before & after: jamie’s chair + gail’s benches

this colorful chair makeover comes from jamie meares of furbish studio. she found these great bamboo-style chairs and gave them a modern update with blue paint and a great pagoda-print fabric (will update with a source for that asap). great work, jamie!

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE to see gail’s benches (converted from old deck lumber) after the jump!

i love when people look at a pile of “junk” and turn it into something with new purpose. gail from my repurposed life turned this huge pile of used lumber (the leftovers from her daughter’s old deck, which was rebuilt by friends) and turned it into 2 benches and a stool for her daughter’s new deck! i love her resourcefulness, and that she shared her how-to steps on her blog right here. great work, gail!

  1. Shones says:

    those bamboo chairs are a wonderful find. I love that beautiful blue. i need to learn more about carpentry so I can build something new out of old wood…

  2. Stella says:

    I like the before better on the bamboo chairs, they look sophisticated painted black. I like the new print though, but I think I would prefer any other color better than that blue. Dark plum, red, green.

  3. tmoore says:

    At first glance, I thought the shot of the chairs “before” were the “after”. I adore their former black finish and understated upholstery, and thought they were quite unusual. Now they look like…well, like something you see all the time on DS (no offense, Grace).

  4. I love those chairs by Furbish Studio!! I follow Jamie on her blog and I love her store!!

  5. Kim says:

    That’s awesome. Any hints for stripping a chair like that before you repaint? I have a few that are similarly detailed, and the thought of sanding all those small areas defeats me before I even get started. :(

  6. greybreaks says:

    love want the fabric for those chairs. reminds me of something my mom wore back in the day.

    they’ve got a serious summertime gin and tonic vibe!

    great redo.

  7. Wow she did a great job with that chair–looks amazing! And I love the fabric.

  8. agnes szucs says:

    I think the new b/w upholstery with the old black base would have been even more beautiful. with this blue they look too colorful to me.
    the benches are just great!

  9. imdb says:

    Sorry. Do those blues even go together?

  10. Lauren C. says:

    Love Jamie’s chairs!! She always has something unexpected and lovely going on at Furbish!

  11. Lindsay says:

    Jamie’s (Gail’s daughter) new benches are so great! I was just admiring photos she had of them. Good job girls!

  12. Trista says:

    Love those chairs though I would have loved to see them keep the black and do a b/w fabric treatment!

  13. modernhaus says:

    I think the chairs look very unique now…the before was too conservative. They look like they belong in the lobby of some chic little beach hotel in Malibu or Miami now….very nice choices!

  14. Love the contrast of the two different blues! Sure, leaving the bold black base would have been classic and beautiful, but if the chair’s going to be an accent piece, why not have fun with color? Makes it more casual.

  15. heidi says:

    i love the chairs!
    i love the color.
    it totally made my day to open up the sight and see these beauties.
    so much more interesting now!

  16. heidi says:

    the bench and table are awesome.
    i need to get me some carpentry skills.

  17. robin says:

    oh the things i would do with that pile of lumber :O)

    great job!

  18. Juney says:

    Those chairs look awful redone. They were a fantastic find untouched!

  19. Lauren says:

    I was wondering when something Jamie did would be featured on here! I love her store!

  20. gail says:

    Thanks so much for the feature! I still smile every time I look at Jamie’s benches! This thread confused me when I saw Jamie’s Chairs and Gail’s benches. :)
    Because Gail made the benches for her daughter Jamie.

  21. Helen says:

    I’m not sure you should be eating from that bench without being properly sealed. Wood used in patios is usually treated with arsenic

  22. Please show us HOW you prep the chairs and paint them – step by step. A quick lesson on cushion-making would be great, as well.

  23. hena tayeb says:

    what a great makeover!

  24. koolaroo says:

    before was better. the black had more presence the blue seems a bit cheap.

  25. Kate says:

    I don’t usually feel so compelled to comment but how is the “after” an improvement? The craftsmanship of the makeover is excellent but the taste level is questionable. Over the top and far too trendy for my tastes…

    1. grace says:


      i appreciate you noting the craftsmanship of the makeover. taste is pretty subjective so i understand if it’s not your taste, but i appreciate the time and effort that went into it.


  26. sheila fentress says:

    i love the benches…I want some1

  27. lisa says:

    the chairs were gorgeous black! now they look cheap and nasty in my opinion.
    also, why is everything that’s vintage/older style often painted blue on this site? i’m all for re-vamping but some new ideas would be a freat inspiration.

  28. Whitney says:

    Love the chairs & I love Jamie’s blog! I think they look fun and inviting even if they’re not for everyone. :)

  29. alia says:

    Jamie has exquisite taste and I am continually inspired by her paint and fabric choices.

  30. Nicole says:

    While I’m personally not fond of the blue choice for the chairs, I feel its relevant to mention that at least the colour suits the style of the chairs better. With the black frames and grey fabric the before looked a little too severe, no? (Funereal almost…) At least now they’re a little more fun, which suits the actual nature of the chairs. Great job!


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.