before & after: rachelle’s deck + jill’s chair

today’s final before & afters are focusing on a beautiful deck renovation and a classic slipcover upgrade. first up, d*s reader rachelle mesheau. rachelle recently bought a house in downtown ottawa and is enjoying her small, but serene, backyard haven. her husband decided to design a new deck for their back yard, upgrading their existing version with a great modern design. not only do rachelle and her husband love the new look, but seb the dog does, too. great work, rachelle!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on design*sponge? shoot me an email right here with your (low res please) images]


CLICK HERE for jill’s chair makeover with roberta roller rabbit fabric after the jump!

last but not least, today’s final before & after comes from jill rosenwald. she settled on a gorgeous roberta roller rabbit (i love her work!) fabric to update this spinning chair. it sure is a big improvement from the sad corduroy-style upholstery before. well done, jill!


Sairey Gamp

Speaking of the plantings between the deck and the fence — what happens when those trees grow up? It’s beautiful but how will it do long-term? I am asking because I don’t know. Maybe they chose trees specifically for that spot that will grow up but not out.


Not 100% sure but if they’re cypress or something similar, they’ll just grow up (staying about the same width).


I was just at Jill’s last night and saw these awesome chairs! They totally change the room and now she has two other chairs that she’s going to attack with new fabric. The room is going to look fabulous!


The chairs are from an old hotel. BUT the company that originally made them are making them again. We just finished replacing the seats of them:

The trees are cedar. We expect to be doing some trimming each year.


Is the chair makeover upholstered or a slipcover? It’s so lovely! I have two ugly old chairs like this I’d love to recover, but the curves scare me.

The Husband

the chairs are from IEL plastics, in quebec.

they’re called ‘solair’ chairs. they were designed by fabio fabiano and michelange panzini (Fabiano Panzini) in 1972.

they were (and still are) quite cheap and were common outside motel rooms in the east coast. the chairs pictured are pretty old, but we’ve since purchased new plastic replacements ($30/ea) and kept our metal frames ($45/ea). they’re available in many different colours as well:


Wow!! These are amazing. I hope to someday re-cover a chair. That deck is fantastic!! ..and so is the dog! :)


I love how the new deck offers a lot of privacy. The wood is also such a beautiful color!


Rachelle, just curious, did you purchase the Solair seats direct from the company warehouse in Saint-Damien, or do they sell them elsewhere? I’m in Montreal and I’ve been looking for those chairs for awhile. I had no idea they started making them again!


Great chair recover , did you make a slip cover or re-upholster? Very nice.


I would love to know how you achieved that colour on your deck – it’s fabulous. Did you strip the old deck back and re-stain (if so with what?)


Hi Christine, yeah, we bought the seats directly from the company. At the time they were just starting to get a lot of demand and had hired a company in Toronto to manage the orders, but luckily we were still able to deal with them and they were fantastic. They would definitely ship to Montreal and for a really decent price too.


I second JL’s question: how did you get that color on the deck. What type of stain/wood did you use


Where do they sell these cuties online? I want one in my bathroom for a pop of color and dignified kitsch!


How did you come up with the design for the deck? Did you do it yourself or hire a company? Was is an Ottawa company? It’s a great design. I especially love the built in benches.

The Husband

i did the design all in google sketchup. it was super easy and i could do everything to specific dimensions. it turned out exactly as we had drawn it up.


I love the fabric you re-upholstered the chairs with. Do you know what it is called or where you got it?