before and after: kim’s ottoman


kim from conflicted thimble sent over this fun before & after. after finding this ottoman/stool at a goodwill store she painted the frame and upholstered the top in a tufted toile fabric. such a fun makeover. click here for kim’s full post and more process photos.



  1. ag says:

    well that’s awful.

  2. HS says:

    wow. It went from boring, to classy. I am now inspired!

  3. kristin says:

    every time i go to a resale store, there is always so much rattan! i’ve always been convinced that there was no way you could refurbish rattan anything…obviously i was wrong!

  4. Julie says:

    What a great makeover! Very cute!

  5. wendy says:

    I’m with ag: I’ll simply add “downright” awful.

  6. Valentina says:

    It was much better before. Blerg!

  7. Wendy and AG, you’re right, this is pretty bad. The cain seat was so cute, a fresh coat of paint would have done the trick. The tufted toile is horrid.

  8. Laura says:

    This makes me so sad! The caning was in such amazing shape. Destroyed for…that awful black and white overdone print. Ay!

  9. Stacy says:

    Why is everyone so sad? I think the Toile is so pretty- the caning looked worn out and uncomfortable. I could have done without the white bottom part but I like the Toile.

  10. Jess says:

    I really think it was better off before as well… It looks a bit odd having the puffiness on top…

  11. Tara says:

    The “after” reminds me of one of those hideous 80’s white powdercoated metal stands. I definately think if it was painted it should have been painted another color. And the cushion should have been a more structured shape than the tufted toile. Maybe if the cushion had actually had sides? or a seperate matress edged cushion that could have been removed. My adjective of choice is ghastly.

  12. Mary Kate says:

    I am in complete agreement with the sad people…I am missing the character of the rattan…and the toile is just blah.

  13. Camilla, swedish architect says:

    I can’t be anything BUT sad when someone does a thing like this with a nice old ottoman like that. Thonet (or one of his followers) who designed it will rotate in his grave. …

    If the owner doesen’t like it the way it was, why not sell it to someone like me or Laura who would have appriciated it?

    Sorry, but this ‘remake’ is an abomination…

  14. Maggie says:

    AND…did you destroy an authentic Thonet? That would be the worst part. Better check for a stamp.

  15. Kristan says:

    What a cool looking ottoman! Personally I would have gone with a solid color fabric, probably something bright. I also love the marked up dresser in the back.

  16. juliana says:

    i’m scared.

  17. dolly says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty wretched. The caning did not look worn out at all, and the tufted toile sort of looks like a victoria magazine hell.

    :(
    sorry kim!

  18. lt says:

    yes, much cuter before (which i harder ever think is the case).

  19. mchl.mchl says:

    oh, that’s a shame.

  20. paul says:

    Too iconic to bastardize like that. Tweaking a classic design takes a more sophisticated effort than this to be successful. Better to have left this one be…

  21. InspireMe says:

    I believe that is a Thonet. I have one in my antique booth (specialize in mid-century) and it’s painted a glossy red. To each his own though — if you’re not going to use it in it’s original state, then adapt it to suit you!

  22. katherine says:

    I used that same material but I think the style of chairs I used worked better with the material.

  23. Nancy says:

    Ouch! This one scares me. White painted metal? 80s for sure. And it kind of looks terrible with that sweet looking old trunk/dresser thing behind it.

  24. rob in chicago says:

    I loved it before, appreciate Kim’s effort, but do not like it at all after her changes.

    Why not just go with a separate, removable round cushion and leave it at that?

  25. Tomash says:

    Simple and beautiful. Toile is great

  26. Increíblemente geniales… y el de ratán es genial, hasta parece un truco de Photoshop!

  27. liz says:

    have to agree, I’d prefer the original thonet (or thonet-like) stool over this… it was so subtle and graceful as it was :(

  28. Geri says:

    Even in its delicate condition, B4 was better.

  29. Sophie says:

    I own this piece of furniture and I use it (it is in much better condition) as a little table. It’s pretty as is but I think the ottoman idea was creative, not neccesarily my taste though.

  30. PDisco says:

    I think that it was better before. It had a lot of potential but i think the white paint ruined it and the combo with the fabric just makes it look 80’s.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.