It’s been FOREVER since I posted a furniture makeover…mostly because my poor house can’t handle a single other piece of furniture. So I’ve had to really restrain myself from bringing home any more orphan thrift store pieces. It pains me every.single.time I see something and know it could be amazing but apparently some people in my house (*cough* Mr. H+F *cough*) don’t think having a room of 8-12 chairs just lined up DMV style (but like really, really fabulous DMV!) is acceptable. BUT there’s only so much I can take. When I saw this darling chair in perfect condition in a very scary vintage store where my parent’s live FOR TEN DOLLARS, I didn’t even think about it.
I handed over my $10 and brought it to my parent’s house where my dad and I jointly marveled at how such a great chair could possibly be sold for $10 (now you know where I get my love of junk). And then I left it at their house for approximately 3 years. Ha! Yup, 3 years it sat in their living room, quite happily actually. Much more happily then it would have sat in my basement.
The vintage upholstery was in ok condition. I did a bit of research and it looks like the chair is originally from the late 70s. And isn’t that pattern fun? It still feels totally current which is crazy. I would have loved to keep it as is. The seat wasn’t torn but it was definitely stained and faded so I knew it needed to be recovered. And look at that double welt! LOVE.
I just could never really commit and decide on what to recover it in. Something neutral with a fun piping? One of my 1,003 “most favorite” fabrics? Something different on the back? I just couldn’t do it. One day I found this incredible cut velvet navy cheetah (hello, did you read that? navy.cheetah.) at Sewfisticated in Dorchester (most ridiculous fabric store name award goes to…) and immediately bought a couple of yards. I had some hot pink velvet fabric in the car from a previous project I’d just finished (you drive around with pink velvet in your trunk too right? ha!). I literally drove from there directly to my upholsterer, where I was of course greeted with raised eyebrows when I unrolled my fabric. Two weeks later, I actually gasped when I saw it done.
I’ve done some fun/dramatic thrifted piece transformations for myself and for clients but I have to say, this one is my most favorite to date. And it makes me a little sad that it took me so long to do it. Upholstery services in the Boston area are not cheap (this chair was about $300 + fabric) and it felt like a commitment to pick something for this chair. That fear of getting it wrong held me back. But I’m here to tell you it’s not that big a deal. Just go for it. Paint that old mirror frame a bold color. Put a wild floral print on an old chair. Don’t worry about if it’s going “to go”. Just have fun with it and I promise it will make you happy.
I get that this particular chair may not be for everyone. And I get that maybe a whole set of 6 done like this in a dining room could be too much of a good thing. But one amazing, showstopper chair? Well I’ve never met a room that couldn’t use a little dose of “woah”. I’ve been happily moving it around my house ever since and it works everywhere. As they say, animal print is a neutral! Even Mr. H+F agrees, it’s awesome. Win, win!
And if you do happen to like the cheetah/hot pink combo I did, see my links before for fabric sources to create your own.
Cheetah Velvet (only $19/yard!!)
2 yards is enough for a chair like this