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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chair Transformation

Thank you to the Washington Post for including this post in your Blog Watch, June 25, 2009! 


Six years ago, I purchased a set of chairs from Scott's, a monthly antique market in Atlanta. They were in good shape, although the upholstery needed to be redone. However, I had spent my budget on the chairs, so one of them sat in my front hall 'as-is' for years, and the other one was relegated to the attic. On occasion, my husband complained about having a ratty looking chair in the front hall, but to me there was a certain charm about the chair in its original upholstery.


I finally decided to take action on the chairs in late 2007, and posted about it here. I received some tremendously helpful recommendations from my readers, and had the chair stripped of its old brown finish and repaired. The chair then went to a fantastic decorative painter in Atlanta, one who does expert work on antique restoration and finishes on high quality reproductions. Little did I know that the chairs would be at the painters for more than six months! The decorative painter does excellent quality work, but she is an artist and she likes to work on projects when they inspire her. So, I called every few months to check on the progress, but I went on with my life.


Finally, the chairs were ready! I purchased some off white linen from a local fabric store, and had the chairs rebuilt and upholstered. And here they are (well, here is one of them - I don't have room for the pair in my front hall, so the other one is in my living room)! The decorative painter recommended letting the natural fruitwood tone of the chairs show through, and she did a light limed finish in a tone that picks up on the off white of the linen.


Just for fun, I had the back of the chairs upholstered in one of my favorite fabrics, Kravet's lemondrop (I had to put felt strips on the back of the chair as the finish was rubbing off against the wall).

Here is the transformed chair in the context of my front hall. I purchased the triptych at the Trinity Artists Market; I love the look of the contemporary art contrasted with the French chair, and pulled together with a sisal rug. I hope you enjoyed the chair transformation that took a mere 6 years to complete!

Please stop by Between Naps on the Porch to see other transformation projects in Metamorphasis Monday!

80 comments:

  1. I love the classic simplicity of the limed finish and the white linen - very chic. If it were mine, and I'm not offering advice here, I would vignette the chair with the triptych. Lemon Drop is a great fabric design - I know it well from the Kravet showroom as it has figured large in our discussions of what to use in the bedroom.

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  2. Blue, I absolutely love advice! Do you mean put the chair under the paintings and make a vignette that way? Good idea. The paintings would go very high, but the entry is double height (probably 20 feet) so the height is there.

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  3. Amazing! This chair is great! I love the fabric on the back of it, so charming!

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  4. Great transformation. I hope those chairs float in a room often enough so people can see the fabulous fabric on the back.

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  5. The opposing fabric on the back makes the chair even more lovely. The lemon yellow is so welcoming in a foyer. Thank you for sharing.

    Charla

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  6. Slightly to the right so the left hand side of the chair impinges on the space of the triptych.

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  7. I can't resist a fun or classic chair. My store is filled with similar projects. Beautiful fabric. Love the painted wood! Girl after my own heart, -susan

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  8. What a great transformation! I love this chair. It's a shame that you can't see the beautiful Lemon Drop fabric on the back with the chair placed in the corner.

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  9. LOVE IT!!-I always find your blog inspiring. I especially love the mixing of periods in this vignette-It is so understated-well done.

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  10. Looks great! Love the fabric you chose! It was worth the wait! :-)This would be great to link to for Metamorphosis Monday...Mr. Linky will be up around 8:00 PM this evening. :-)

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  11. You certainly gave those chairs new life! I love the fabric and the painting of the chair. I didn't even see the felt strips till you mentioned them.

    Is there enough room to have both the chairs flanking the pictures?

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  12. Oh, yes and the art is wonderful, do you know who created it. I love to do the chair backs in a different fabric, You can't enjoy it where it is placed though!

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  13. What a wonderful transformation!!
    Great choice on the fabric. Interested to see what Blue recommends and if it work. High foyers are so hard to warm up!
    xx-Gina

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  14. I'm with Blue. Gordon would call it grounding the pictures and it would make both chair and pictures look better. Maybe add something else. I've learned to see ungrounded pictures as if they are flying away. Y'all even have a little niche thing to frame the vignette.

