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