BEFORE & AFTER: VINTAGE BARREL-BACK CANE CHAIRS REUPHOLSTERED

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Reupholstery projects don't always have to be super complicated to be impactful--a simple redesign to upholstered seat cushions can totally update their look AND save your wallet. 
Remember these chairs I found a few weeks ago in the UMCH flea market  and snagged to use in my Room Service Atlanta boy's room?  I had my upholsterer mimic the same pattern I used on a pair of the bed pillows & the finished product makes my heart skip a beat. This is like, the easiest way to create visual interest using solid fabrics because the bold center stripe elevates the whole look. 
Oh, and remember, box cushions are your friends (box cushions= cushions with vertical panels along the sides resulting in more tailored look & comfortable seat). I know the other way is easier to fabricate, especially for a DIY-er, but box cushions have a structured finish that automatically looks more tailored. Anytime you're swapping out the seats on chairs (and it makes sense aesthetically), always splurge for box cushions. 
Trust me, you'll thank me for this piece of advice!

BEFORE & AFTER: MAD HATTER/WINGBACK CHAIRS

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The chairs are done!

My client was originally leaning towards a white sofa but ended up selecting the Carrie sofa in Navy Blue. In an effort to keep the room light we went with a beautiful, kind of shimmery White Sand-ish colored linen (a lot of descriptive words there) on the front of the chairs and a smaller, woven diamond print on the back. LOVE. A little bit of fun on the back while still keepin' it prim & proper on the front. And I can't say it enough...if you have the chance to use vintage furniture in your design, USE IT. The shape on these chairs is knock-down, drag out gorgeous and they can be reupholstered again and again for years to come. I'm actually kinda jealous and not-so-secretly wish I'd kept them for myself!
Install happens tomorrow. 
Stay tuned for pics next week but in the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Facebook for updates! 

BEFORE & AFTER: VINTAGE WINGBACK SETTEE

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I posted a little teaser pic of my refinished and reupholstered wingback settee last week but I've secretly been dying to share the full image with you!

 Back in August it was my find of the week and looked, I must say, like a raggedy piece of trash when I first picked it up. But I stuffed it into my friend's SUV with visions of grandeur in my head, knowing I could turn it into something special.

(Doesn't it look like a dog was chewing on that chair arm??) I immediately knew I wanted to remove the skirt and spray the legs, but it was awhile before I decided which way to go with the fabric. I originally purchased Kravet's  Bansuri print in Storm with intentions of going the punchy Ikat route...

but ended up sticking with a classic look which allows the settee to be updated any number of ways with various color/style pillows and throws.

I decided to go with black fabric with nailhead trim and because I'm a bit of a fabric...collector (ahem), I actually had 10 yards of a great upholstery weight textured Ebony cotton fabric in my office. So it only made sense for me to put it to use!

Brushed chrome nailheads. 
I'm thrilled with the way it turned out! As with (almost) every piece I buy/refinish, I struggled with whether to keep or sell this one, but I've decided to sell it. For now it lives in my eat-in kitchen (and looks pretty fab behind the table, I must say!), but as soon as I can wrangle another photograph, it will be listed for sale in my shop. If you'd love to take it home, drop me a line! Local Atlanta pick-up/delivery available or I can ship it to your location. 

FINISHED! SLIPPER CHAIRS BEFORE & AFTER

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My chairs are finally done & home! If you follow me on my new Dayka Robinson Designs Facebook page you've been privy to a few sneak peeks as my chairs have gone through reupholstery process (and no, the awful upholsterer didn't get his hands on these). I sprayed the frames then dropped the chairs off to have them reupholstered in a punchy Duralee print (which unfortunately has no name, only a product number). You can see the rest of my plans here.

 I decided about 1 day too late that I didn't want the tufting on the back, so it took me a minute to decide how I really felt about the tufting + pattern combo once it was complete. To be honest, I actually agonized over it for a bit...then decided all was okay once I saw them in my living room.

It's such a huge transformation and again illustrates why I always reach for vintage furniture when I have the option! 45 years ago, someone probably saved up to buy these chairs and they sat in a formal living room virtually untouched for decades (evidenced by the excellent condition I found them in). And now, in 2012, they've been given a new lease on life along with a jolt of color. I'll tell you what...inspiration & ingenuity will do it for you every time.

As you can see by the tape on the trim in the photo above, I'm in the process of trying to do a lot at my house (prepping for paint is kray!). But finally, the chairs are done, and my club chair will be back this week. So now, share your thoughts! You like?? Does the pattern + tufting drive you crazy??

