Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our House: The Living Room, Chairs (Business in the Front, Party in the Back)

Chairs are woefully expensive in my opinion.  As much as sofas in a lot of cases and often boring and very cookie cutter.  I really wanted something vintage that I could have reupholstered for my living room.  After spending months searching for a pair of vintage upholstered chairs in the right size and shape, at the right price point to justify the cost of new fabric and professional re-upholstery I decided to use my husband's grandmother's chairs that had been in our basement among my collection of furniture waiting to find a home or a purpose.  The chairs are comfortable, low enough that they could be placed slightly in front of the (when I finally find it) media stand/credenza without blocking the TV, and best of all FREE.

I searched for a few inspiration photos but I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted.  I loved the idea of doing a print but I loved the tufting (which IMO can be tricky depending on the pattern).  On a trip to Calico Corners I came across a bolt of amazing seafoamy blue/green velvet on super closeout.  Originally priced at something like $65 a yard it was $10.50 a yard if I recall correctly.  I've always loved the Dwell Plumes fabrics, have pined over the pillows in azure forever so I was thrilled when I realized that the birch colorway worked perfectly with the velvet as well as my sofa color.  It all just fell into place so perfectly.

For some ungodly reason I decided I was going to strip the original upholstery and caning myself (because I was going to paint the frames before giving them to the upholsterer). If I'd been thinking clearly I'd have taken both chairs (instead of just one to talk pricing and what I wanted) and had the upholsterer strip them for me before painting.  It was a miserable task, that I (true to form) waited until the last minute to do.  So there was blood, lots of cursing, blisters, and begging my (wonderful) husband to run to Walmart for me at 10:30 on a Sunday night.

Just a few hours before my in-laws flew in yesterday I picked up my chairs and I LOVE the end result.

There is enough of the velvet left to do the ottoman and I ordered enough of the Plumes fabric to do a couple of throw pillows for the sofa.  For less than the cost of one of the chairs I liked at Crate & Barrel, I  (will) have two chairs and an ottoman that are totally unique to me and my house.  I'm happy with the results.........and looking around what I can send to the upholsterer next!


  1. Perfection! Especially paired with the rug.

  2. Help! I live in Hawaii and have been looking for a deep, rich teal velvet (not itchy) and have had no luck for weeks . Any ideas would be welcomed. Mahalo, Jenny