before & after: seating makeovers

our next before & afters are all about seating. one is from a previous before & after subject and features beautiful pleated upholstery and the other is from a d*s reader who discovered how simple, but elegant, the addition of mirrors can be to basic furniture.

first up is d*s reader lori dunbar of marzipan inc. (who recently shared a gorgeous yellow painted floor with us). lori turned old sewing bench/stool into a pretty new seat by reupholstering the top in a fun pleated style, painting the body bright red and finishing the inside with a little extra pattern! i love how much cuter the stool looks with red accents on the bottom and top, rather than a bright red seat. great work, lori!

CLICK HERE to see connie’s simple but beautiful mirrored leg bench makeover after the jump!

d*s reader connie got crafty with an slightly damaged bench she purchased on sale for $45. after deciding that the dinged-up legs were all that needed to change, connie cut her own mirror pieces (be careful if you decide to do this yourself!) and create mirrored legs that change the piece from boring to beautiful. i love the way they make the piece feel more feminine- those dark legs were just weighing the piece down before. click here to read connie’s project description and steps for replicating the look! thanks, connie!


  1. Rhonda says:

    I LOVED that yellow floor when i first saw it and I LOVE this little pleated bench idea!! Very creative. The mirrored legs are fascinating and I would like to try it. THANK YOU BOTH!

  2. Katherine says:

    Inspirational – thanks!

  3. Heidi says:

    I love the idea of pleating fabric with contrasting thread, oh the possibilities! I would never have thought to add mirror to that bench, and what a great tutorial!

  4. Shanon says:

    Love those mirrored legs. It would make the end of the bed so much more light and airy.

  5. Julie says:

    Love the little red bench!

  6. wow! the before and afters you’re sharing today are too good!!! what lovely inspiration :O)

  7. Tanya says:

    I love Lori’s bench! The pleated fabric with the red stitching is gorgeous, such a perfect combo.

  8. modfrugal says:

    The pleating is by far the best thing I’ve seen in awhile…really well done.

  9. showpony says:

    love that pleated fabric seat – gorgeous.

  10. Abby says:

    These both look great! I love the mirrored legs, it really changes the whole piece.

  11. Ashley says:

    The pleating on the seat is great and the use of the red stitching just makes it even better!

  12. Erica says:

    I live in NYC and see so many things on the streets that can be madeover beautifully. The problem is I am afraid of bringing pests into my home so I leave the treasures on the curb. Sigh…your posts inspire me and tap into my design creativity. Any advice on how to salvage street finds and ensure bug free-ness?

  13. donna says:

    I think I have that exact piano/sewing bench. I picked it up at a yard sale for $3. Now I just have to find a cool fabric to redo it.

  14. karen brown says:

    would you share how you sewed the pleats into the fabric? that is just fantastic is so chic!

  15. Jasmine says:

    i love the mirrored legs! it’s so chic and stylish – thank you so much for the DIY tips!!!!!

  16. karen brown: well, i’m not really a sewing expert, but i’ll try to post a tutorial for the fabric on my blog in the next week or so. you can check it here:

    thanks for all the lovely comments!

  17. Kim says:

    Ooo! I have this EXACT stool (in the before stage). I am going to have to go buy some red paint!

  18. elle says:

    wow. im blown away by the beautiful change such small touches can make!! the mirrored legs are perfect! and i dont know if ive ever seen pleating in upholstery before – so beautiful for creating texture.

  19. WOW!!! I love this! So perfect in every way! I love the red and the texture of the fabric you used on the cushion is perfect! Great eye for colors, detail and design! I am so inspired!

  20. I have a bench just like the first one showed here and I always think about what can I do.
    Great sample look for me! :)

  21. Awesome! Love the secret compartment.


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