before and after

before & after: reupholstered chair

by Kate Pruitt

I took a beginner’s upholstery class last fall, where my fellow students and I were cautioned against choosing an intricately patterned fabric to work with on our first attempt. Stupidly, I ignored my teacher’s advice and chose a plaid — not a great idea. I simply could not get the pattern to align properly and was thoroughly befuddled, which is probably why I love Susie’s reupholstered chair in all its patterned glory. I actually adore how the center folds all have the same repeat happening; it’s unexpected and a bit surreal, exactly how I would describe the awesome Josef Frank fabric she used. Great work, Susie! — Kate

Time: 1.5 weeks

Cost: $200 (not including fabric)

Basic Steps: First, I definitely wanted to change the finish of the chair to give it a more modern, updated look. The original orange-y finish tends to look a little grandma-ish, which isn’t necessarily bad but wasn’t the look I was going for. I think the dark espresso glossy finish gives the chair a more polished look. I then replaced the old tapestry fabric with a fresher, cheerier print, which really makes the chair pop. I’m super happy with how the chair turned out!

I rescued this chair from a garage sale, so take the time to go treasure hunting if you’re looking for a good deal. When shopping for vintage furniture that needs to be re-loved, make sure the frame is in decent shape. I usually note the lines and shape of the chair, and that helps me decide what kind of fabric I’ll put on the piece. Don’t be afraid of color or pattern! I think every room can use an unexpected piece of furniture. — Susie

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.)

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