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Monday, May 18, 2015

Giving Antique Chairs a Makeover

The antique chairs I found at Round Top are now back from the upholsters.

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Are you surprised at the color? I know most of you have heard me say a time or two hundred “Neutral furniture is best.”

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Let’s start at the beginning.

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1 million tacks were removed to take off the 100 year old needlepoint.

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I made the decision to keep the 100 year old burlap and horsehair as the support system verses ripping it out and replacing it with foam.

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The wood was painted with a chalk cottage white and highlighted with gold wax.

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In keeping with the antique factor I dug through my stash of heavy antique French sheeting to use as upholstery. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to leave it in its creamy natural state or dye it. I know some of the purists are absolutely having a heart attack at the thought of painting the wood or dyeing antique French linen. But I had a quest and it was to detract the focus away from the hulking brick fireplace hearth in the living room.

So I went ahead and mixed equal amounts of liquid Rit teal and aquamarine dye color in my washing machine. It turned out EXACTLY the color I wanted.

(Disclaimer: I have been dyeing fabric for many years and am well versed in color mixing.)

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Then came the hard part. I had to give up control. I can do simple upholstery but I wanted single welting and knew these two chairs would be best in the hands of a professional. Having just moved here I am still collecting my arsenal of contractors that I feel comfortable working with and sharing with clients.

Westwood Restorations was one of the few upholsterers who agreed with my decision to use the original support system which was FAR better than foam. They also specialize in antique restoration which made me feel even better.

(I would like to clarify that I was NOT give any discounts or incentives, they just did good work.)  

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So the big questions is “How do they look in the space?”

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Even though the chairs are antique I feel as if they feel fresh and fun.

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The bottom line is that accompanied with the green hutch…

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…and happy, colorful chairs, you really don’t notice the hulking hearth as much. I just can’t wait for the cabinets in the hearth to be built to finish the space.

I’ll close with a real life secret. I killed the fern that I had sitting in the hearth basket in less than 2 weeks.

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I guess I need to go faux. :)


Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Remodelaholic, Classy Clutter, Stonegable, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeCommon Ground, Someday Crafts, The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, The Blissful Bee, Posed Perfection,My Fabuless Life,The Style Sisters, Sew A Fine Seam, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home, AKA Design + Life, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House, Miss Mustard Seed

36 comments : said...

you did such a great job! I have done chairs like that before and they are tricky! you should be proud it is quiet a job!

Jan Tanis said...

I think you did a fabulous job in painting, waxing and dying fabric for these chairs...and the Upholsterer did an equally fabulous job in putting everything together! Love the chairs!

Kelley said...

Faux is definitely not a word I'd use for your gorgeous new chairs, though. I'd use foxy or fabulous or fun-tastic FOR SURE! Love x 18!

Yes, faux ferns are a lovelier choice, indeed, when the real article won't thrive. I like that I can spritz my Olio, Inc. "Apples 'N Spice" room enhancer onto faux ferns in hidden places. Mm-mm! Equals one mahvelous scented fern, dahling.

You're batting a thousand on your summer break!


ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Laura the chairs look beautiful!

Janet Garon said...

I really like the look of your chairs with your white sofa. It lightens up the whole area and is a happy color!

GSGreatEscaper said...

They are so beautiful!

Lillibeth said...

They are beautiful, and look really good in your living room!

Sue said...

Lovely, just lovely:-)

Vel Criste said...

Just gorgeous Laura! And so perfect in your elegant living room!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

The chairs are fabulous. So perfect for this room and FYI, this did show up as an up date in GFC. Hurray!!!!!!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

The chairs look amazing and the colour of the fabric just gave them a new life. I had to laugh at your secret... I'm desperately trying to put back some life in an orchid I seemed to have killed...

Rue said...

Hi Laura :)

I can't believe how much you've been doing for the last couple of weeks! My head was spinning as I caught up with you. You are AMAZING.

The living room, entry and dining room look beautiful as I know they would. I did have a slight heart attack about the chairs redo, but I have to admit they're gorgeous. The painting over the fireplace is perfection.

