There are two places in our home where I’d like to put a chair. But not just any chair. It has to be used — preferably from the mid-century era. And it has be something I can bring back to life with new upholstery. Of course, the idea that I can reupholster a chair with no experience or help other than internet tutorials is just that — an idea. As badly as I want to attempt this, I admit I’m more than a little intimidated. After all, chair upholstery can require a lot of fabric, and I don’t want to start something I won’t finish. So while I build my courage to attempt my own rehab job, here are a few vintage chairs that have been given a gorgeous new life with a little elbow grease:
If I could ever convince my husband that pink really is a great decorating color, even outside our daughter’s room, I’d snatch up this chair in a heartbeat. Not only does it feature the gorgeous mid-century lines that I love so much, it is also reupholstered in Rubie Green’s organic cotton East Village fabric. Seriously, I think etsy seller revivalfurniture made this one just for me. And if not for me, I imagine Nicole Balch from Making It Lovely could find a place for it. Price: $650
2. Lewittes Wingback Cane Chair
Call me crazy, but I think this chair is fabulous! It’s bright, velvety (is that a word), and seriously funky! And would you believe I found a chair like this with very similar bones at a thrift store once and didn’t buy it because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to reupholster it? The ugly floral fabric definitely needed replacing. Now that I see how gorgeous this chair looks, I’m really beginning to regret passing on that thrift store find. Particularly since it would’ve cost me just $45. Price: $550
A lot of people think it’s a sin to paint old wood, but I’m OK with it in some circumstances. This chair from etsy seller threesidewaysglances is one of them. The muted gray paint paired with Thomas Paul’s parasol fabric is a gorgeous combination. But, this chair will definitely call attention to itself, so it could be tough to place. Still, projects like this give me hope that I can turn a beat up old chair into something fresh and fabulous. Price: $529
4. Reupholstered Vintage Tomlinson Chairs
I admit I’m swooning a little over these chairs. More specifically, over the fabulous reupholstery. Left to my own devices, I never would have chosen something so opulent, with black and grey velvet and velour paired with embroidered satin. And while the embroidery is a little more frilly than I’d like, the combination is really stunning. Price: $599/ea.
Looking for more inspiration? Do what I do: Stalk the Design Sponge Before & After section. I’ll also be obsessively checking Craigslist for the diamond in the rough I can nurse back to health. Have a vintage piece you’d like to share? I’d love to see it!