before & after: ryan’s chair + sara’s table runner

sometimes the most entertaining part of going to flea markets or yard sales is to see the ‘disasters’- unfortunate pieces of furniture have already been through a transformation: one that’s a bit more frankenstein than cinderella (i know this a tragically conventional notion of beauty…sorry frankenstein.). some of us laugh and continue to walk on by, having deemed the triage involved too time-consuming to bother (note: i am one of these people). i really have respect for the brave souls that decide to take on this type of recovery project.

when ryan found this poor chair at the flea market, it had been painted hot pink with standard house paint, including all the caning and the stitching (yikes!). after numerous sanding sessions, a lot of elbow grease, and some smart color choices, she managed to bring the chair back to glory. the color choices are fresh and crisp, which doesn’t surprise me after viewing ryan’s art prints at her site modernpop, or on her etsy shop.  good work, ryan! -kate

CLICK HERE for the sara’s knitted table runner after the jump!

as someone who recently left a pen uncapped on my bed while i went to fetch tea, only to return and discover what resembled a large squid attack on the sheets, i am very thankful that this project landed in my inbox. sara’s table runner is perfect for dressing up a table for summer dining, and i would never have known it was made from old cast-off sheets. i can’t wait to break out my needles and start ripping. nice work, sara!


I love the shape of that chair and the colour she chose for the upholstery.
And the knitted table runner is lovely too. I love knitted home accessories.


wow – i thought that chair looked great before and then scrolled down to see it transformed into something that Jonathan Adler would wish he had in his collection. Looks great


Frankenstein was a good simile, with the stitching and all, I could just make out his head in the shape of the chair in the before image…


Love the chair redo! I have a very similar piece and am not quite sure how to recover the back fabric panel………..any tips for me?


Oh why oh why do I not come across furniture with such cute shape that needs new life? I LOVE this piece wholey. It would look fantastic in my living room.

Nickie Frye

Oh WOW! What a great job! Makes me feel like a slouch for not redoing the seat cushion on my linen Restoration Hardware chair. (Not the chair’s fault, my little boy got to it.)


The chair was so beautiful before the transformation.


looks like my grandma’s linen closet will become very useful! I need to learn how to crochet to make a circular rug!


Who knew you could knit from old sheets! Brilliant! And the chair is inspirational!


Thanks so much everyone for all your lovely comments about my chair, I am beaming! Totally inspired by that table runner as well!!


Would you use spray paint to redo a chair like this? I have a similar piece I’d like to do but in practice have gotten dried drips when spraying. Any suggestions??

miz peachy

i also think the before chair was way more interesting. nicely refinished though, regardless.


The BEFORE was amazing! When the page loaded and I saw the chair, I even gasped. It was perfect, feminine, weathered and whimsical. The after is good too but the before had way more character.


Hi Ginny,
I used spray paint. You should do multiple light coats rather than trying to cover one area all at once. Spray in a back and forth/or side to side motion all over the chair until covered completely, then no drips :)


i like the before chair better :( it was so pretty!


I have nearly the same chair I’m going to redo as well. How did you get the caning ready to take the paint? I’m not sure how to “strip” it w/out doing damage? Beautiful work!


It was hard to find but the exact place for the table runner is not easy to find. But worth the look as she not only show how to knit with sheets but all so has a post on crocheting with sheets. Beautiful colors and awesome idea. Although vintage sheet would be very hard for me to tear up and use this way.

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