Friday, November 30, 2007

Chair Make-over

I apologize in advance for the self-serving posts this week. As the Christmas season arrives, I always get focused on my home. Perhaps this is because most of the items on my wish list are home focused; perhaps it is because I am always extra critical of my home when I invite people over for holiday gatherings. This year, I am awaiting delivery of a chest that I ordered for the front hall, so I am thinking about the other things I would like to accomplish in that area. Here is the chest: Hickory Chair Murano, in this finish but with a light color stone top instead of a wood top:

Here is my chair (below). I actually have two of them, purchased at the Scott Antique Market in Atlanta, a once a month antique extravaganza that brings dealers from all over the Southeast. I purchased these chairs years ago, and they have spent most of the time since in my attic! I am now ready to have them rebuilt, reupholstered, and redone. I will probably only use one in the front hall is there is not room for both to flank the chest. Instead, it will be to the left of my front door, and the chest will be on the wall adjacent to the front door on the right.

This chair has seen better days!

I have decided to use a lovely Rogers & Goffigon linen on the chairs. The color will be determined by what I do with the wood. This is the point where I would love some opinions, as I know that my readers have excellent taste!

Option 1: have the brown stripped, and have the wood part of the chair painted in a weathered parchment type color. Perhaps with a green underlayer, with the parchment on top, and a bit of the green exposed. Or, just a weathered parchment. If I went this route, then I would upholster the chairs in a very very soft, muted green with a hint of blue; the color is called 'Artemnesia'. The pillows on the chair would be a 20" pillow made with Kravet's Lemondrop.

Kravet Couture: Lemondrop pattern

Option 2: get the chair repainted as described above (parchment) and do an off-white linen. Would need the green undertones so it does not look too tone on tone. Use the Lemondrop pillow.

Option 3: keep the brown of the chair, have the chair upholstered in an off-white linen, perhaps with welting in the soft green mentioned above. Do the pillow in the Kravet Lemondrop.

Option 4: put the chairs back in the attic and get the Victoria Hagan St. Simone chair, which is a whimsical and beautifully carved accent chair. I would probably use the soft green/blue Rogers & Goffigon linen. I could not use a pillow - this chair needs to be the center of attention!

Victoria Hagan St. Simone chair. It looks quite different with a lighter color fabric.

Next step: sconces! But, I am going to decide which chair style to do before I decide which sconces. Also, I am still holding out hope that I will find the Gossip Girl sconces mentioned in my previous post!!!!

Any input or opinions are gladly and gratefully welcomed. Thanks!

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  1. paint the chairs, don't leave them brown!!! do you like the iatesta swedish sconces with the green tole? I love those -they're my favorite. I also love the nw 3 arms sconces.

  2. Hi there- My votes with Option 1, painting weathered parchment, no green undertone. I see why you like the second chair, but prefer the first with the chest, and think it will go well with your dream sconces, too!

  3. Repaint with weathered parchment, (what colour is you wall?) green undertones to busy for style of chair. Other than that hard to say without the furniture in its context... some pictures of the entrance and the nearest rooms helps to ensure a flow of feel :)

  4. Without knowing context and just focusing on the chair...I definitely agree with cote de texas in stripping off the brown paint. I also agree with Jennifer in preferring the pair of chairs to the second chair. I vote for option 2. Isn't redoing older pieces so much fun?

  5. What a happy surprise to already have comments! Thank you, blog friends. I agree, the brown needs to go.

    CDT - I love Iatesta lighting products, in particular the fleur sconce. Are you talking about the scalloped tole sconce?

    Jennifer - I have a great mirror for above the chest, so I have time to keep on searching for the sconces! I may even have them made.

    Nunu - the entry hall kind of stands on its own. The wall color is a neutral tone - Benjamin Moore pale almond. Believe it or not, I have had one of the chairs in the entry for a while, and even though it is so decrepit it looks great in the hall (I have a big silk pillow on it, which hides the peeling nature of the trim).

