before & after: danielle + jesse’s pairs of chairs

There I go again with the rhyming! I can’t help myself, I’m afraid. I hope I’m not offending anyone when I say this, but these chairs that Danielle picked up for $20 are “granny ugly” in the worst way. I half expected them to be covered in those thick clear plastic seat protectors. I never would have guessed you could create such a modern looking set from these, but Danielle has clearly proven that you most certainly can. She was very smart to remove the skirt and stain the legs dark; the result is a set of modern, comfortable looking chairs most people would pay hundreds for. Bravo, Danielle! — 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)

For our second pair of chairs, we have this lovely dining set from Jesse. You may remember Jesse’s fleur-de-lis desk from two weeks ago. He clearly has a talent for finding treasures among yard-sale trash. I’m sort of a wimp when it comes to painting furniture in bold colors, but I absolutely love what this saturated peacock blue is doing for the art nouveau-ish lines of these chairs. Very daring, but also very lovely. You can see more of Jesse’s renovated furniture pieces on his shop site. Thanks for another great makeover, Jesse! — Kate

  1. ann says:

    Love how Danielle totally chiced out those chairs!! It takes a lot of vision to see beyond some unfortunate style moments from the past. It truly happened here!

  2. Those granny ugly chairs look amazing! Great job Danielle…really inspiring me to go look for some granny ugly chairs of my own!

  3. Roboti says:

    Love Danielle`s work!

  4. Miranda says:

    I love those chairs at the top of this post! I never would have thought they would look so nice. Just goes to show the right fabric choice is all that matters. Great job!!

  5. Kristan says:

    Love them both!! And you’re right, Danielle did an amazing job bringing those chairs up to date.

  6. Really nice transformation of that first set of “granny” chairs!

  7. Those “granny” chairs look great with the skirts removed! The fabric is very appropriate as well.

  8. Love love love the first set. The second set is not my color and I prefer them in the original grey…but they look shiny and new with the refurbish!

  9. Aracely says:

    I have chairs just like that which I bought for $25, what a coinky dink! Mine are granny powder blue at the moment.

    I am looking for a way to learn how to upholster from an actual upholsterer so I can do the same thing and same myself some money.

    I took off the skirts, and just have some dodgy slipcovers on mine at the moment…can’t wait for mine to look as sexy a these!

  10. Sue says:

    I love the high back chairs and I have one that is similar. I plan on re-upholstering it soon. I sure hope it comes out as nice. I really thought the teal chair were too much. I guess with the right furniture around them they would look better.

  11. Liz says:

    The top chairs are so close to what I have in my mind for my living room, but could never find quite what I want in a store. Now I know to go back and take another look at thrift stores for something like that. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. WOW! Great chair makeovers! They look great!

  13. Calli says:

    Both Afters are great! I love the teal on the dining chairs – a bold choice that looks wonderful. Beautiful job!

  14. Wow, what a difference new upholstery and a bit of paint makes! I’d so much rather refinish an old chair than buy a new one.

  15. Sarah @ Still Life Mercantile says:

    love that peacock blue. wondering what that paint color is called.

  16. Natalie says:

    The globe in between Jesse’s chairs is so cool!

  17. Dane says:

    Those chairs are excellent!

  18. gina says:

    would danielle share the source of her fabric? :) love the chairs & am hoping to make a similarly lovely transformation on chairs i picked up at an estate sale years ago…

  19. Danielle says:

    Thanks for the kind words!! I love the chairs too :)

  20. mkonieczki says:

    MAD PROPS to Danielle on that transformation! Those after photos are phenomenal! They look like they were plucked out of Pottery Barn!

  21. Bronda Goates says:

    I get to call Danielle my daughter-in-law!
    What a creative gal! My son did good!

  22. shelly says:

    Aracely– I love it that you said
    cohinky dink. Plus the high back granny chairs are marvelous. Nice job and vision.

  23. RTA Cabinet says:

    Wow… That’s awesome… Well Done!! I love those chairs.. It’s full of class..

  24. Beverly Morris says:

    Beautiful chairs! What a creative, frugal, young lady.

  25. Danielle says:

    Okay this is a little weird, but is that peacock blue from ben moore? I just painted a desk and my guest bathroom in the identical color and it’s called North Sea Green and I love it. I can send a before and after soon, but I am just wondering if it is the same color???

  26. Jesse says:

    Thanks for the nice comments on my peacock chairs! I have a confession about the color… we mixed Behr’s “Beach Towel” with a forest green we had lying around. I know, terrible! I don’t normally mix because I like to be able to recreate the color, but I couldn’t resist, it was beautiful!

    I’m also not terribly proud of my photography, but I didn’t realize the fabric was so washed out until I got to the computer. Darn! I think my name should have a link to my blog if you are interested in the rest of the pics.

    I LOVE danielles chairs and the staging is GREAT! That red curtain behind there is perfect. I would love to do a set of chairs like that, but I need to learn that piping! Is it hard??

  27. That was smart to cut off the skirting on those two chairs. It really helps Tom make the pieces look more up to date.

  28. I just saw these fantastic chairs danielle did this incredible makeover on, and I am stunned.Love, love the fabric- and how wise to get rid of the skirt!!

  29. Sarah says:

    Oh so inspiring. Every time I see wallpaper (like in your the fab laundry room you featured) I get more and more tempted to go put some up. And kudos on the dining room makeover – the juxtaposition of old and new just work so well in that room!

  30. What amazing transformations! I especially love the dog bed and the dining room. Well done. Now I’m inspired to go to some thrift stores this weekend. :)

  31. i am very choosy when it comes to dining chairs, i am very picky about the style and their colors .*”

  32. Christen says:

    I sure hope we get to see more of Danielle’s work soon!

  33. Brenda says:

    I also do upholstery. Thank you for the great inspirations. I get so excited when I see makeovers that looks so great.

  34. quianah says:

    I wonder if there is a way to reupholster an armchair that originally has a separate seat cushion but eliminate the need for the separate seat cushion. any suggestions or links?


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