Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Statement Chair

A bit of backstory about this chair. I found it on one of my frequent trips to Goodwill last year. Yes, you read that right, this chair has been sitting around waiting for it's new look for a whole year. Bad me. Or busy me. Yes, let's go with busy, that sounds better.

When I found it, I knew I was going to buy it. I was totally smitten with the size and shape, and I have the perfect little corner in my bedroom for it. But it took a lot to get past the way it looked.

As you can see, it's pretty darn ugly, but----wait for it---this fabric is not only hideous, but VINYL. Again, you are not misreading, that is indeed white and purple rose printed vinyl. I so wish you could reach through the the screen to touch this chair. And there are parts of the chair that are ruched! Ruched vinyl with a vinyl skirt!!! Save me!

It also took me a while to find the right fabric for this chair. I found a beautiful teal and taupe print, but there wasn't going to be enough of it to do the whole thing. But I reeeeeally wanted it, so I went out on a bit of a limb (for me, anyway) and bought 2 coordinating fabrics.

And then I just shoved the whole project aside until this weekend. But when I got going, I was like a runaway upholstery train, nothing was going to stop me! 

I had orignally thought the chair may be from the 1950's so I used the Home Decor Resource Guide at One Kings Lane to see if I could find anything similar. Have you checked that out yet? Lots of good information, links, articles and photos, including an excellent article on the History of Upholstery.

This chair had the original upholstery on it and was surprisingly easy to strip. I actually did find a tag with a manufacturer's date and country of origin inside. Made in the USA in December of 1962. I always love to find the tags, it makes the chair that much more special (even when my guess turns out to be wrong). Other than needing to tighten the screws on the front legs, the frame and the springs were in perfect condition. I got it all apart in a few hours.

Look at that. Perfect, right? Now, the foam in the seat was totally trashed, and the webbing and burlap on the top had pretty well stretched out of shape, so I went ahead and replaced it all.

I wanted to use the printed fabric for the seat, top and front of the arms. Starting with the seat, I centered the large motif and stapled it in place.

Next, I did the 2 arms, adding new foam and batting to them first. I used 2 of the smaller motifs as the centers on the arms.

Then I did the top, again centering the large motif.

One of the things that I really liked about the design of the chair originally, was the ruched strip along the top. I wanted to keep that element, so I used the plain teal fabric to make piping and as the ruching on the top and around the seat. 

I also added the piping along the outer edges of the arms. Next, I used the striped fabric for the outer arms.

I ended up really liking this fabric, it has a great texture, and would go with practically everything. I also used it on the back.

Pretty awesome so far. Next, I used the same cording with the ruched fabric around the bottom of the chair.

Last, I used the striped fabric to make the skirt. I ran out of that fabric, so the skirt didn't end up being as full as the original, but I think it works quite well.

I am in love. (Sorry, hubs!) This little chair turned out exactly, and I do mean exactly the way I pictured it. That is such an amazing moment that when it happens I feel like the queen of the universe.

Last thing to do was to put it in it's place of honor. Squeeeee!!!

I'm thinking I may add a small round pillow to it, maybe the striped fabric (if I can find more) on one side and the print on the other with some cording.

But for right now I think I'll just bask in it's darling-ness.

Linked Up HERE


  1. So beautiful! You're just showing off by mentioning the possible pillow! Good job woman!

  2. Thanks for sharing your project. I always fantasize about refinishing or upholstering old school furniture like that, so I'm glad to have the chance to live vicariously through your blog until I get around to it one day. It turned out looking so good.


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