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Chairs, sofas sport color and flowers in new Marimekko line
By Deborah Donovan | Inside & Out

The June issue of This Old House features work by readers.


Yes, it's Marimekko, just in case you want these designs for your IKEA furniture.


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Published: 5/30/2009 12:00 AM

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Bemz, the Swedish company that makes slipcovers for IKEA sofas and chairs, introduces a new line designed by Marimekko, the iconic Finnish company.

The machine-washable patterns are available online at They fit IKEA's most popular sofas and chairs, including discontinued models. Prices were not listed when we went to press, but Bemz covers for small sofas start at $145.

Readers take over magazine issue

You say you want your own magazine? This Old House magazine used reader submissions for its June edition.

The highlights of the magazine are remodelings done by readers. For example, the cover depicts an 1896 Queen Anne in Bowling Green, Ky., the grand prize winner.

Other projects are a $10,000 kitchen remodel for an abandoned Michigan farmhouse. Hint: They saved the cabinets.

But that's nothing. Another couple remodeled their kitchen for $645. That alone might be worth the price of the magazine.

The magazine also printed 33 tips from readers.

Make the most of your small house

How quickly times change. For decades we wanted bigger, bigger, bigger houses.

Now small is in.

So if you're planning to downsize to a small house or you're living in one now and want to make the most of it, take a look at "Small Space Living," by Christine Brun (Schiffer, $34.99).

For five years, Bruns, an interior designer, has been writing about small spaces in a syndicated column. Some of the really fun items are dual-use furniture such as a bed that turns into a table. (The mattress goes into the wall like an old Murphy bed.) Inova is at

Another is a table from Hydra Designs whose top goes up or down from 17 to 25 inches. Thus it can be a coffee or dining room table.

Several beds include storage space, such as the Box Bed from Domus Design Center, which flips open.

Woodfold Mfg., Inc. makes a bookcase that can be installed in a doorway and swing open so you can pass through.

Room screens include a contemporary polyester one called Parametre from

Obvious items like stackable chairs and bunk beds are mentioned. And there are design tips such as chairs that give you glimpses of the floor and using paints and pattern to make things disappear and rooms appear larger.