before & after: susie’s chair + nadine’s headboard

Seeing that we’re in the midst of winter, I thought it would be appropriate to start the day off with a couple dark and moody projects. Everyone should have a little bit of drama in their home decor, and you’d be hard pressed to find something more beautiful than this upholstered chair from Susie, a freelance designer from southern California.

Susie rescued this piece from a garage sale and transformed it from its humble beginnings into a true luxury piece, using Cole & Sons’ “Woods” fabric (also available as a wallpaper) and a high-gloss black finish. She was gracious enough to donate it to an auction at her nephew’s school, which impresses me greatly — I’m not sure I could part with this lovely chair if it were in my possession. Great work, Susie! — 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 a bit more drama, check out this lovely headboard design from Nadine. With a bit of paint and simple upholstery, Nadine turned this old mirror frame into a beautiful headboard. I love the gray-on-gray effect of the headboard and the wall, and the composition of the graphic textile is stunning. On a totally unrelated note, Nadine is in a roller derby(!), which is awesome. You can see the steps behind this great project and read more about Nadine’s skater skills on her site Bluedogz Design. Thanks for sharing, Nadine!

  1. Shones says:

    That chair is fantastic!

  2. Christin says:

    I’m absolutely drooling over both of these pieces! How
    amazing is that chair!!!

  3. wow! i love the print of the chair! i actually saw that as
    a wallpaper in a store once and thought it was really neat!! liking
    the dark and moodiness!!

  4. This frame really was transformed…with a fab IKEA fabric
    at that. Gorgeous! -Jordana

  5. Urban Sherp says:

    love the chair, rustic and old world. what is the yardage
    cost of the fabric?

  6. Bedding27 says:

    It is amazing how you transformed, (what I would have
    thrown in the garbage) and made it look beautiful!!

  7. That chair is fabulous! It’s inspiring me to finally finish
    an upholstery project I’ve been working on this weekend… the
    holidays are over, no excuses!

  8. Krissy says:

    Both of these transformations are AMAZING. I especially
    love the headboard. Such a clever idea using an old mirror frame.
    And the fabric is so fantastic. Never seen anything like

  9. The fabric on the chair is incredible. Two wonderful

  10. Johanna says:

    Both are gorgeous. Love the final outcomes…so

  11. Sarah E. says:

    Please, oh please tell me where you got the Cole &
    Son fabric – I can only find wholesalers in the UK!!!

  12. Sing says:

    Love both of these makeovers.

  13. Megan says:

    I NEED THIS CHAIR – I love love love love it! I am going to
    have to copy this, even if it will cost me an arm and a leg. I have
    been obsessed with that wallpaper, but didn’t know they had that
    fabric! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me

  14. Morgan G says:

    Oh man, these are incredible. If their previous owners only
    knew. I wish there was a class that trained novice garage sale and
    flea market shoppers what to look for in once-loved pieces. Anybody
    know of anything like that in Southern California? Or online for
    that matter?

  15. Marlene says:

    The chair is amazing!

  16. Love this! Ditto on the chair fabric. I’ve been searching
    for the Woods by Cole & Son fabric up and down the web with
    no luck. Please share where you found it!

  17. M-your facebook friend ;p says:

    That head board screams hornyness!!!

    Nice job!!!

  18. I love that chair to pieces!!! So pretty!

  19. Quatre says:

    Fantastic fabric. Everything looks very well implemented.. great job.

  20. Tanya says:

    LOVE the chair. It looks so great now. It looked so sad before, with its springs hanging all over . . .

  21. s.e. lane says:

    fabulous upholstered chair! i want one!!!

  22. kellie says:

    Wow! That chair is fabulous! And the headboard is a great idea as well!

  23. Paulina J! says:

    This is the color scheme I’m redoing my master bedroom in. So inspired by both!!! Wonderful work. I MUST learn to upholster.

  24. dorishin says:

    ok now that headboard is genius!!! LOve it!!!

  25. lauren says:

    so (cough) is that auction still going on? that chair is insanely good.

  26. Claudine says:

    I was so surprised to open this post and find this chair. I own the same one!!! It was my grandmothers and, unlike the post, it still desperately needs new upholstery. Thanks so much for the great idea.

  27. cheryl oz says:

    the tree chair is fantastic. i love it!

  28. Brittany says:

    Oh, my gosh, I want that chair so badly! I love anything
    birch or woodsy.

  29. Sarah E. says:

    Everyone – I did some digging at it turns out that a place
    called Lee Jofa ( claims to be the exclusive
    distributor of Cole & Son products in the US. They only
    sell to the trade. Hope those of you who aren’t designers have
    friends and/or family who are!

  30. koolaroo says:

    the headboard is divine.

  31. Jessie-Lee says:

    Both pieces are stunning! I think this may be my favorite before and after you have ever featured. I just can’t get over the pattern on that chair! So sleek!

  32. susie @ mend says:

    hi hi! i’m so glad you all like the chair! there were some tears parting with it ;p please shoot me an email if you are interested in ordering the fabric and i can help you out with that!! xo, susie

  33. Amanda Contine says:

    Hi Susie, I love your posts. I am very interested in ordering this fabric, can you help me out? Where did you get it?

  34. Allyson says:

    WHERE IS THIS BIRCH FABRIC FROM PLEASE TELL US…the wall paper is just too expensive.

  35. Sue says:

    My favorite curtains are covered with bare trees. I will keep them forever. If they rip I will take them apart and use them another way. The chair would be so perfect for my curtains. It is beautiful.

  36. Dawn says:

    I have found the fabric and inspiration for my wing chairs in the dining room! What a brilliant person to have the vision of that chair! I won’t sleep till I find a similar fabric. I may have to find a printer on etsy to make a similar pattern…

  37. that headboard is to die for! i love how much inspiration you all can get from something so junky looking to begin with – that’s true talent!

  38. I love the black and white fabric on both pieces- such a
    great graphic punch for any room!

  39. gracie says:

    both the chair and headboard are great! just curious where
    your bedding is from? i’m searching for white bedding that has some
    texture to it. thanks!

  40. Jesse Pender says:

    I love the creativity and vision. These pieces are

  41. OMG, that headboard is absolutely gorgeous!

  42. nadine says:

    wow, thank you all for your amazing comments…I am so touched and I too LOVE the chair, wow! I am the headboard girl…Gracie, the bedding is from, you guessed it Ikea..I bought it years ago but I know they still have it. It’s super inexpensive, super soft and in my opinion, kind of even Anthro looking! :-)

  43. S. Paige says:

    Wow! That tree chair is *amazing*. I just told my husband the creator was generous enough to donate it to her nephew’s auction, to which he replied, “I’m glad you weren’t at that auction!”

  44. Sandra says:

    LOVE LOVE the tree chair! I’m inspired.

  45. Vi says:

    Just got a bed, no headboard. Problem solved! Thank you!

  46. Jo Kin says:


  47. Melissa says:

    I’ve been looking for a bed for my daughters room…thanks for the wonderful inspiration, I’ll be heading out this week-end for a vintage frame and hope to be just as thrilled with my finished project! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  48. maleka says:

    Beautiful ngreat job

  49. maleka says:

    Beautiful ngreatjob


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