chair makeover completed! see our new sits


A couple of months ago, I wrote in asking for suggestions on remaking two shabby looking chairs Chad and I picked up at a yard sale — on our wedding day. To refresh your memory, here’s the before picture.


We stripped off the black paint, sanded, and recovered with a glossy white. Note the saggy, lumpy cushions. After peeling off five layers of fugly fabric, I discovered they weren’t just lumpy, but also moldy. Though many of you offered suggestions on making your own cushions (through sites like foam by mail), I decided to do these properly, and found an upholsterer nearby (Classic Interiors) to make them for us. Deciding on the fabric — that was the hardest part! Because the living room of our cottage is basically a clean palette (all creams and whites now), whatever color we went with on the chair would have a BIG impact on the room. After seriously considering a bunch from Hable Construction, Marimekko and the Q Collection, we settled on this lovely red damask by Rob Allen. I love the big, bold repeat pattern, and the striation that makes it look hand-printed. Not to mention, compared to everything else I was looking at, this was cheap — about $35/yard. In the end, making the cushions and having them covered turned our $20 chairs into an investment (they were about $400 each). But now we have two chairs that aren’t just comfortable, they’re the centerpiece of our room. — Angela M.

From our partners

What a beautiful makeover!


It’s a completely different chair! I love the fabric. Whoever sewed those cusions did an amazing job.

Angela M.

It’s true, they did a great — look at how perfectly the pattern matches down the front of the chair. One note: when you use large a repeat-pattern like this, you’ll need to buy a bit extra fabric for just this reason — to make sure everything lines up.

I love the fabric! It looks better than new.


I think you made a smart move in having a professional make the new cushions. They look impeccable and snappy.


It looks amazing! I bought a wonderful slipper chair several years ago at an estate auction…for $2. It also had awful, moldy upholstery, but such wonderful bones. It was almost $200 to have it re-upholstered but it’s so beautiful now and I loved saving it and reusing it.

beautiful re-do!

Mary T.

Great and inspirational!


love it!


What is under the bottom cushion — springs, paltform, something else? We have two similar chairs with lengths of springs that the bottom cushion sits on. They are flat, though, not like mattress springs, and they are chewing into the fabric and foam of the cushions so much that we do not use the chairs at this point. No one seems able to tell us if something should be between these springs and the cushion and if so what that something should be.

wow i remember these and they are gorgeous updates :) i love the fabric you’ve chosen :)

Wow, they did turn out to be expensive (that’s always my hesitation with reupholstery like this), but man are they gorgeous!

shelterrific » Blog Archive » dream seats from chair couture

[…] know we have a thing about chair makeovers here (see this post or this one for recent d.i.y. adventures), but here’s a site that takes it to a whole new […]

shelterrific » Blog Archive » help! what sort of rug does this room need?

[…] can see in the above photo, there’s not a lot of color in the room right now, except for the chairs we reupholstered in a deep red pattern. I’m thinking a braided round or oval rug would be nice, if I could find the right palette. […]