A little escape to where I can have fun with my love of design and whatever else may brighten my day...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Before and After: Simple Upholstery

It's incredible what some fabric, a pair of scissors and a staple gun can do.  When my roommate decided to sell her stools to the only table (a small bistro style) we owned, I knew we needed to get a legit kitchen table.  I wanted something antique/vintage that I could add a little touch of modern to.  Good ol' Craigslist did me good.  I found this antique Duncan Phyfe dining set for sale along with the matching buffet console.

Vintage Duncan Phyfe dining set (image via Craigslist)
The price was right and the size was perfect for our small townhouse!  The table even fit perfectly on our sisal rug that a friend of mine in the carpet business happily custom made us for free :)  My favorite part of the furniture are the legs.  These images above don't really do it justice but there are some nice lines up and down the dainty legs.  After purchasing I knew immediately I wanted to change out that drab, disgustingly 80's fabric (blah!).  And I even entertained the idea of painting all the pieces white and updating the buffet knobs.  However, I knew that any painting would have to wait... I was barely going to have time for the upholstery.  And so the search for the right fabric began.  I found EXACTLY what I wanted at Nashville's Fabric House.  A decorator's dream store with rolls of fabric from floor to ceiling.  What I found was a cute and feminine play on the traditional leopard print - the creams and blues were just right.

And here's what the fabric looks like on the chairs today.

See the pretty legs here!

To be quite honest, upholstering these things was more time consuming than I thought.  Not difficult, but more effort than I had intended to invest right away.  It would have been much easier had I just needed to cover the current seats, but nothing ever goes as planned.  As soon as I unscrewed the bottoms I noticed there were already 3 layers of previous fabric!  The bottom and last layer was definitely the original fabric and so was the dodgey foam padding underneath that.  So I basically had to start from bare wood.  I pulled off all the fabrics, the old batting and as many staples/nails as possible.  Then made a pattern template for cutting out new batting and fabric pieces.  It took me about 45 min per chair so make that 4.5 hours total of upholstery time.  Now you can see why I didn't want to rush into painting.  I think I'll just enjoy the cherry finish for a while.

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