Monday, January 27, 2014

Big Girl Room Makeover: Attempting to Reupholster a Statement Chair

I have done some very basic reupholstering such as chair seats. I have even sewn slip covers to fit chairs and sofas. But I'd never attempted real deal reupholstering. Then I spotted this chair in my neighbor's trash. I snagged a few other things from the trash heap, I'll save those finds for another post.

I loved the chair's mid-century lines - note the tapered legs. I also liked the fact that it didn't have arms - figuring it would be an easy first time upholstery project. I had zero space for it in my own home, so I decided to make it over as a statement chair for my niece's new big girl room - which you can read more about here. The chair is not necessary in the room but its a nice addition that helps to tie the colors and fabrics together.

As a first step I carefully pried off all of the existing fabric. I took pictures along the way to remind myself of how it was attached to the chair. I labeled each piece with a Sharpy marker and noted things like top, bottom, front, and back on each.

Next, I removed all of the old batting and foam followed by any remaining staples. There were a lot of staples; presumably left behind from previous reupholstering.  I was left with a frame - which I thoroughly vacuumed. After spray painting the legs white, I was finally ready to start upholstering.

I had selected a striped fabric that I knew would make the project a little bit tricky, but it was too cute to pass up. I saved myself a lot of frustration by cutting one piece of fabric at a time. I used the old fabric I had carefully pried off the chair as my pattern. I applied each piece in the reverse order that it was removed - seat, front of back, back of back - over new batting and foam. The very last piece was the trickiest and I ended up using upholstery tacks to make it work.

For my first attempt, I am very happy with it.

I recently learned about the Home Decor Resource Guide a new resource on the One Kings Lane website. The Resource Guide is helpful if you are trying to identify the age of a thrifted piece of furniture or if you want to know more about a design period(s), i.e. Art Deco vs. Mid-century Modern. I think it will be a helpful resource for future projects like this one. For a self proclaimed taught designer like myself, its also great place to learn more about the history of interior design! I think the site could be enhanced by offering fabric suggestions by period/style. Of course, the site links to products available on One Kings Lane that are inspired by the period you are reading about - which is handy in the event that your upholstery or refinishing project is a disaster. Thankfully, mine was not. 

I'll try my hand at upholstering again if I find another free test subject, not that I have room in my house for another piece of thrifted furniture. 


J A Heller said...

This turned out very cute. Love the fabric. I have several antique chairs and benches in the garage... might have to call you for a consult. :)

Anonymous said...

Your chair looks great! Great suggestion on adding information about fabric and period/style of chair. Thanks!


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