before & after: kirsten’s chair + sarah’s credenza

It doesn’t matter how many chair images cross my desk; I will never tire of seeing great re-upholstery jobs. For one thing, I love seeing all the different chair shapes and styles out there. Second, I just love chairs, and a picture of a beautiful chair will never cease to inspire me. Case in point: this fantastic specimen from Kirsten. Not wanting to alter the chair’s lovely wood finish, Kirsten left the original frame intact and simply swapped out the old upholstery with two perfectly mismatched printed fabrics. Personally, I find the art of complementary mismatching to be quite difficult, and I enjoy seeing when someone can do it well, as Kirsten has done here. I would very much like to own this chair . . . that’s pretty much all I can say about it. Amazing work, Kirsten! — 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.)

I think I’ve mentioned before that a great photo can usually win me over with before & after projects, but I promise it’s not the only factor. Sarah clearly has an eye for design and knows how to work with color. The subtle shift in tones and the mix of print and paint on this piece are expertly achieved. The fact that she’s also managed to tuck this little credenza into a charming vignette with a great mix of colors and textures is just a bonus. If I saw this piece in a shop, I’d never guess it came from such humble beginnings. It looks like the perfect addition to a rustic and stylish kid’s room. Great transformation, Sarah!


I love the credenza. I would have a hard time passing up an unfinished version at a thrift store, whether I had a place for it or not.

Chris Cook (@431MEDIA)

Wow! I love em both!! I really like the use of 2 different patterns on the chair, and the light color really brings out the wood tones. Beautiful!

The credenza looks great as well, especially with the props you have used around it. The colors are amazing!

Dani Kreeft

that chair looks so crisp and ready!
I love anyone who can pick out something a bit frumpy looking and make it look like THAT. bravo!


chair: wonderful choice NOT to paint the wood, and the mismatched fabric is sassy! clap! clap! clap!


Love the chair! Where are those two blue and white fabrics from?!!


Both projects turned out great! My Mom has a chair similar to the frame of that one and it needs to be re-upholstered. They got an estimate from someone that it would cost around $600 for fabric, building up the seat an labor! Yikes…I wish I knew how to tackle that kind of job. Looks so cool!

Ban Clothing

I love the use of two different fabrics on the chair; so bold!!!!!!!!!!! I would have never thought of that and it looks phenomenal. I am also happy the wood was allowed to remain. So many people paint wood now and I like to see people who can make wood look modern.


I love the new color of that credenza!

The knobs, however, look like pimples that are about to burst.


What a great chair!! That is inspiring me to go redo my kitchen chairs with some new fabric!


Love the fabrics on the chair. Does anyone know what they are or where you could find them? Looking to re-do an old wingback chair and loveseat in something like that.