair with an arm chair because who doesn't want to put their feet up? theoretically i wanted some cute little vintage piece with wooden legs and a needlepoint cushion. in my search of area "antique" shops, what i was finding was not only not cute but also way too small. i know in the olden days people were shorter than they are now, but really, who can relax their legs on something only 7" high? that's about the same height as the footrest on a greyhound bus. better than nothing i guess, but still, far from ideal!
what i wanted was something as high as the chair's seat cushion. ikea to the rescue! i'd seen this slip-covered stool there and ended up buying it in "natural" thinking it was the right height at 15" but also neutral enough to go with the rest of the living room. and at $14.99, there basically was no risk in getting rid of it in case it didn't work out once i got it home.
|the ikea solsta pallbo stool in "ransta natural"|
yeah well, it didn't fit in with the living room at all. it stood out like the plain white cube that it is.
|the footstool looking about as utilitarian as a ford focus.|
after a few weeks of living with it in this plain state, i tried out a red leaf pattern stencil on it in an attempt to give it some personality, but that turned out weird and basically ugly (so much so that i won't bother showing it here.)
then months later, inspiration struck! while working on the plan for an urban patio, i had ordered of a sample swatch of the brown and cream zigzag fabric that i intend to use out there. looking at the swatch one day at home, it suddenly made sense that the same zigzag fabric would be a great compliment to my living room. i'm pretty handy on the sewing machine and so i plotted to make a new slip cover for the stool. the zigzag would tie together colors in the rug and the addition of red piping would bring in the color of the red velvet chairs.
|the newly covered stool.|
|standing back a bit.|
i love the play of the patterns, both in their design and their scale. i now have the large organic floral paisley of the rug, the medium geometry of the zigzag, and the small detailed design on the throw pillow (hand creweled by my maternal grandmother) all working together to create a visually dynamic little spot to hang out.
|the zigzag helps downplay the utter simplicity of the cube shape.|
after assembling all the elements, i spent about 4 hours making the new cover. it probably could have gone faster if i hadn't had a bit of struggle with figuring out how to correctly make the piping. it was tricky because i don't have the proper piping foot for my sewing machine and had to substitute the zipper foot. but basically i just cut out five equal sized squares of the zigzag fabric, sandwiched everything together with the piping and ran it through the machine.
|the red piping fabric actually has its own subtle pattern.|
i'm happy with stool's new and improved look, especially since the whole thing was very inexpensive. i spent $1.00 on the cotton piping, $8.37 on a yard and half of the zigzag fabric and $5.39 on the red fabric, for a total of $14.76. including the original cost of the stool the whole thing still only cost $29.75. not bad for something that adds some zest to the room, ties the colors together, and actually makes me like my rug more.