before and after: chairs

d*s reader alexa sent in this fantastic chair before and after. she bought this great pair of caned chairs on craigslist in toronto for $20! she loved their dressy look but wasn’t crazy about the pink cushions so went out and bought fabric she fell in love with and had her mom recover them. i think the result is clean and crisp- i love the combination of caning in the chairs and the cane/bamboo print fabric. fantastic. thanks, alexa!


  1. Elizabeth says:

    those chairs are great and what a steal. but have to say, i think i am partial to the pink.

  2. donnarino says:

    Oh Alexa you lucky girl! I’ve been looking on CL Toronto for chairs just like this for a long time.

    You’ve done a lovely job with them. If you ever feel like selling..

  3. Sam Sam says:


  4. Grand makeover! I wish my mom could do that for me.

  5. Yazmin says:

    I think they look great recovered in this fabric, too.

  6. Wow! Love these sooooo much!

  7. Angie says:

    The before chair: I have a chair in my room with that same frabric! hehe…I guess it’s a sign that it’s almost time for an upgrade (I got it for 10$ lol)

  8. Keehnan says:

    Does anyone know the name and manufacturer of this fabric?

  9. jane says:

    so gorgeous! i would like to hire alexa’s mom—the piping detail (a part that always gives me trouble) is nicely done—and, as you said, the fabric choice is perfect. :)

  10. Melissa says:

    Wow- what beautiful chairs regardless! I love their lines!

  11. queenpretty says:

    These look great. I have a cane chair that I need to recover and am wondering if I should paint it, too. It’s a medium to dark shade of stain right now. Does anyone have any tips when it comes to painting the caning? Should I try spray paint? I don’t want to ruin it!!

  12. Kristen says:

    Wow! I love these chairs. The navy and white really pops! Beautiful job!

  13. Lena says:

    Super! I love before + afters esp. with chairs so successfully done..

  14. lindsey says:

    lol…i’m dying to find something like that on craigslist! they look great, alexa.

  15. i love this pattern! what a great before & after!

  16. Joanna says:

    Wow! These are gorgeous!

  17. Jen says:

    Gorgeous! It looks like a lot of time went into recovering this chair. Great job.

  18. Alicia says:

    Those are amazing…

  19. angie jantz says:

    I love all these chair redos and am inspired! I am new to the site and may have missed this… but where do I find foam for my chair cushions? What is a good resource for learning how to make cushions?

  20. Jen says:

    I love these!! The new fabric really updates the chairs for a more modern feel.
    Great job on the upholstery Mom…I think the larger back pillow fits the scale of the chair better. Nice find!

  21. Bux says:

    Queenpretty — I have been doing a lot of furniture rehabbing lately, and I’m a big fan of spray paint. If I was painting chairs like this, I would def use spray paint. I think the color tends to be more saturated in a spray (I get more/better coverage in one coat of spray paint than one coat of regular paint) and as you apply it, it’s easier to go from a lighter to heavier coat depending on how the piece is taking the paint.

  22. Lisa says:

    I just love them either way! Plus, we’re moving to Toronto this fall, so I’ll have to start scoping out CL for some of my own furniture now… Great job! :)

  23. What an incredible before and I after! Although I must admit that I liked the chairs before, the crisp, nautical vibe in the after shot is fresh and modern, and the piping detail is perfect. Alexa’s mother clearly knows what she’s doing.

  24. very inspiring. oh, and as to where to find foam for cushions…..

    if you go to a furniture reupholstering shop many times they have stuffing remnants that they will give you free of charge. you just cut it up yourself.

  25. melanie says:

    amazing what a simple (or not so simple) recovering can do for furniture. this is brilliant, love that print!

  26. Joanna says:

    You know, these looked a bit familiar to me, and then I remembered where. In the House & Garden that featured Gwyneth Paltrow’s Hamptons home, she picked chairs similar to these as one of her favorite items. I remember that I loved them…and that they each cost at least $2,500. I really do love your handiwork with these.

  27. d'Auria says:

    i’m not sure if anyone is in the new orleans area, but on craigslist ( there are four similar chairs that i’m sure could be bargained down from the $160 asking price. i love these chairs, especially how alexa inversed the fabric on the backside. lovely detail!

  28. miss K says:

    I love them, amazing beatuful!

    miss K

  29. Mer says:

    loved the pink but the new is great too.

  30. Beth says:

    Angie Jantz – You can also order foam for cushions online cut to the size you need. I’ve used with good results in the past and their prices are decent.

  31. Alexa what a great job on recovering those chairs! Since I’m in the wicker restoration and chair caning business, the new material was quite the eye-catcher! Do you know who made the material and where it could be purchased?
    The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters-Angora, Minnesota USA

  32. ssdesign says:

    I like the pink too! And where is the gorgeous black piece below from?


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