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  15. The chair looks great!! And hey, six years isn't really so long ;-)

    I agree with Blue about creating a vignette with the chair and the triptych. Have you thought about making a little accent cushion in the lemon drop fabric to put on the seat?? Then you can enjoy the pretty fabric on the chair from the front and the back :-)

    Kelly

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  16. Ms TTI,

    Love the chairs! The fabric on the backs is wonderful. Would love to see a show of the entire entry. If my memory holds me correct, across from the paintings is a Hickory Chair piece, mirror and those fab Julie O'Neill sconces?

    Angela

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  17. What an absolutely beautiful chair. And the Lemon Drop fabric is incredibly chic. I'm inspired!

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  18. Thank you for the comments, everyone!

    I put the lemon drop fabric on the back thinking that in a future house (which I am looking and looking for...) these chairs will be in a spot where the fabric shows. In fact, I was thinking about using the other chair as my desk chair, but the desk I bought does not fit in a space where I could fit this chair. Oh well...I will have to wait some more!

    I actually bought some lemon drop fabric for an accent pillow, and it is sitting in my dining room. I just have not gotten around to that project. In fact, I waited to do this post because I was planning on having a pillow made, but I decided to go ahead and do it even without the pillow!

    I love reader insights about improvements, so thank you. I plan on doing a post about the whole entry soon, as I have changed things around a bit on the other side.

    Love the idea about making a vignette with the chairs and the paintings...I have seen some really pretty antique plant stands that would look great in the corner where the chair is, maybe the chair could move over to merge with the paintings more. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  19. Doesn't that look just fabulous! I love the transformation!! Always fun to see the before and after!

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  20. Lovely. Love the Lemon Drop fabric in the back!

    I noticed your sisal carpet. I am in the throws of choosing a natural fiber rug for my family room - it will need to be large, probably 12x16 or more. I like the look of sisal best but it seems seagrass gets the thumbs up for durability. The family room gets traffic from the backyard and pool so I need something that will stand up. How has your sisal held up? Can I also ask where you bought it? (also is it the tiger eye pattern - it looks very textured) Michele

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  21. Nice blog, here is some more information on Baby High Chairs.

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  22. These are fabulous - I love the transformation. The back panel is genius...I have always done checks. xv

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  23. I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE that chair. It is just gorgeous, and the fabric is stunning. I am with the others, I would try to figure out a way to angle the chair on the wall so you could see the back with the pretty fabric. It is so lovely to have two different fabrics. Well worth the wait. Hugs, Marty

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  24. Perfect!!
    Such beautiful lines on those chairs. And your choice of fabric....well, perfect.

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  25. Nicely done! The Lemon Drop is a wonderful fabric. I'm currently using it on a client's chair in the "Lilac/1617" (which doesn't look lilac). It blends well with linens in natural shades.

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  26. Well worth the wait!
    The fabric on the back of the chair is such a beautiful surprise. Your pairing of your french chair and your contemporary art is a perfect reflection of your style.
    Love it.

    xo
    Brooke

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  27. Wow, I love the transformation! The chair looks so much better, and so chic - great job!

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  28. BEAUTIFUL! I love it. Your entry looks gorgeous!

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  29. Wow looks great! I LOVE the fabric on the back!

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  30. The end result I perfect. I love the chairs!

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  31. I love the back so much, I think I would face it the other way :)! Isn't it funny how the things we think will be the simplest turn out to be full blown projects:...but it was worth the wait~

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  32. Very nice and I love a chair in the entry area. It looks very professional !
    Hugs ~ Kammy

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  33. I'm glad you bought more lemon drop fabric because the play on shapes between it & the triptych is perfection.
    Your artists work is owrht the weight. If I was closer I'd be calling for a set I have waiting for the same kindness.

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  34. Absolutely gorgeous! Well worth the wait, I think!
    Just drooling over the Lemondrop fabric!
    Ya did goooood! :)

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  35. Gorgeous transformation. I love the touch of the pretty fabric on the back! 36 comments for a chair - my gosh, you are popular! Love and hugs, Terri xo

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  36. The fabric on the back gave it the needed twist
    Lovely chair

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  37. you have done a great job !!
    i am impressed.
    x

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  38. Thank you so much for the wonderful comments and insights! I am out of town right now, so it is a bit hard to make comments on my iPhone, but I am enjoying reading each and every comment on this post!

