From Disheveled to Delightful—My Reupholstered Chair

I am generally not an advocate of keeping items from an old boyfriend…but with this chair, I made an exception! It was a lovely channel-back chair and would look AMAZING reupholstered one day. When he moved out of his apartment, he no longer had need of this beauty,

so I took it

and kept it

for a really, really long time!

My husband, once finding out the origin on said chair was a little perturbed at first, but then when I said that I wanted to give it a makeover one day…

and that it would be cheaper than buying a new chair…

and that it was SO comfortable…and I loved it….

he said I could keep it. He’s a really great guy ????

So, after moving this chair around our different rental apartments, it finally found it’s home in our living room. In it’s original condition it still looked pretty good, and as the fabric was relatively neutral—it worked with what we had. Then it became my daughter’s favorite chair. Well, the vintage fabric started to fray, and the original cloth that covered the bottom ripped, and within a short period of time this chair went from living-room-acceptable, to downright disheveled…and had to be removed for a while—much to mine and my daughter’s disappointment!

…but it wasn’t for long!

We finally agreed that it was time for this chair to see a new day, so the shopping for fabric begun. I had always had the idea of covering the back of the chair in a completely different fabric than the front. As I lover of all things vintage, I also imagined the chair in velvet…not a very practical choice, but love is not always sensible! We also decided to go for color in this chair. We could have made a more “safe” neutral choice, but we thought that color would work better with little hands and (hopefully) hide small superficial marks that inevitably would come. THIS color was inspired by the living room photo below…I just loved the pop of color it brought…and low and behold…our rug had this color in it! Beautiful!

Interior Design by Alexander Doherty

This picture became the inspiration for the living room in general, but more will be shared on that in the future. The other key to seeing this chair transformation was the cost of the reupholstery. I called several local places and they all gave me about the same price to get the chair done. One place said they needed to actually see the chair before providing a quote and when I visited Jefferson Upholstery and met the owner Keith, we hit it off right away. He gave me a great price and his knowledge of his craft was quite evident; it was a no-brainer—he was re-inventing our chair! I looked at some of the fabrics he had on hand and these below were the few that stood out.

But the thing that kept coming to me was that I needed to LOVE whatever fabric was chosen…and these just didn’t measure up! After some thought, I remembered a fabric that I had seen on Ottawa street months before that I had considered for another project. I had rejected this fabric because it was too dark, but thought it might work for this chair. Once I purchased a sample and took it home, I was HOOKED!

This was IT! Love had struck…

This fabric coordinated perfectly with one of the velvet samples I had and the decision was made. My happy heart hummed for days!

As a side note, the velvet that I chose was NOT your average velvet! One thing I learned when working in hotel design is about the “double rubs” of a fabric. When choosing something that is going to be placed on furniture that will get a lot of wear, the higher the double rubs, the longer it will last.

“The durability of a fabric is best defined by the double rub count, which is tested by a machine that runs back and forth over the fabric until the fabric is worn down. 25,000 double rubs is a great place to start for residential upholstery, while commercial projects generally require fabrics to be over 100,000 double rubs.” Apartment Therapy

This velvet was 200,000 double rubs…more than adequate!

Once the fabric was purchased, off the chair went to undergo its makeover. As Jefferson Upholstery is a busy place, the timeline I was given was about 8 weeks. He was also going to re-stain the wood on the chair in a walnut color and also replace the metal studs with new ones…going all out for this beauty!

After what felt like a very long wait, it was finally ready! I entered with bated breath…would it be everything I had hoped it would be?

Oh my…YES. It was!

Can someone be smitten by a chair? I certainly was!

And I still think it’s comfortable, and I absolutely LOVE the blue and white floral on the back side. It didn’t exactly cost less than a new chair…but it is considerably less than a customized new chair would have been! My mom also took some of the leftover fabric and made a coordinating cushion cover that I use to tie it all in on my sofa.

Does my daughter still use this chair as her favorite? Nope! It’s mamma’s chair now!

Note: All opinions about Jefferson’s Upholstery are my own and I did not receive any compensation for this post. But if you have a piece that you’d like to have reupholstered, I definitely highly recommend them! From beginning to end, they were amazing to work with!

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