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!


  1. cjm says:

    Beautiful deck (and dog). Love the plantings between the wall and seating.

  2. nicole says:

    where are those awesome orange chairs from??

  3. Rosa says:

    súper bonita entrada

  4. Sarah says:

    I second the chair question!

  5. Sairey Gamp says:

    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.

  6. cjm says:

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

  7. Caroline says:

    Is there house purple?!?!?!?!?!?!?! *seethes with envy*

  8. StacyStyle says:

    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!

  9. Rachelle says:

    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 BUT the company that originally made them are making them again.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.

  10. AJ says:

    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.

  11. The Husband says:

    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:

  12. Freck says:

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

  13. Jenna says:

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

  14. Jennifer says:

    Oooh! I LOVE that new deck! Someday I hope to have a beautiful deck like that!

  15. jHill says:

    LOVE jill’s chairs!!

  16. I love that chair recover! I have a nearly identical chair I got at the thrift store and would love to know how best to reupholster it…scary!

  17. Christine says:

    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!

  18. Molly says:

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

  19. JL says:

    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?)

  20. Rachelle says:

    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.

  21. both projects are great. I really like the chair recover. I have a similar chair that could use that treatment!

  22. Jesse Lu says:

    The new deck looks fresh and serene but I like the old deck, too!

  23. Reese says:

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

  24. Erin says:

    So jealous of that gorgeous deck! And beautiful work on the reupholstered chair!

  25. Jessica says:

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

  26. Lauren says:

    The deck looks great! The Solair in orange was a great choice.

  27. Rachelle says:

    the w0od is cedar and the stain is a specific stain for cedar, which brings out the best in it.

  28. Veronica says:

    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.

  29. The Husband says:

    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.

  30. Krystal says:

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


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.