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  39. Love the transformation. it adds such a great twist to a traditional design

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  40. Love the transformation. it adds such a great twist to a traditional design

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  41. Hi, I have been reading all of the comments and I love the idea of an antique plant stand in the vignette. The green of ferns would be a welcome addition in the corner and tie things together. I await your transformation it will be fun to see what you do.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  42. Beautiful transformation! Your photography is wonderful! :-) L~

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  43. WOW! That is one beautiful chair! You waited a long time but it was worth it! I would have been calling the painter every WEEK!! Great piece! Happy MM!

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  44. Gorgeous! I can't believe how well your chairs turned out. I particularly love your choice for fabric on the back -- it's just too bad that you can't see it when the chair is in the corner!

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  45. That looks incredible! I love the look of antique chairs. Glad they are finished and you are enjoying them now.
    Traci

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  46. love the redo and the surprise of the different fabric on the back!!

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  47. I am impressed that you thought to make the back of the chair different. I never would have thought of that. But it's just the right touch!
    Brenda

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  48. Utterly fantastic. It's so perfect and I love where you placed it.

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  49. What a fabulous transformation! Love the fabric.

    Blessings,
    Marie
    http://emmacallsmemama.com

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  50. The back is just beautiful! What a joyful surprise. I love your spacious entryway too.

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  51. I came across your blog through another design blog and I absolutely love how you showcase interiors with original art. I think if more people see the possibilities for juxtaposing abstract art with traditional or classic interiors, they would think about art differently. Thanks for this fun blog!

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  52. damned it's beautiful!! i want to do the same... any tips?

    Tiina
    http://liviaconcepts.blogspot.com

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  53. I cannot believe that this is the same chair! The fabric is beautiful but I really think the chalky lime wash treament to the wood is what makes the transformation complete! Beautiful job!

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  54. LOVE this post!! I am about to embark on this same project (http://katyoh.blogspot.com/). thanks for the inspiration

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  55. LOVE the chair, it looks gorgeous!
    It's inspiring!

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  56. a beautiful transformation... i love it when you have the opportunity to make the chair back a compliment of the rest of the chairs fabric... i love the ones you've chosen.

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  57. That is serenely pretty. I admire how the chair's fabric relates closely with the paintings. Elegance.

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  58. the lemon drop fabric in the back is inspired and GENIUS!

    LOVE!

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  59. When I saw the transformation all I could say was "wow". We have a couple of chairs in our inventory that have a similar look so I am particularly drawn to this natural wood finish with linen fabrics. Your addition of the pretty silk (is it silk?) is perfect.

    Tricia - Avolli

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  60. Great job. Love the lemon drop fabric on the backs. Gorgeous!!

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  61. Love all your chair pictures. They turned out so nicely. Really nice job. Keep up the good work!

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  62. Thank you for the comments, everyone! You have given me newfound appreciation for my chairs.

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  63. Fabulous makeover - love the simplicity of the finish and fabric. And congrats on your mention in WaPo!

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  64. The chairs are Gorgeous! Love the lime finish with the linen :)

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  65. Looks beautiful!!! Love lemondrop!! congrats on the Post mention- I was so excited to see you in there today!!! :)

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  66. The reupholstered chair is done stylishly. It seems to somehow shine in the light, and matches the paintings near it very well. The colors and simplicity just works.

    Nicolette
    http://www.furnitureanddesignideas.com/

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  67. Hey, just letting you know, I have chosen you for the "One Lovely Blog" award. Truly love your blog, spend way to much time on it! Now, if you would like to share the link love, pick 15 blogs you love and have newly discovered. Link back to me, then link to them. Let them know you hve chosen them by writing a comment on their blog. Keep up the good work!

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  68. Congrats! Love the "new" chairs. The lemon drop fabric on the back is darling.

    xo,
    cristin

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  69. Would you mind sharing the name of your paint color in your foyer? Thanks!

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  70. My paint color in the foyer is Benjamin Moore pale almond. I debated between that and BM bone white, but ultimately decided I wanted more of a contrast with the trim, and wanted a richer color.

    I have enjoyed the color, but it definitely had yellow tones to it. When I got the chest of drawers in my front hall, I was somewhat dismayed at how yellow the chest of drawers looked because of the cast of the paint. I have pale almond in my master bathroom too - it was the perfect match with my ivory travertine, and some of the tones in the travertine.

    When I painted my adjacent dining room, I used Farrow and Ball 'clunch', which goes very well with pale almond, but is lighter than pale almond and a little more neutral.

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Thank you for your comments! I strive to make my blog positive in tone, and appreciate the same courtesy when comments are made. Thank you!

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