Turning furniture into treasures

February 26, 2009 3:13:08 PM PST
If your home is getting old and tired looking, but you don't want to spend big bucks fixing it up, you can give your furniture and walls a new look simply by jazzing them up with fabric. It's an inexpensive way to go, and you can even do it yourself-- with a little help from the experts. Matthew Haly is a master craftsman who turns old pieces of furniture into treasures inside his Manhattan studio.

"Start out small and build your way up, build up your confidence," he said.

That approach is the concept behind his new book, a step by step guide on upholstering. Matthew offers tips and tricks of the trade he learned while growing up in New Zealand.

"Everything I've done in the book is exactly how I would do it here, projects that are attainable," he said.

And there are even things you can do at home, like transforming a wooden antique headboard. Matthew says ones that have inset panels are just perfect to jazz up with fabric.

First, foam is glued onto the wood and the edges are pushed under to create a rounded effect.

Next is adding the fabric. Matthew says this is where beginners make a crucial mistake.

"Don't start with the fabric," he said. "Start with an old piece...and work with that. Figure it out and exactly how you're going to put it on and get it right."

The final step is to glue on the trim. You can use beads, but Matthew says don't get too crazy.

You can also use fabric and blocks to add dimension and color to your walls. Plain wooden blocks can be covered with splashy fabrics and turned into wall tiles. It's a great way to give a room an edgy look.

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ON THE NET:

www.matthewhaly.com


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