Makeover: Vintage Chairs (& the best tips for picking fabric)
You may remember a few months back when I did a post on parsons armchairs, inspired by Eddie Ross’s fabulous book cover and that chartreuse gem of a chair. I’d been itching to do an upholstery project and began searching on eBay for a vintage chair (preferably parsons armchairs!) on the cheap. There’s no better way to get a gorgeous custom piece of furniture than by restoring a vintage chair to brand new fabulousness.
Here’s the thing about upholstery projects: it’s going to be EXPENSIVE, no matter what. By the time you’ve spent the money on the original piece plus paid for fabric AND labor to do the reupholstery, you’ve almost spent the same – if not more – than buying a brand new piece. So it’s gotta be worth all the time, effort, and expense. But on the flip side, you’re getting something totally unique. Plus, if you live in an older, smaller-scale home, it’s easier to find smaller scale vintage furniture that will better fit your home. (So many new pieces are overblown in their proportions.)
I hit the jackpot with a pair of Milo Baughman-ish parsons chairs that were an absolute steal ($350!) with the most beautiful swoop to the arms, almost like a serif typeface. They were shipped out to us via Greyhound for $95 (Which, incidentally, is a super economical way to ship smaller-sized furniture pieces, FYI) and arrived within a few days.
But! What to do with these fabulous little chairs? They were on the smaller side and the upholstery was an original beige dotty misadventure that was clearly not doing the chairs justice. I had been lamenting a pair of lucite and canary yellow velvet chairs that I absolutely should have bought back in January (I refer to them as The Ones That Got Away) and I knew immediately that these chairs would be gorgeous in a sunny yellow velvet.
Yellow makes me so happy. It’s a surprisingly versatile color and it pairs well with an array of different schemes. I love it with navy, pale blue, hot pink, mint — it brings almost any room to life.
But what about fabric itself? I personally find it a little bit intimidating and overwhelming to pick out fabric for a project, so I asked the super-friendly folks at Ketch Design Centre here in OKC for some help since they were so great to work with when I ordered my Thibaut wallpaper several months ago. Visually, I know what I like, but I needed help in finding something both durable and reasonably priced since my investment was already close to $1000 for labor and the chairs themselves. They provided a handful of different options in a wide range of price points.
A few questions that I asked them along the way:
Personally, so over the chevron print. When you start seeing a print everywhere you know it’s time for it to go! Luckily, we have been seeing a decline of it when viewing new lines each season. Fingers crossed it’s truly on the way out.Thanks so much to Ketch Design Centre for all your help on this project! Ketch provided the fabric for the chairs and were above & beyond helpful in the entire process. I can’t recommend them enough. Follow them on Instagram and pop into the shop for some amazing design inspiration if you’re in the OKC area. They specialize in commercial and residential custom window treatments, wallpapers, fabrics, and they also have an inspiring selection of vintage wallpapers if you love something retro. There’s SO MUCH EYE CANDY!
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