I shouldn’t have done it. But I went looking for chairs in the online used ads last night, and there was a veritable treasure trove! It had me pining for some great chairs. Most would need to be taken to a real-deal upholsterer though. And, oh yeah, I have no need (and no space!) for new chairs. But let’s dream together, shall we?
First, there were a whole bunch of Louis-style chairs for about $75 each. It’s more than I paid for my other two, but it’s not bad. Only these two are left unsold, and they’re asking $100 per chair. Meh.
But for a while there last night (when there were 3 other similar chairs for sale) I was imagining having a full set and using them as dining chairs…
(From An Angel at my Table)
(Design by Samantha Pynn, Photography by Virginia MacDonald, via Decorpad)
I’m a sucker for this style of feminine wing chair. This one is $50.
I’d have a tough time deciding what to do with a chair like this… Probably lose the tufting and use some pretty patterned fabric like this floral one here:
…Or go with something classic and simple like a pale grey or cream linen:
…Or a cool graphic tartan that juxtaposes the curvy feminine lines:
(Design by Summer Thornton, via Chicago Home & Garden)
And how about this super cool boxy chair? Not exactly my style, but a good chair nonetheless. And only $20!!!
It feels really modern to me, but similar chairs look lovely in this traditional home:
How cool would it be in a masculine grey tweedy/herringbone fabric?
(Design by Sarah Richardson, Photography by Stacey Brandford, via Globe and Mail)
…Though this navy velvet is tempting too:
(Mercer tufted club chair from Canvas Home)
And these chairs are not for everyone… (They look like something Emily Henderson might pick out.) But I love their unique shape. $60 for the pair, but since they’re probably an acquired taste, I’m sure I could get them cheaper.
They seem like they’d be so cozy to curl up in.
I’d maybe lose the tufting on the back (or maybe not?), and probably the skirt, and go with a navy or charcoal velvet. to simplify them a bit.
(Design by Emily Henderson)
Or since I’m totally dreaming, some worn butterscotch leather. Yes.
And the backs could look really cool with some nailhead detail. Yes. Yes.
And while we’re in that funky/trendy mode, How about this hanging wicker chair? So retro. But so fun.
Such a cool beachy vibe, too:
(Design by Emily Henderson)
(Home of Ione Skye featured in Domino Magazine, via Flickr)
But $300? Not. Ever. Happening.
And that’s it for my imaginary online shopping spree. Well, for chairs, anyways.
When I first completed reupholstering the chairs in our living room My husband sat in them and deemed them comfortable, but felt like they needed something to put your feet up on. I immediately began scouring UsedRegina and Kijiji for coffee tables to create a tufted ottoman like this project. However, months went by and nothing fit all three criteria: correct size, reasonable price, AND good-looking. *sigh*
But one day I came across this storage ottoman on UsedRegina. And it was only $20! Why? Because it was U-G-L-Y. Their two-year-old had apparently destroyed the thing. And it was covered in a cheapy microsuede fabric that did not hold up (covered in tears and stains). But the rest of it was in decent shape. I decided I would reupholster it.
I decided, though, that to recover it I would need to take it apart a bit - and since it’s basically a box, I could handle that.
I removed the lid - more on that in a moment - and took the bottom off of the box.
I upholstered the bottom, wrapping the fabric around it and securing it with a few staples. I didn’t go crazy with staples, because there would be more later when I put the ottoman back together.
(That black piece on top in the picture is the meshy fabric that covered the bottom before. I kept it and used it to cover the bottom when I was all done.)
For the sides I measured each panel and cut fabric (with a bit of a seam allowance) for each side. I sewed the fabric panels together on each corner and fitted it over the box and foam snugly.
Then, when it came to the top, I ended up doing a bit more work. Though in good shape, the top only had webbing in a frame to hold the seat up. This created a slight, but uncomfortable sag if you sat on top of the ottoman. (And I knew ours would be sat on. And climbed on.) Also, I really wanted a tufted top, and securing the buttons into webbing just wasn’t going to cut it. So, with some help from my dad, we added a board into the seat. He cut the board to size at the hardware store.
