Lovely Chair, Phase 3: Reveal!

Going way back, we started with this chair. We loved her, and we knew she could’ve used a little makeover, but there she sat, untouched, in our living room for years.

Then we got a wild hair (gah, we’ve got lots of those) and started to slowly tweak our living room – you know this already. Our lovely chair was thrown in the pile of mini-makeovers, and over the last couple of months, we chose a fabric (Dandelion velvet from West Elm), dropped her off with our friends at the upholstery shop (after deciding a pro would be our best bet), pulled her into pieces, refreshed the frame, and now – we’ve put her back together:

Remember when she looked like this? Our girls loved that nubby fabric (perhaps it resembled a kitty scratching post?) – to pieces, literally. The new velvet, on the other hand is smooth, soft and self-healing, in a way.

Before putting the cushion back into the frame, we gave it three even coats of Scotch Gard, a precaution we take with any new piece of (fabric) furniture. (We did the same with Grandma’s chair, too.)

Because 2 of the screws needed to secure the seat to the frame could only be accessed from the inside (see here), we asked the upholsterers to leave a gap on the bottom, like this:

After we slipped the chair in the frame, Scott used an awl from the inside out to puncture the fabric – this would prevent ruining / pulling the fabric when we put the screws back in place. In the photo below, we had the chair turned on her side, then we slid the cushion out farther than needed to be able to feel where the screw should come out of the other side.

Once Scott used the awl on all 4 anchor points, we secured the cushion to the frame with the screws. At this point, I was able to use an extra piece of fabric to completely cover the bottom of the frame – a piece given to me by the shop so everything matched up.

You can tell it’s two pieces, but we pulled everything nice and snug and secured the second strip of fabric in place with our staple gun.

Now, she looks like this – velvet-y, yellow-y and cute(y)!

The yellow is soft and subtle, but every now and then, it’ll feel like a fun splash of color; the butter color can take on the slightest neon hue in the right light – and I say that in the best possible way.

We think that all the fabric agonizing, wood re-finishing and years of waiting for the just right moment has been well worth it. You know that we love to give most things a go with our own hands when we can, but we have to say, it feels good to have a good upholstery shop in your back pocket.

Have you taken on any upholstery jobs of your own recently? We’re always amazed at the unique and fun ways you can transform a piece of furniture with fabric – this one (shared in this post by reader, Erin) still gives us heart palpitations.

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  • kelley11.15.12 - 8:33 AM

    That cat pillow is adorable. Where did you find it?ReplyCancel

  • Kim11.15.12 - 9:20 AM
  • Carole11.15.12 - 10:14 AM

    So happy to see the final product, it looks gorgeous! I have an upholstery job waiting for me – it is number four in the line of furniture projects I have on the go. Fingers crossed, it is my first attempt at upholstery!ReplyCancel

  • Kim11.15.12 - 12:34 PM

    Thanks, Carole! Good luck with your upholstery project! Patience will go a long way…ReplyCancel

  • jackie jade11.15.12 - 1:41 PM

    Ooooh looks so great! That yellow works so well – great choice!!ReplyCancel

  • Trude11.15.12 - 6:20 PM

    It’s soooo beauuuutifuuull….definitely worth the wait. I’m willing to bet that pro upholstery will hold up super well over the years! Plus, the piping trim detail is lovely! Such a gorgeous color fabric too. My mom gifted custom upholstery to me on a gorgeous set of hand-me-down chairs (sounds funny, but she’s an interior designer by trade) and they’ve held up beautifully over the last (gulp) 9 years.ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.15.12 - 6:56 PM

      Trude, that sounds like our idea of a GREAT gift!ReplyCancel

  • Ada (new york)11.16.12 - 4:05 PM

    I love the new fabric color, and it looks like the chair is VERY happy now given so much TLC :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia]11.19.12 - 11:51 AM

    Oh. Wow. Completely happy and beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi11.27.12 - 11:16 AM

    oh! it looks SO great!!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY11.29.12 - 6:32 AM

    Oh my goodness!! The yellow with the wood tone is perfection…Love it.ReplyCancel


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