before & after: upholstered trunk

We’re huge fans of Skinny La Minx — you may remember this lovely new “wildflowers” print from Grace’s post earlier this week. I love fabric, but sometimes I resist buying it because I have no idea how to use it if I’m not doing huge projects like curtains or couches. Luckily, Heather had this awesome trunk makeover to share. The scale of this print works perfectly with medium-size pieces like this trunk, and with the cushioned top, the trunk can easily double as seating and storage. Heather wisely chose a simple, solid fabric for the interior, and the result is cheerful and fun. Nice work, Heather! — 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.)

See the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 10 days (turnaround time for reupholstery)

Cost: The ottoman cost $57 to reupholster, and the fabric itself came from my own shop stock. It retails at $65 per metre, and I used 2.5 metres on this project.

Basic Steps: It was important for me to explain to the guys at the upholsterers that, even though the trunk looked like a bit of a disaster, it was a valuable item, and that keeping the original tatty fabric and silk lining was integral to the “content” of the object. As they’re a family business, I think they knew exactly what I was talking about. And I was touched that they added a few things I’d not asked for, like a “tug” handle for opening the lid, and a fabric “stay” that stopped the lid from falling over backwards when open.

Well, first you’ll have to convince your mom that after all these years, it really is time to lose the crochet blanket and give the family heirloom a revamp. For a piece like this, where the object itself is not as valuable as the story about it, it’s important to be sure that everyone involved is sensitive to where the value lies. — Heather


Another fantastic South Africa Before and After! (Kim Gray’s bathroom last week…) love it!

Lelanie Slater

I am so proud of my fellow South African. I love Heather’s work. This trunk looks amazing in her new floral prints.


Great work on this! It looks so fresh and cool. I love the fabric that you chose :)


Heather’s Great-grandmother Emma Butler (nee Collett) would be really thrilled to see this! Fantastic revival of her old trousseau chest from the 1800s ! Heather’s Mom.