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I’ve seen my fair share of furniture skirts, and it’s not like fringe is a totally novel type of trimming. But the combination of the two isn’t something you normally see in modern homes. That’s why I stopped in my tracks when I saw Erin Derby’s recent sofa makeover.

You might recognize Erin’s name from the Apartment Therapy site. She shoots and writes a lot of house tours for us, but has recently been taking on a bunch of easy DIY and decorating projects for both her own Brooklyn home and those of friends.

Her recent sofa skirt really spoke to me though. As a smallish space dweller, I’m always looking for ways to use every square inch of my home and hide things in plain view. When you find the right kind of trim — and admittedly, you have to have an upholstered sofa that will jive with a skirt in the first place — you can slip shoe boxes, weights and other workout gear, and even off-season clothing under your sofa without anyone noticing. There’s something so satisfying about secret storage. 

For this project, Derby used chainette trim she sourced from Etsy, attaching lengths of it to the underside of her John Robshaw sofa with a staple gun and using a hammer to reinforce the staples where needed. “Measure, so you can do at least two layers [of fringe], so you don’t see through the layers,” says Derby. “Add a third if you’re feeling sporty and want it to be extra dense. But staple only one layer at a time, so the staple is sure to hold.”

After that, all you have to do is trim the fringe to your desired length. Like curtains, ideally, your trim should just kissing the floor, so you can store whatever fits under your sofa without things being visible. Some companies suggest singing their fringes with a small flame to prevent them from unraveling. “I have not done that, and I’ve had no problem with unraveling to date,” notes Derby.

Lest you think fringe can only be added to a sofa, you could try this with a chair or bench, too. The latter would make a great camouflage for extra bedding or linens in a bedroom.

Danielle Blundell

Home Editor

Danielle Blundell is AT’s Home Director and covers decorating and design. She loves homes, heels, the history of art, and hockey—but not necessarily always in that order.

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