before & after: jessica + susan’s reupholstered chairs

I want to start this post by clarifying that I am not partial to project images with pets in them. Unless it’s a corgi (cardigans only, please), in which case I’m powerless to resist. As far as Jessica’s upholstered chair is concerned, I just dig it — cat or no cat. Wait, why isn’t that a gameshow?! Cat or No Cat. I don’t know what the rules would be, but I hope it would involve supermodels and hidden cats!

An interior designer by trade, Jessica recently had a client ask for an upholstered piece with a fun, zany mix of print and color. I am very charmed by what Jessica delivered. The colors look great against the dark wood finish, and I think the crisp welting and impeccable upholstery job keep the piece from being too off-beat. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t let my cat anywhere near it! This chair’s owner is obviously kinder than I, but I hope she buys a lint brush. Great job, Jessica! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)

These amazing chair submissions are convincing me that I need to befriend more interior designers. These little tufted chairs were found for a client by Susan Galvani, an independent interior designer in NYC. Acquired as cast-offs from restaurant Daniel (quite a score!), these chairs needed freshening up. Susan covered them in an amazing ikat fabric with the most incredible color palette. I love them! They add the perfect touch to this living room, but I imagine they look fantastic in every room. Great transformation, Susan!

Mod Human Vintage

I am now officially jelouse :/
I think I may now have to take on this sort of project for the weekend.
Very pretty and my favorite is the first makeover above (photographed with the cute cat)

best wishes!
Mod Human


Oh, ikat hasn’t really been my favorite when it’s just the one color on white, but this I love. It’s so rich and textural, would love to know where it’s from.


Do you change out the “innards” of the chairs or just recover them? I’m always worried about if upholstered items have been in homes with dust and animals….or worse, bugs!


hahaha! wow! someone’s not a cat person :) i can totally understand though. i must say, that ikat fabric on those chairs is ah-mazing! i can’t get over how perfect it is for that shape!

Lisa Fechter

I love the chairs on the ikat fabric! I tried to find fabric like that but I failed. Any ideas where to get it?
Thanks in advance! :)


My two dear Pems take offense to that Cardigan comment! But they both find the cat chair to be very attractive.


Love the fabric combo in the top chair. Those work great together! Nicely done.

Kate Pruitt

Kiki – Actually I am a total cat lover, which is why I think Cat or No Cat should be just like Deal or No Deal, except with cats running around everywhere. I spend hours just watching my cat, it’s ridiculous.

Stephanie – Oh okay I admit I love Pems too!! But my family has a long lineage of owning Cardigans, and let’s face it, Cardigans are the underdog (literally) of the corgi world. So I wanted to give them their day in the spotlight:)

holly waterfield

Susan Galvani is a seriously talented designer, with an amazing eye for the perfect little thing! I love her and her work!


Love the ikat! Trying to find great ikat online or in the NYC area. Any recommendations?


I love colours but not too much of them, especially bright colours. But the first chair has the right mix, furball and all…:)


Leslie-Once you remove the old upholstery (tear down) you will be able to tell if any or all the stuffing needs to be replaced. Sometimes, old pieces have amazingly clean padding. Other times, it’s so dirty and worn you have to toss it. Keep your eyes open for anything suspect.


where is that great ikat from? i am trying to find one myself!! thanks!


love these transformations. not to be a downer, but does anyone else have a fear of bedbugs that keeps them from acquiring older furniture to work on? i find pieces all of the time that i would like to refurbish, but i’m too worried about possible infestations to take anything home anymore.

Darci Mercado

I have to try this!! I need a new office chair- this is a perfect idea. Wish me luck, I’ll be old chair hunting this week.


Those ikat chairs are sexy as hell. I’d love to know the fabric source, or where we might find something similar…? Fantastic work.

Sarah C.

Okay, so how do you secure the reapolstered piece to the chair? I knw in some cases there are screws on the underside of the chair…but what do you do it there is apolstery on both sides, such as on the back of a chair? Curious!

Ashley F

The fabric is from Schumacher. It’s called Samarkand Ikat . They sell to trade only though.