I can't wait to see what you come up with for the kitchen. In answer to your question about favorite countertops.... I loved the butcher block in my last house, the quartz in another house and the tile in this house. My least favorite was the granite I had two houses ago. I had the same problem seeing dirt that you do. Plus I'm over that look.

Anyway, great job, my friend.


Rita C. said...

I love how you're tying your vision all together. The chairs look great. As long as the faux fern does smell like plastic (even the silk ones may have plastic stems), no one will be the wiser as to whether the fireplace fern is real or not. :)

Hena Tayeb said...

they look lovely

Auntie Em said...

Your chairs are perfect! Neutral is good for large items like a sofa but these sweet little chairs look so airy and light in your room. There is plenty of neutral in your room and besides, these little chairs didn't use that much fabric if you ever decide to redo. But I can't imagine why you would! :)

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Your chairs are beautiful, Laura, and look wonderful in your space. I loved the old needlepoint, too. Do you have special plans for it?

designchic said...

I am completely obsessed with the transformation. The finish is beautiful and the fabric color is beautiful…love!!

Heather Clamp said...

The chairs are fabulous! Love the fabric color. Love the gold detailing. They look wonderful in the space. The room is just lovely, Laura.

DD's Cottage said...

Gorgeous and I love that you went bold!

Christine said...

Question... What did you do the the hundred year old needlepoint's?
You saved them, didn't you?

Ellen Thompson said...

Having suffered from a French chair obsession all my life, I do adore your chairs. The color is wonderful, and I am bookmarking your post to make sure I remember how to get this color.

Lorrie said...

Gorgeous chairs, Laura. I have distinct French Chair Envy. Love the color.

Susan Clayton said...

No one can argue with the end result. I have a similar chair in my project hoard. Great information and inspiration. Thank you.

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Oh I love them! I love the color and you were so clever to dye the antique fabric to use!

Beverly Flores said...

Your chairs are absolutely beautiful!!! They look lovely in your setting. Stunning. Hugs, Beverly

Katie Mansfield said...

I love the chairs. So sorry about the fern. I can't do those either.

Beth @ Mary Beth's Place said...

Absolutely lovely transformation! I'm pinning away!!!!

Donna Wilkes said...

I think we all have killed a fern or two in our lifetime. You are excused because of the gorgeous transformation of the chairs. Pinning and sharing!

Jaybird said...

Oh this is lovely!!! You have done such a good job of thinking this all through and then accomplishing it!
This is a delightful welcoming room....and the enfilade shot through to the DR is beautiful!
Be blessed,
PS: FYI...if you go to Hobby Lobby, they have really good looking ferns, AND in the candle section they have wax melting cubes called "fresh mown grass". Drop a couple of cubes into the pot under the fern. It makes the plant smell wonderful and no one even realizes that it is "faux" :^)
If you can't find them, e-me and I will send you a couple of packages.

Debra Oliver said...

Laura, they are totally amazing!!! Your have great color sense, and mixing the green with the blue brings such a bright fresh look!

Nici @ Posed Perfection said...

Absolutely gorgeous! You know your stuff, lady! Great job! Thanks for sharing at my Creative Ways Link Party! Hope to see you again this week!

Liz Hockamier said...

Oh My Gosh! It looks FANTASTIC! You really amaze me! :)

The Charm of Home said...

Very pretty Laura! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

Stacey said...

You are doing such an amazing with Storybook Cottage! I love seeing what you are up to. :)

Stephanie Volkert said...

I LOVE it! That is my favorite color. How did you know? lol ;) I'm definitely featuring this on next week's All Eyes On You Thursday.

Denise said...

Oh the chairs are beautiful, Laura!! I love the cottage white paint and gold wax highlights -- gorgeous!! You are braver than I am to dye those antique sheets, but I do love the color you used. It really looks elegant with the white and gold and makes the room pop. I can't wait to see your fireplace after the new shelves are finished. :) I've enjoyed seeing your home makeover, Laura, and I hope you have a great week!

Denise at Forest Manor