before & after: amber & kyla’s chairs + stairs

this past spring i was helping my sister redecorate her home office, and we ran into the obstacle of trying to find attractive office chairs. well, that’s not exactly true. we found some nice looking office chairs, but we discovered it was difficult to locate office chairs that were attractive and had personality. office chairs aren’t usually the statement maker in a room, which is why i love this office chair makeover from amber and kyla in victoria, bc. since opening their interior design studio inoui design collective and moving into a new work space (congratulations!), the pair wanted to freshen up the office with great furniture. i think they’ve accomplished just that. the large scale marimekko fabric works perfectly on the back of these chairs, and i love how each chair has a different part of the pattern. great work, ladies! -kate

CLICK HERE for amber & kyla’s other awesome project after the jump!

when it comes to coming up with creative ideas, i am one of those people who get them right before bed, and they keep going late into the night. this usually leaves me up until two or three am one night a month, wide awake and periodically grabbing the notebook by the side of my bed and trying to scratch ideas down in the dark. it’s nice to know i’m not alone: this project came to kyla in a late night of brainstorming, and i think it’s genius. she and amber had collected a whole bunch of old meter sticks (i know some hardware and paint stores give these away for free, or at least they sell them for close to nothing) and didn’t know what to do with them. thanks to kyla’s late night eureka moment, they are now the front panel detailing on the stairs leading to their studio! apparently it’s a small detail that always makes a big impact on people when they enter the space. another great idea, amber and kyla!


Those chairs are fabulous! I love the print and now want something very much like that for my office. Marimekko patterns are so witty and fun.


Ah! Vic Women, love it. Is there a shot of the chairs from the front?

And as for the stair idea, that is brilliant. I love the texture and colours, it’s really a thoughtful detail.


wow, love those chairs! they bring such life to the office-space! i want!

// S

wow — i *love* the chair make-over! the fabric is so fresh & brings so much more life to the previously drab chairs….
…and i can’t even begin to describe how much i love the stairs…

Gina A.

I’ve seen the ruler trick and i am in loooove with it. If my apartment had stairs, those would SO be on there!

Ivan Meade

So excited to see such a great local Victoria talent being feature in your blog.

The girls are not just incredibly talented they are also the sweetest girls ever, and you can see that in their ideas – These ideas are just as sweet as they are.

What can I say – I love this chicks!



Thank you so much Kate!

This looks great and we’re so excited to be featured. These were both really fun projects and we hope that your readers find some inspiration in them.



I love the rulers on the stairs! They’re great – it’s a project I’ll earmark for future reference…


Great idea creating such expression on one side and simplicity on the other.

Amber, where are your white desks and gray drawers from? I’m really in need of a desk update for my graphic design firm.


Those meter sticks would look fabulous as a frame for a bulletin or inspiration board! Love all these creative ideas.


These chairs make me deliriously happy. I should’ve known they were Marimekko, they make some of the best prints out there. Fab job!


love both these ideas and make-overs! The Marimekko fabric is fabulous and just the right thing to add some colour and personality. Well done!


Hi Susan!

The desks and files are from Haworth’s X Series, check them out here:

We designed the full-height shelving unit in the background and had it finished to match.


Cheryl Elsbree Interior Design

I love the idea of reupholstering furniture to give it a whole new life and vibrancy. You did a great job with the chairs! I also love using rub-a-dub paint that comes in a variety of golds, silvers and blacks among others to re-vamp a worn out piece of furniture. Thanks for sharing!

Nickie Frye

I ran into the same issue when I needed a new office chair. I thought about recovering the one I got, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thanks for the inspiration!


I love those chairs! I’m such a fan of white rooms with a pop of color and pattern, nice job!


LOVE those office chairs. Nice and clean looking. And no way does that office space look anything like anybody else’s office space. Thank goodness!


Wow! Love how those turned out! I’m not normally one for such bright bold patterns, but those are really awesome.


I wish I had solid stairs like this – I absolutely the love the use of the rulers – perfect for stairs leading into an office or study.


love the fabric on the chairs and stairs are super clever and fun

jen M

I love the chairs!! They add such a great pop of colour to your office. And of course I love love love the stairs!


The chair looks great! I envy people who can cover furniture so well. I tried sewing a cover for a similar chair once and the end product was a chair that looked like it was wearing a straight jacket!! lol!


Oh I just love those chairs – so gorgeous. I might just have to try it for my office. And love the detail for the stairs – how clever!


While the chairs are stellar… it’s the yardstick staircase risers that had me swooning… I’ve seen interesting risers before (wallpaper, house numbers…) but this…! Right up my alley.


Love these! How adorable and fun for an office. They definitely give some spice to the room :)

Laura K. Aiken

Now those chairs have me written all over them. Love them.
The ruler project is very unique. I would have never thought of that!

Amy Bird Tweets

I LOVE these office chairs! I have been looking for a good one but maybe I will just re upholster my own like this! Great ideas! Love your blog!


The chairs are fantastic. The fabric is amazing. At $55/repeat though, it’s totally out of my price range. Does anyone know a good resource for fabrics like these at substantially lower prices?

Cassidy Voyles

I see those kinds of office chairs all the time at thrift stores and I always pass them by but never again! Those chairs are fabulous – great choice of fabric. What a wonderful way to liven up an office.

The vintage yardstick stairs are very clever.


My best friend collected a bunch of old, multi-colored yardsticks and used them as “paneling” on the bottom portion of her hallway walls. It looks adorable– esp w/ her collection of vintage Chinese checkers boards!

Miriam Green

I have chairs very similar to this that I just couldn’t let go (they are sitting in my garage). I love the shape, but didn’t know what to do with dingy legs – love the idea of having black legs – did you spray paint or have them powder coated?


Hi Miriam,

We spray painted the original bases (which were brown with brass wheels). This definitely doesn’t hold up as well as powder coating but is far less $$.

Good luck with your chair make-over!


both the chairs and the stairs…SO cool! i wish i had thought of the rulers…it’s so creative without being over the top!


amazing! i think i would actually like my job if i got to sit in those chairs everyday :) nicely done!


hi,you did really a great work, i’m lovng it very much! i just find that there was one chair n my house and i want to make a new cloth for it, but i don’t know how to start to make it… can you teach me or give me some steps to do it? thanks if you read it :)