before & after: nina’s wingback + katie’s folding chair

this first chair makeover comes from designer nina jizhar of swankyswell. not only did nina take this chair from drab to modern and chic, but she designed the fabric herself (and printed it locally in SF)! if you love her fabric as much as i do, you can check out nina’s shop on etsy right here.


next up is d*s reader katie. for me, she’s done the impossible- make a folding office-style chair cute. looking to add some red to her living room, katie bought a $3 can of spray paint, scored some free fabric from her neighbor and changed her beige folding chair into a cute red seat. i see chairs like this for sale on craigslist (and at staples discount sales) all the time for $1, so if you found a few of them, you could grab some spray paint, affordable fabric and create a chic set of temporary chairs for outdoor parties or impromptu game nights with friends. so much more personal than generic folding chairs. thanks, katie!

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


  1. First chair…holy makeover. It turned out GREAT. Second chair…why didn’t I think of that! This would be great for someone wanting to do a makeover on folding chairs for a wedding reception. Adorable!

  2. Jamie H says:

    Wow, I never thought a folding chair could look so stylish!

  3. donna says:

    Love the end result of the 1st Chair!

  4. Bethany Rose Hildenbrandi says:

    1st chair-WOW!!! That pattern looks great up against the orange wall!!

  5. Tyan says:

    Oilcloth would make a great outdoor seat cover on the folding chair.

  6. Jamie says:

    Wow both outcomes are so great! What differences!

  7. Sandy says:

    Wow ! amazing changes !!

  8. laura trevey says:

    i love love love the black and white chair!

  9. kate says:

    These are both great, esp designing ones’s own fabric. I also like how each makeover enhances the original period and style of the chair – gingham for early 60’s feel, geometric to accent the bold lines of the first chair. Kudos!

  10. Kim says:

    how inspiring!

  11. fabframes says:

    The first chair is an unbelievable transformation (and a great photo of it as well)! The second chair, well, I don’t love those common folding chairs, but it turned out really cute!

  12. jess says:

    I LOVE that folding chair – who knew they could ever be so cute!

    That first chair is definitely making me feel a bit trippy (o:

  13. Amanda says:

    I love the results. How did she do it? Really? I think I might be a little DIY challenged but how did Katie change the seat and back fabric?

  14. Shelley says:

    Love them both!

  15. Krystin says:

    the first chair is amazing. perfect fabric.

  16. Angie says:

    I’m with Amanda, I want to know how Katie did it. Is it glued on? With what? Tell us the secret details!

  17. Never would have thought to re-do a folding chair, but what a great idea!

  18. Vida says:

    How Excellent! How on earth did you achieve the second chair’s look? also wondering if could do reupholster the folding chair with wallpaper?

  19. Vida says:

    How Excellent! How was the folding chair done? also wondering if could do reupholster it with wallpaper?

  20. pam says:

    nina, your wingback is amazing! and such beautiful fabric. i’ve earmarked your etsy store for fabric needs. pam

  21. katie says:

    I’m glad you all like my little folding chair so much!

    The seat and back pads just needed to be unscrewed. Then I just stretched the fabric over them and stapled it on – it was wood that was covered with some sort of fabric already.
    I love the oilcloth idea, and I think wallpaper would be great too!
    Thanks again everyone! You’ve made my day!

  22. Nina says:

    Thank you all for the kind feedbacks and I’m glad you like the fabric as well! I love how it turns out too and now it’s my favorite chair in the house!

    Thanks again!

  23. Charlie says:

    The Wingback chair is absolutely stunning !!! I love it !! The black and white is breathtaking combination.

  24. Sam says:

    Just in time for garage sale season! Thanks for this!

  25. Jessica says:

    Wow! Love that folding chair! Gotta love houndstooth.

  26. leah says:

    holy smarty pants! that folding chair is magnificent for outdoor parties and such!

  27. wow I have seen more before and afters than I can count, and this one is particularly fantastic! This is a piece of brilliance. You took the concieved boundries and just pushed them back a mile!! nice job. I love it.

  28. Team Mabb says:

    Katie is my hero…. Seriously! That is the cutest chair EVER.

  29. I love seeing these before and afters… makes me motivated to re-do my own furniture.

  30. juli says:

    i can just imagine a bunch of funky folding chairs at Katie’s next gathering…and i’m so jealous!

  31. Ashley says:

    omg we have two folding chairs that we don’t know what to do with. I am so excited!

  32. Deana says:

    Love the folding chair idea. I just turned my garage into an Art studio for kids and bought 15 fairly used folding chairs I wanted to spruce up. I love this and think I’ll turn it into a project for the kids to get creative on. My chairs are all metal, do you think after we painted them I could use a spray mount adhesive to apply a fabric to the back rest?? I’m inspired! Thanks put putting your projects out there.


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.