Before and After
I am not a minimalist, never have been, never will be. I find the ascetic lifestyle boring and somewhat sad, plus minimalism completely contradicts my love for collecting. I collects lots of stuff: costume jewelry, embroidered linens, old buttons, glass decanters, vintage photographs, picture frames, evening gloves, beaded cardigans, sewing notions, mismatched silverware, fabrics, nail polishes, prom dresses, craft supplies, old movies, watercolor papers, used stamps, Venetian beads, impractical shoes, mystery novels, round mirrors, engraved glasses, porcelain egg cups, and silk Vera scarves – to name just a few. But among my more impractical collecting habits is my love for a good quirky chair. Like needy orphans, they just seem to find their way to me. And of course, I bring them all home with great enthusiasm. I strongly believe that all chairs have personalities, and it only takes the right (re)upholstery job to bring out the best in them. Here are a few before-and-after examples to wet your appetite – surely there's a candidate in your house due for a fabulous make-over?
When in doubt, create a blank slate. Lacquering this chair frame white brought out its elegant, feminine lines, a perfect counterpart to the playful zig-zag geometry of seat upholstery.
The power of pattern: large patterns in bold color combos will give a new lease of life to many a vintage piece. Note the double welting, a true custom-couture touch!
Large floral or botanical patterns work for almost any style of chair: their organic lines will complement a wide variety of shapes and styles.
Make sure to discuss pattern placement with your upholsterer, especially when dealing with large fabric repeats: where do you want certain pattern details to be placed on the seat, inside and outside back, chair arms, etc.
On a related note: take into account your fabric's lay-out as it relates to your chair's seams, tufting and stitching details.
Create some design tension by mismatching chair style and upholstery fabric: a bright mid-century modern motif removes all the uptight drama from this baroque chair.
I love this clever idea: repeating a decorative element from the upholstery pattern in the painted finish of the hardwood frame, a chic and unique finishing touch.
Even the simplest pieces can do with a make-over, case in point: the humble though often deadly boring office chair. Calico is the perfect place to make all these makeover dreams come true. Just stop in any of the stores with a snapshot of your reupholstery candidate to get the conversation started.