Saturday, August 6, 2011

first foray into reupholstering

So, instead of unpacking the remaining boxes in our house, I decided to give myself a new project. :) My grandmother gave me this beautiful chair years ago, along with a tapestry type fabric and a staple gun to someday recover it. Well, I never got around to it and the tapestry fabric is not quite my style anymore. I'm trying to setup our living room in the new place and am transitioning away from a few of the colors we used in the previous house and am adding new patterns and natural elements to the decor. To give you an idea, here is my inspiration board for the room:

Most of the items are things we already had...the couch, the artwork, etc. We bought the rug at Ikea and then I made this in order to pick out some fabric for the chair and pillows. I originally thought I'd use a yellow and white chevron print fabric to cover the chair. But once I ordered that and put it in the room it seemed too summery. I might still do something with it in there, but I'm not sure. The yellow is brighter than that on the pillow with rosettes. I think that's why it didn't work.

But thankfully I also ordered the lovely ivory and brown Ikat fabric pictured. I have yet to order the more damask Ikat print in gray. We'll see if I find a use for that, but I will need to tie in the gray rug in some way. I put the brown and ivory fabric on the barrel chair and it looked great! So I began my first try at recovering a chair. Her is the chair before:

Here is the chair after I (slowly and painstakingly) removed the staples and carefully removed the old fabric and padding:

This chair was kind of tough for a first foray into reupholstering, but after using the old fabric as sort of a template, pulling, prodding and stapling, here is the new, improved chair!

I really like how it turned out. I am going to add some trim around the front and back legs (they were super tough!). I really love this fabric. I think it will last a long time and through many colors and styles. Here is a closeup of the fabric:
And here is a shot of our little setup in the living room by the window. It always takes a lot of time and effort to get your old stuff situated in a new place. The setup of every room is this house is already very different from our old place. I'm enjoying it, but it does take a lot of time.

I have started discovering more of my style through this process though. I really love to focus on cool artwork, many natural colors with just a few accessories & the artwork bringing in brighter colors. I love mixing new artwork with older furniture and vintage finds. The only thing I'm still working on is how to bring in some Aztec/southwest patterns into our current style. That may take a bit of reworking at some point, but I'm loving where the decor is going. Even though our sofa is sort of newish I now wish I had gotten more of a neutral linen fabric instead of the olive-y green chenille. Oh well! That always happens and you can't just go around buying a new sofa all the time!

I hope you'll try recovering a piece of furniture. My thinking throughout the process was, well this is for myself and I'm not selling it or doing this for a client. That got me over the frustration and fear a little bit of taking on this task. You'll be happy updating a piece to fit your current decor and you can generally find pieces with great structure for really cheap at garage sales. Just search online for tips and instructions and enjoy a 'new' piece of furniture for less!! Tomorrow it's repainting the living room for me. I just can't live with the lavender walls that are in there anymore!! Happy Weekend!


  1. I love how this came out! Such a cute upgrade :D

  2. Thank you! I'm happy I didn't screw up the chair :) See you tomorrow!