Thursday, May 30, 2013

Everybody Loves Reupholstery

Transformation is such an exciting process. Whether it is a personal change, such as a new haircut, weight loss or a fashion makeover, or a design change, I seem to be drawn to marveling at all sorts of before and after photos. I know I'm not alone, as TV shows and magazine articles on this topic abound, so I thought I'd share some of my recent reupholstery projects.

This is a little stool that I found on Craigslist a while ago. I really liked the shape of the base and the brass feet, but between the ivory vinyl and shape of the top, it was a little lackluster. I initially was going to paint the wood, but on closer inspection it appeared to be walnut and had a great burl to it, so once I cleaned it up and applied some Restor-a-finish I decided to leave it be. I stared at the stool's top for a while, wondering how I could spice it up a bit, and then saw a photo online of a pleated and tufted stool that I loved. So I called the upholsterer...and....voila! The fabric is by ROMO, made in England,  and this cute little stool will hopefully be featured on the One Kings Lane Vintage & Market Finds site soon.

Project number two is a very groovy 1950s slipper chair. Coincidentally, it was also upholstered in ivory vinyl, like the stool, but they were purchased some time apart. (I guess those midcentury furniture manufacturers were all about practical upholstery!) I loved the shape of this chair and the petite size. For this piece I chose a Lacefield Designs (made in the USA!) cotton blend in a zig zag pattern, with a contrasting turquoise welt. While I really liked the nailhead detail on the original chair, I felt that it wouldn't work with such a busy pattern, and I wanted the contrast welt to define the unique shape of the chair.

On a philosophical level, I wonder why these before and after projects are so eye opening. Why can't we see these possibilities more clearly in our mind's eye? I'm not sure, but maybe it is because we get complacent looking at something or someone, stuck seeing that object or person in a certain way. Whatever the case, I think it is a good lesson to try and see the possibility for positive change in people, furniture or animals!

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