Amanda Kaufmann | Date posted: May 17th, 2011
My mother always had a drawer full of different cloth placemats, and she would pick ones for each meal based on the occasion, the season, or simply her mood. In the summer, they may be a yellow French country pattern, and on more formal occasions, so too were the placemats. Just as she could alter her dinner table with a switch of placemats, it’s easy to change the feeling of an entire room just by trading out a few accent items.
Each room has a few foundation pieces—the couch, dresser, table, etc.—that you want to work with to create a mood. The following are some starter ideas of items you can replace as much as you want—and the best part of all is that they are quick projects that are easy enough for a beginning sewer.
A change in throw pillows can easily be done by creating pillow covers that zipper or button on. In the spring, you might choose a lively hot pink; on New Year’s Eve, sequins; in the fall, burgundy; and a funky pattern whenever you’re in the mood.
For any room in the house, switching the curtain panels, or the valences (or both!), can not only alter the mood of a room dramatically, but can alter the lighting and even warmth. One can go from silk taffeta to cotton eyelet and immediately change a room from formal to country inn. A heavy fabric can keep the cold draft out, while lightweight linen can blow in the breeze of an open window.
These changes aren’t limited to the public rooms of a house. Creating bedspread covers works in the same manner as creating throw pillows—when sewing two squares or rectangles together, use a row of buttons to close the bottom edge.
And of course, I cannot neglect the example my mother has given. A well-chosen placemat, table runner, or even napkin, can make your dinner table setting.
Amanda Kaufmann is a New York-based writer and editor. Since 2006, she has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance columnist, book editor, website content editor, proofreader and fact-checker. She is constantly in the pursuit of...