before and after

before OR after: solveig’s chairs

by Grace Bonney

when these beautiful chairs from solveig petch hit my inbox i couldn’t tell which one was the before, and which one was the after. i liked them both and wondered if anyone else would feel the same way. so, for the sake of before & after clarity, the chair on the right is the “before” and the chair on the left is the “after” (they were an identical pair). but i wondered which one you guys would make the better “after” i’m totally torn. maybe they’re both great either way…

[ps: have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your photos!]

[pps: if you watch “the city” or “the hills” you will LOVE this. thanks anne!]

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  • They are great as a mismatched (yet coordinated) pair…. I do love seat fabric on the “before” chair…

  • i’m all about the one on the right – before! i wonder though which is a more comfortable seat?! that is always the question when it comes to sitting down!!

  • I like the green color, but I don’t like that swirly business. The greatly prefer the fabrics on the right, which appear to be bouclé and are so well suited to that style of chair.

    Of course, I have no idea from the photo what kind of condition the original fabric was in! Perhaps it was in dire need of replacement…

  • The before chair seems much more classic to me. The chair on the left seems more dated (the print reminds me of retro 70’s). I love the throw pillow on it though!

  • I love the blue-grey colour of the Before chair, but wish it had a more-lovely pattern. I think it stands out more than the green against the natural wood legs and arm rests.

    The blue-grey would look fantastic with a really bright Union Jack pillow.

  • well, i love the style and shape of these chairs. and i think i’d choose the before chair because i do like the 2 different fabrics together. i agree with the above that the 2 mismatched chairs look good together.

  • when i saw this, i didnt even clue in that it was a before and after till i started reading! it’s hard to tell what condition and texture the fabric and chairs were prior to the makeover. i really like the two together like this! lol i like the green but i don’t like the texture!

    it’s nice to mix up the colours on these chairs!

  • The gray looks better against that wood. The greenish/mustard color doesn’t add anything to the chair, especially against that floor – they both just sort of get lost. If you don’t like the gray, I would still go with something that creates a little more contrast.

  • if the chair wasn’t worn out then they should have kept it the way it was. but if they had to replace the fabric they should have picked a color that doesn’t wash out the wood, like maybe grey ; )

  • I like the use of the two coordinating blue fabrics in the original, and I agree with Maren that the green doesn’t do the wood tone any favors (kind of yellows it out IMHO).

  • oh definitely prefer the grey one. the green shade is too muted retro for me. but as one reader commented, pretty clean sharp work on the upholstery.

  • Definitely the “before”. I like the green color of the “after” fabric, but don’t care for the circle pattern.

  • The before fabric looks worn out and drab to me, and I think the new fabric actually brings out the color of the wood. In fact, when I looked at the photo I wondered if the wood was refinished as part of the do over. Interesting how perceptions vary among us.

  • Big fan of the before. but would
    refresh the back portion of the before chair with a blue/grey solid as the current one looks just a bit faded…..

  • I like the real after, the one on the left… but that being said, it just wouldn’t be right if it wasn’t part of that pair!

  • “before” for sure!! swirly patterns? really? that makes no sense with the architecture of the danish modern thing. the coolness of the blue grey tones with the warm reddish wood is very chic.

  • I knew the grey was the before since that seems to be more the patterning form that timeframe. I think that the chair still looks great in it’s original fabric. And stands out far more than the gold. The gold fabric blends the whole piece. Not my way of showing of a piece. To be honest if you wanted to change the fabric I would definitely pick something other than the gold.

    If you are looking to update it but keep it within the time frame do a little research and find out what kinds of patterns, textures and such were from that time period. That will give you a good tart for finding great updated fabrics with a touch of the past. Whatever you do DO NOT paint them white.

    Good luck.

  • Before FTW. The after is a way too literal “1950’s” print, while the before is very Japanese inspired hipster chic.

  • Very late reply to this post, I had completely missed it! Given the choice, I too would have kept the original fabric on both the chairs, however for the chair on the left it was in SUCH a bad state, I could not salvage it. :( It was a different fabric too, from the grey one. I’ve kept the chair on the right in its original state though :)

  • Personally, I think that the grey chair is the ‘after’ chair, simply because the legs look less worn, as if they had been re-done!

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