    Alkemie - based on your blog, it sounds like you have an expertise at redoing old things! I love the sofa you did, the blue one.

  6. i agree and am in the same situation. i have a great louis ix chair that i'm stripping and painting white and reupholstering in a gorgeous orange modern floral print for a clients office.

    i think you should totally paint the chair if you're going for a contemporary spin on the vintage style of the chair.

  7. The chairs will be great painted in a light color. They'll be great with the chest, and I'm voting for the linen upholstery. As far as the sconces go, I saw them one time in a showroom in Dallas (I can't remember where) and made a mental note to come up with something similar for my line. I'm up for the challenge! Although I won't copy them, I'd love to try something in that mood for you. I love their simplicity with the asymmetrical "twist" and combined with the aged gold leaf finish is the perfect thing to bring the chairs and the chest into harmony. Let me know what you think. I can send sketches if you like.

  8. I vote for option one, without the green undertones. The fabric for the pillows is so pretty, it should be allowed to stand out.

  9. Thanks so much for the great ideas, and the great opinions! Keep them coming! This is the best thing about the blog community, to me, sharing ideas, getting opinions and inspiration.

  10. If I may - strip the wood. Rather than paint the chair, pickle it. This is a two to three stage process of liming in an off white (sanderson's cameo) and then a white waxed finish. I base mine on a similar tone to Farrow & Balls old white which is a greyish white. Distress heavily and darken areas of wear esp. feet, knees, and arms which on antiques are heavily water damaged. Then cover in your lemon drop (gorgeous) - I would nail (every inch, inch and 1/4) and gimp so mun nicer than piping.

  11. Oh...what a nice detailed post, HBC! I would certainly like to achieve the look of age (with a layered look), rather than just a flat paint, and your technique sounds wodnderful.

    I was thinking about doing the chair in a linen, then doing a pillow in the Lemondrop...had not even thought of doing the chair in lemondrop...interesting thought. Definitely possible. I tend to pick things that will be a good backdrop, as I get tired of patterns, but this is a lovely pattern.

  12. Love the chest! Betsy Burnham just used in in an entry featured in HB :)

  13. Great eye, Style Court. I saw that too, with the bone mirror above it!

    BTW, do you know of a good furniture refinisher in Atlanta where I could get this chair stripped and painted? I know of some upholsterers, not sure if they do the stripping too.

  14. This is such an interesting post for me, someone without much design experience, to read. Thanks to everyone for the great posts which are teaching me a great dea.

    I'd be really curious to know how much this project will cost in total, since I am always wary of doing things like this because of fear of prohibitive expense! Please do share your final totals.

  15. I had a bunch of things recovered 7 or 8 years ago, but nothing recently, so I am curious what this will cost too! The fabric I am considering is about $80 a yard, and the pillow fabric is $100 a yard, so that will certainly impact the prices. I will post when I get some estimates. I think that refinishing furniture is not an inexpensive proposition, and I will have to upholster too.

  16. What a lovely chest! I think you should use the lemondrop fabric on the chair (not off white chair w/ lemondrop pillow). An accent chair like this is the perfect opportunity to use a pattern on the upholstery...It will be like a lovely lemon jewel every time you walk into the home. Yes...strip off the brown paint!

  17. Amber - thank you for the comment! I love the lemon drop fabric SO much. You are not the first one to recommend using that as the main fabric on the chair! It would really make the chair look modern, wouldn't it? Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  18. Ohh, I love all the good ideas. Can't wait to see the finished outcome.

  19. I have a call into the upholsterer, I am ready to move forward! Just trying to find a great place that can strip and refinish the chair. Since I am not a designer, I do not have all of these resources at my fingertips, but I usually know who to ask!

  20. What fun! I love redoing things just before holidays. Really gets me motivated! Can't wait to see how it all comes together!

  21. i vote painting it white. the brown, no.

  22. i agree, paint the chairs! the sconces on first dibs are amazing, i love them cause you'd get candleight, really dramatic! (practical? well maybe not)!


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