before & after: steven’s chair + amanda’s office

today’s first before & afters are all about home offices. our first makeover comes from steven and alison. having been on the hunt for a good, functional mid-century office chair for years, steven and alison finally found what they were looking for at restore in lawrence, kansas for only $15. the metal was factory fresh, but the arms needed work so steven scraped, sanded and varnished them back to life. the upholstery foam was shot, so they reupholstered the seat using maharam (465930-005*) fabric. the result is a sharp looking, ready to use office seat. great work, guys!

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


CLICK HERE for amanda’s home office makeover after the jump!

next up- amanda‘s redesign of corner home office nook. i would kill to have a little nook like this- odd little cut spaces like this one always make for interesting home offices (and a cozy little corner to make your own). click here for more on amanda’s project.


  1. Connie says:

    I want an office like that! Love the red floor and the chandelier is awesome!

  2. Marlene says:

    Great use of space for an office!

  3. I LOVE that chair! And can anyone tell me where I can find a large snake plant/mother-in-laws tongue like that? The only ones I see for sale are tiny ones, and I’ll be dead by the time they grow that large!

  4. visualingual says:

    These are both lovely makeovers, but I especially love the cheery chair transformation!

  5. Make.Good says:

    The chair is gorgeous and makes the space. Also enjoying the layers of red floor. Very nice.

  6. Jenna says:

    Wow, that office looks great…great use of space!

  7. Rare Autumn says:

    absolutely wonderful looking office! so well done

  8. Sue says:

    Love both transformations, but I’m especially digging that office space! Nicely done!

  9. anon says:

    i have that same exact mid-century office chair! i got mine for free when i rescued it from the basement of an old apartment. now if only i could muster the energy/knowhow to give it a cute makeover…

  10. Silvia says:

    Steven, your chair is very, very nice.
    I want to have it in my living!

  11. Alix says:

    Inspired, all of it! But honestly, I have one beef with the makeovers on this site — is everyone secretly a member of an upholsterers’ union??????? Seems to me if you can reupholster furniture, you’re semi-professional at least, unlike the rest of us (or just me…?)!

    1. grace says:


      upholstery isn’t as hard as it looks- we’ll be doing more video how-to upholstery posts soon. stay tuned ;)


  12. lisa h. says:

    *love* the fabric on the chair. An almost-floral.

    And the office is a vast improvement over the wasted space it was before. I probably would’ve wimped out and gotten a tiny, rickety tinker toy of a computer desk, but the big white desk in that small space works well.

  13. carol says:

    I picked up the exact same chair from a garage sale and have been coming up w/ ideas on reupholstering it. can you do a diy on how to reupholster this chair? I’ve never tried it before and I’m afraid to really screw it up. or even if you can tell me how to get those seams in at the edge would be great. I would love to get it done soon. thanks for sharing w/ us grace. I love your site. it’s a topic of discussion among my designer friends.

    1. grace says:

      hi carol!

      we’re working on a number of upholstery posts- and we’ll be including a full upholstery guide in the d*s book ;)


  14. alexandra says:

    I love this idea!! my dad has an office and they have lots of spare chairs in the basement of it – I just might have to claim a few and breathe new life into them. thanks!

  15. Bre says:

    I *just* nabbed an office chair like this off the curb, but one of the rollers is broken. Any ideas on where to find replacement parts?

  16. Lovely make over, although I am sure that if it was in my house it wouldn’t be like that for too long before I cluttered it all up. Where do people store their stuff?

  17. I sew a lot, but paid for this one… last time! More than I expected, took forever, and they lost the cool paper labels from the bottom of the chair. :(

    We also have a kick-ass ex-Army aluminum lounger (like the Navy side chairs, but a lounge chair!) and when I get time I’m making my own pads for it.

  18. Jane says:

    The chair is SOOO beautiful – the blue and cream perfect with the tone of the wood, and the metal setting it off.

  19. Betsy says:

    Love both of these, but really just wanted to say how excited I am for a diy upholstery tutorial!

  20. carol says:

    thanks grace! I can’t wait to see them. also sooooo very excited for your book project.

  21. kelly says:

    love the chair, steven!

  22. viola says:

    Been wanting chairs like this for ages.

  23. mckell says:

    I LOVE this office! I’m not sure if it was intentional, but using the white for all of the furniture was a good way for it to make the space seem bigger. Having it the same colors of the walls really opens up the space visually and makes it seem very bright.

    I’m also getting ready to take on an upholstery project and absolutely cannot wait for the tutorials!


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