(RE)UPHOLSTERY INSPIRATION

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I'd been debating how to refinish this dirty, old (sexy!!) chair, but when I started stumbling across images like these...
Gideon Mendelson/House Beautiful via 
Amy Meier via
 I suddenly knew what to do! This chair is perfect for the B&W Buffalo check I already had laying around, so I've already stripped the fabric and given it a spanking new paint job. I like to allow my pieces to cure as long as possible, so after a 2 week drying time (next week), it's headed to the upholstery shop. Stay tuned for a B&A soon! 

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HOW TO UPDATE YOUR HOME IN 10 MINUTES

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Even if you're not a hardcore DIY'er, recovering your chairs is the fastest (and easiest!) way to update your home. Take this pair of chairs I gave my sister for her new apartment--the classic character makes them perfect for occasional chairs, and even without a fresh coat of paint (which they could use!), removing & updating the fabric takes them to the next level. 

Start with some great chairs (this Asian-inspired set is timeless)...
Add a great graphic patterned fabric (from Lewis & Sheron using a 50% off Scoutmob, no less!).
Unscrew & remove the seat bottom.

Center the pattern on the cushion and cut your fabric to allow for extra overhang on each side. Once your template fabric is centered, place one staple on the bottom of the cushion (front & center) to hold it in place and work strategically around the perimeter until you have the fabric completely secured and as smooth as possible. I find it easiest to place a few staples along the sides and then do the corners to get the most seamless fit.   After replacing the cushions you can see that, even without a fresh coat of paint, these chairs have been dramatically updated in about 10 minutes!

I don't think there's an easier DIY project out there--even painting furniture is a bit more difficult because it involves a few more steps, some additional know-how, and some serious buyers remorse if things don't turn out as expected. When you recover a chair you can't lose! If the pattern isn't correctly placed or the staples don't land in the right place, simply remove the staples and start again--it really is easy as pie.

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(WHY) PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF

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If you follow me on Pintrest, you may notice that I've been pinning a lot of images like this lately...

Source: None via Dayka on Pinterest

...and it's all because I've been practicing a bit of "believe it before you see it"-ism. Let me start with a little backstory--there's a wee game of furniture musical chairs going on at my house these days, between new things selling quickly at the store and Craigslisting (yes, I'm making it a verb) pieces I no longer want. I purchased a set of 4 faux bamboo chairs last year and was planning on using those for my dining room, until I found a faux bamboo dining table 2 weeks ago--then I started thinking I should pair the bamboo pieces together and keep searching for the perfect dining chairs. Lo & behold, I found them last week on Craigslist but the listing said "Pending Sale" in the title. I emailed the seller with my phone number & asked him/her to call me if they were still available (per their instructions). After about 2 hours of hearing nothing, I decided I would simply die without the chairs, so I sent the seller another email letting him/her know I didn't mean to be a pest, but was serious, had cash, and would be able to pick up them up ASAP. He called me back about an hour later and informed me they were already sold, which pissed me off a bit (not at him, just mad I didn't see the post sooner). Fast forward to the next day, I get an email from him saying the other seller couldn't pick up the chairs until the FOLLOWING WEEK, so if I was still interested he would "consider" it! I neglected, however, to read the part where he raised the price by $100 because the other potential buyer had offered to pay as much. We played phone tag for the majority of the day, and upon reaching him, I told him that I couldn't (really, wouldn't) pay his new price, but would pay $25 more than he asked. He sounded hesitant, but upon learning I lived around the corner from his job where he happened to have the chairs in his truck(!!!), he was sold and we met for pick up. Wondering what I scored? Feast your eyes below.

Yup, for reals. It's none other than A SET OF 6 LOUIS XV STYLE CHAIRS!! The price? $175 (up from his original price of $150). I know--shut your mouth. So here's the lesson I wanted to share--I know the guy was inundated with emails about these chairs, but he gave me the first opportunity to buy them once the original buyer wasn't available. Why? Two reasons. (1)-I made sure he knew I was serious from the jump & sent him a backup email when I thought my first one didn't convey my commitment.  I let him know that I was ready (committed), willing (would pay his price in cash), & able (no delivery necessary) to buy them ASAP. (2)-I was polite. When he first called, I thanked him for taking the time to get back to me even though they were sold and let him know that I was sorry I hadn't seen them first. 
I'd like to think he contacted me first because I was friendly over the phone/in my emails & was willing to make the transaction as easy as possible. So when you find something you can't live without on Craigslist, be persistent & polite, make sure the seller knows you're serious, and be prepared to up the ante & offer as much as you're comfortable paying for the item. I've lost out a few times on Craigslist before and let me tell you, it's much better to be safe than sorry.   
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