before & after: chairs, chairs, chairs!


Grace may have moved from chairs to lamps as a new design obsession — definitely a wise move for space-efficiency purposes —but for whatever reason, I am still firmly stuck in the chair world. I admit, it’s a problem. All I have to do is see a beautiful new chair, like this gorgeous rocking chair makeover from Melissa, and I’m on the hunt for a rocker of my own.

Melissa inherited this lovely rocker from her grandmother, and I think she has done a wonderful job reviving the piece while still maintaining its old elegance. The Thomas Paul fabric is the perfect scale for the chair, and the result is a beautiful, modern take on an heirloom piece. Great work, Melissa! — 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.)

CLICK HERE for Heather and Sarah’s chair transformations after the jump!

We don’t usually see chair “makeunders” like this piece from Heather, but it is making me wish we had more. The idea to remove the cushion from the back to reveal a more ornamental wood shape was genius, and I love the combination of the patchy, sanded woodwork with the crisp, high-contrast cushion. I’ve never considered taking a sander to a piece with such abandon, but I must admit that Heather’s beautiful results are very compelling. Amazing job, Heather!

We had so many great chair projects come in, we couldn’t resist giving you a triple play today. Looking at the “before” of this set of dining chairs, you can certainly tell that they have potential. But I couldn’t have guessed how wonderful they would look with the addition of upholstery, and I’m so glad Sarah has opened my eyes to the potential of chairs like these. She’s made amazing changes, and all of them so smart — the mismatched abstract patterns look fantastic, and they instantly make the set seem both more comfortable and more luxurious.

When Sarah submitted these, she mentioned that it was the happy accident of stumbling upon our Before & After column and searching through the entire backlog of posts that inspired her to begin refurbishing furniture and start a side business. We are so thrilled that she found inspiration in the column, and I am truly amazed at how chic and well crafted her projects are already — I hope to see a lot more of your amazing projects come our way, Sarah! Thanks for sharing!

  1. Sharon in Chicago says:

    The Thomas Paul “aviary” fabric (aka, the bird fabric) is available at Calico Corners which happens to have a 20% off sale during March. Here’s the link to the turquoise version: http://www.calicocorners.com/product/designer+fabrics+for+the+home/shop+fabrics+by+color/aqua+and+teal+fabric/aviary+robin.do

  2. Amanda says:

    I LOVE Heather’s chair! I love the direction she ran the stripes.

  3. EngineerChic says:

    And it’s Sharon in Chicago with the win today!! Just in time before I left for my errands, I’m going to Calico Corners today to get me some bird fabric :)

  4. Steph says:

    I love that rocking chair! It’s one of my all time favorite chair makeovers.

  5. Lockhart says:

    I think Sarah’s chairs are just great! How can I get her to do some for me or can I buy hers

  6. Sarah says:

    To heidi walkush, the backs of the chairs need to be carefully pulled off the fronts, I pried them apart with a couple of screwdrivers and hammer, but be careful not to go too gungho and split the backing piece, they are hell to replace! There usually is piping too around the top piece and for a really professional finish, you are best to redo the piping… Good Luck!

  7. Sarah says:

    To Lockhart – the chairs are for sale on Etsy! Look up re-loveit and they should pop up!

  8. Such a huge fan of Thomas Paul fabrics!! And all of the other b & f’s are truly amazing!

  9. These are all great before & afters! I am especially thrilled with the first set though, that chair is gorgeous! The fabric is perfect and the antique mahogany frame! Very inspiring!

  10. sarah says:

    Could not love the the black and white chair more. The distressing is perfect in every way against the clean stripes. WELL done!

  11. celina says:

    Ooh I love them! Especially the first one <3
    Didn't know I had a cousin who is so creative!

    love , celina :)

  12. celina says:

    oeps I just comment to the wrong page ): oops sorry!

  13. Jo Kin says:

    That white chair is awesome! Congrats!

  14. Jamie says:

    I know this was posted over two years ago, but I stumbled upon this a few days ago. I am completely obsessed with the fabric that Sarah used- the website that was she got it from doesn’t work (anymore?). I have searche and searched for the name or designer and have had no luck! Does anyone have any info (other than its from cloth fabric)? I would really appreciate it!

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