Then we used small strips of wood to screw into the sides of the top to keep the board in.
The small wood strips created a ledge, keeping the board in place in the lid.
Once it was all in place I measured and drew out the spots where I would want buttons on the top and drilled holes in the board for them. (I made the holes too small the first time, so I ended up making them bigger later. You need a decent sized hole otherwise it’s hard to thread the upholstery needle back through when attaching the buttons.)
I use these little button kits from the fabric store. They’re cheap and easy to use. My fabric was a bit thick for the size of buttons I used, however, so I ended up securing a few with some hot glue.
For tufting, lay out your fabric over the area you’ll be working on (and you may need to pin it in place), but don’t staple it to your piece yet. Wait until after your buttons are all secured so that you can get a nice deep tuft.
I start from the centre and work my way out. On the back of the board the strings are knotted, then pulled to the side, and stapled a billion times. Or you can thread the strings through a button and knot them (then staple them a million times, if you like). I forgot to take a picture of this for the ottoman, but you can see it here on the back of my headboard. (Sorry for the terrible picture, there isn’t a whole lotta’ light behind my bed. But you should get the idea.)
After all of the buttons were in, I stapled the fabric to the bottom of the lid. For the corners I pleated them and pulled tightly - kind of like what you’d see on the arms of a William Birch sofa.
After this, I reattached the bottom to the box using an air compressor and long staples.
When doing this I attached the bottom’s fabric, the box sides’ fabric, and the bottom covering fabric as well. I then reattached the lid with the hinges (I screwed them in by hand into the existing holes. I didn’t use an electric drill because I didn’t want to snag and pull the fabric.)
There are still a couple of things I still want to do to this thing - I want to find some hydraulic hinges for the sides so that the lid lowers slowly (or even locks open, if needed), and I have plans to add a kick pleat skirt (You can see the fabric panels pinned in place in the picture below… whaddya’ think?)
But even without the skirt it’s a HUGE transformation - it looks higher end, and it’s far more durable. (Only trouble is that the tufts are great Cheerio collectors…) Now, when you sit in the chairs, it’s lovely to put your feet up!
I have a thing for settees. They’re sweet and usually pretty stylish. They have some of the same design possibilities and character of a chair (opportunity for colour or bold pattern), but the functionality of a bench. They can fit into all kinds of unique spots around your home. I love how the Gustavian settee in the picture above can be layered in front of the bookshelves because of it’s diminutive size and elegant artful lines.
And I love the look of the settee in the entryway here:
This is a pretty large entryway, but settees could fit into all sorts of nooks and crannies in lieu of built-in benches.
I’ve begun to see settees used at dining tables more and more. I love the look - but in my opinion I’d want one with very low or no arms at all to make it easy to sit down at the table.
Design by Erin McLaughlin, Photograph by Virginia MacDonald for Style at Home
One way I love a settee is at the foot of the bed, like this chartreuse one in Sarah Richardson’s farmhouse:
So it’s one of those things I keep an eye out for when searching UsedRegina. And last night I ran into a few lovely love seats.
Imagine this one in a deep teal or navy velvet and keeping the tufting and the dark wood:
And it’s $75 for a set with a matching sofa and chair! It’s killing me! I want this settee so badly.
This next one feels a little “gramma’s basement”, but I’d do a smooth back and seat (no tufting), remove the skirt, and use a great grey or ivory linen:
$40 for this sweet little seat.
The next one’s maybe a little deco for my personal style, but it’s a great piece nonetheless:
You’d probably have to keep the channel back, but I’d be tempted to find a cool graphic print that could work with it. This one they say “make me an offer”. How much would you bid?
Now. Back to finding a place to hoard all of the furniture I fall in love with…