Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chairs: Before and After

Today I have a blitz of chair makeovers...to remind us all that a dingy old piece can have a fantastic new life if you give reupholstery a chance.

The first one comes from reader Rae. She found a bergere chair in the dumpster - legit the dumpster - and knew that it would look awesome with some new fabric. Way to have a vision, Rae. The before:


Yep, that's a dumpster chair. But Rae went on a hunt for a black and white buffalo check fabric and once she found it, she sent it off to a nice upholstery man and voila:


Just lovely...and especially so, paired with the golden stool and layered rugs.

Our next two contestants come from reader Jaime. She too found a sad chair, this time a wingback, in the vicinity of a dumpster. The before:


Jaime thought to herself, "This would be PERFECT for my baby's nursery!" I applaud looking past the trash bin and realizing that with a little work, this chair could become a special nursery piece. Jaime selected a hot pink coral fabric and after some professional reupholstery, here is the after:


Nicely done. Jaime also scored some awesome cane-backed tub chairs for $10/each (!) on Craigslist and decided that reupholstery would make them feel like new. The before:


And the after:


So fresh! So clean! I love that textured fabric and the hot pink piping makes a very traditional chair feel quite modern. A standing ovation...

Take note that neither Rae nor Jaime tackled the upholstery jobs themselves. Don't forget that there is a whole workforce of skilled upholsterers out there just waiting to do these jobs for you. I think we get overwhelmed thinking that these kind of re-dos are DIY jobs...you'll find that although reupholstery is not cheap, it often yields a much better, custom result than buying furniture new.  And (usually) still at a fraction of the price. Not to mention that most vintage pieces are very well-built and thus will stand the test of time in your home. Do a little research and get some price quotes in your area. I bet you will find someone whose pricing is reasonable and whose work is fantastic.

{{Climbs down from her soapbox}}




13 comments:

  1. This post must be a sign for me....I went digging in our storage space yesterday, and fished out a chair that looks almost EXACTLY like the one in the first pic. Ripped out cane back, terrible seat, etc. I told my husband it was also loose/unstable in one of the joints, so I was going to give it away.
    Definitely having second thoughts now!

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  2. Anonymous8/09/2012

    I am so jealous of Jaime's find! I have been looking for a pair of tub chairs forever. As for dumpster diving, as much as I would love to score a free deal like that, the proliferation of bedbugs has me totally freaked out about the idea. A friend of a friend got bedbugs from a weekend trip to a 5 star hotel in NYC. He soon found out that the "romantic getaway" with his wife was turning into a $4,000 extermination project.

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  3. I LOOOOVE all these chair makeovers! Before I worked in the interior design industry, I didn't realize that there are upholsterers who know how to do these jobs. It's such a fun way to make a customized piece!

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  4. These are GREAT. And you're right about the prospect of a DIY being daunting--no shame in hiring a professional!

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  5. Applause for the cane back tub chairs!! I'm gonna go check craigslist in my city...just in case!

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  6. Can Jaime share the name of the textured green fabric and where she bought it? Thanks so much. The contrast piping is gorgeous.

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  7. I love them all. I had a 1970s orange flowered, thrift store sofa redone in a gray fabric last year as well as two vintage chairs. They are so much more pleasing (and cheaper) than the hundreds of high end stuff we looked at. I am just itching to have others redone or start dumpster diving for fresh meat.

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  8. Amazing makeovers!! Plus several of the chairs need very little yardage. Love the hot pink trim against the green!

    I need to start Craig's List searching!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

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  9. Love this post! Gosh . . .lovely fabric and a little TLC makes such a difference!
    lovT
    www.ladychatterleysaffair.com

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  10. Talk about vision. These pieces look fabulous. I especially like the last one. What a transformation!

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  11. AMAZING POST:)
    Your blog is so wonderful..do you have twitter or fb to follow with??

    If you want some cute Swedish décor inspiration, check out my blog:)

    Have a great week dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
    (Sweden)

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  12. Just goes to show you what a little creativity, design sense and the right upholsterer can do! Absolutely love that middle one!

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  13. Anonymous8/16/2012

    Where can I find the pnk coral fabric? Love it!!

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