Drab to Fab: 1930s Arm Chair

Reupholstered chair

So what do you think of the FAB part of the re-upholstered chair? This was a 1930-1940’s armchair we picked up from a neighbor’s estate sale.  The lines of the chair were just too classic to pass up, plus it had a down filled seat cushion so it was dreamy to sit in! The downside was obviously the worn out fabric that looked like it was 70 years old, but at least the green was a livable color for a while.

So, it sat in our bedroom for a couple of years until we finally decided it needed a facelift and we had the money to do it. Let me be the first to say this was not a DIY job entirely! There are many things I will try but here’s what put it on my “need help from pro”…

1. Lots of sewing required to re-upholster this piece (to me this sounded extra tricky)

2. Lots of piping! Having had the experience of sewing piping on my dining room chairs I wasn’t anxious to repeat on this size of a project.

3. Lots of cutout areas around the wood arms and legs…yikes!

4. Time!!!!! Since I had never attempted to re-upholster anything this big or complex, all I could see was months of my time sewing, ripping out, sewing again, and calling my mom in tears begging her to fly out and vacation to fix it all (p.s. she does awesome upholstery work but doubt it would be the vacation of her dreams!)

1930s upholstered chair

So this chair was my first piece of furniture to be professionally re-upholstered and I would totally do it again!  I thought professional re-upholsterly was only for the rich and famous, which I’m not, but it was completely doable and here’s my experience…

1. Find a good upholstery shop. I didn’t know one but Yelp app came in handy. Great list of shops with reviews – yea!

2. Get an idea of price.  Two things affect price, your fabric choice and the amount of work. I did all the pricing estimates by email. The shop asked for a photo of the chair and returned an estimate which included upholstery ($600), refinishing the wood ($200) and re-stuffing the cushion.

p.s. I also asked for an estimate to make a slipcover for a coordinating ottoman. The price of the slipcover was as much as buying a new one so I skipped it!

3. Since I’m completely ok with refinishing wood and there was so little wood, I decided for DIY refinishing. Took only about an hour plus dry time between top coats.

4. Delivered the chair to the upholstery shop and he asked me a bunch of questions about fabric ideas to steer me in the right direction. If you’ve never been in an upholstery shop (which I hadn’t) this is the overwhelming part and part eye candy!  There are literally a jillion fabric swatches everywhere and a million more books of fabric swatches. You really want to look at them all but DON’T do it – you will go insane!  The shop owner steered me to a small set of books to look through that were in the fabric price range and type of fabric I described (4 books of swatches so plenty of choices!)  Pick one and off you go.  Yes you can check out the books and take them home too.

(Tip: If your fabric has a pattern your cost may go up slightly since they will need extra fabric to match the pattern as they put it together)

Luckily, the shop offered to include re-stuffing the cushions with fresh down so my cost was just the re-upholstery!

Re-upholstery took about 3 weeks.  When it returned to our bedroom I did add the DIY Ikat pattern pillow.  Just the right accessory to pull in other colors of the bedroom!

Refinished armchair

 

So don’t be scared off by calling in the upholstery pros when you have a piece you really luv!

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DIY: Vintage Danish Octagon Dining Set

Vintage danish octagon dining table

 

If you’ve spent any time on Craigslist it can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack…a million wrong choices but you hope for the one great find!  I was on the hunt for a dining room set and came across this amazing find – vintage octagon Danish mid-century modern dining table …with chairs! If you’ve ever looked for a dining set you’ll understand my excitment at finding 6 chairs with the table because I felt extra lucky!  Plus I absolutely luv, luv, luv, that the table is an octagon! I luv round tables since they make table talk so cozy.

I luv Danish style furniture and was jumping for joy when I found this beaute.  Yes, that’s harvest gold velvet fabric on the dining chairs but completely fixable …although I was contemplating keeping it since it looked so great with the wood tone.  And yes those are interesting blue dots in the middle of the table – very retro but add great character!

And did you see the lines on the chairs…yep I was drooling!

Vintage danish mid century dining chairs

 

No the harvest gold didn’t live on, but with a bit of reupholstrey help from mom, it was a DIY reupholstery possible task!  Yes, I had to re-evaluate just how much piping I wanted on the chairs.  I decided only on the backs but not on the seats – very practically, the piping on the seats would get a lot of wear and I didn’t want to replace the upholstery anytime soon!  I also decided on using an indoor/outdoor fabric that was soft but cleaned up well since these chairs would be starting their life with at least one kid under 5 and of course wine drinking adults.

Here’s the DIY reupholstered chairs…

reupholstered Vintage danish mid century dining chairs

 

For the table the wood and finish was in great condition so just a couple coats of Danish oil and it looked brilliant – no sanding, no refinishing (but I’m sure in a couple years the table top itself will need some TLC).

If  you need inspiration for furniture treasures on Craigslist, Emily Henderson’s blog (HGTV host)  has been posting some great finds in different cities with her amazing redo style ideas!

 

DIY Public Art: Ski Fence

Diy Ski Fence Montana

Photographer: Christine S.

You’ve probably seen the DIY Ski benches but this is a first DIY Public Art ski fence spotted in Montana by my friend and awesome photo scout Christine! Luv all the color and am baffled at how someone could get their hands on that many old skis! I think it would make me happy each morning to see this rainbow!

The upside to the DIY Ski fence… no need to repaint! Talk about low maintenance.

Inspiration for repurposing old skis into DIY furniture…

DIY Ski Bench

DIY Ski Bench

 

DIY Ski Airondack chairs

DIY Ski Adirondack chairs

My favorite that would look aaamazing and classic – the repurposed runner sled and snow shoe chair! I want one because it brings back the old school runner sled days – no sled I swear is faster or as much fun as careening down the snow with three people stacked on top hanging on for dear life praying the driver won’t make a turn!!!

DIY Runner Sled Snow Shoe Chair

DIY Runner Sled Snow Shoe Chair

Recycled Radiator Furniture

Radiator chair

Oh yea! I had to share this awesomeness of a repurposed radiator chair! This is seriously the best use of an old radiator I’ve ever seen. I did try it out and it really needs a cushion or you’ll have some butt lines!  Yep this was at Anthropologie which is why I tend to drop in just for drooling over the cool and unusual.

The radiator chair does have some great design lines and if you thought it was the only use of old radiator parts for lounging here’s another equally cool piece …

Radiator lounge chair

Source: inhabitat.com

So stop covering up your old radiators! Search out a design friend who’ll take your radiators (plus and a few others) and whip you up one of these treasures!

P.S. I wouldn’t even be crazy enough to suggest this as a DIY project for the average bear but let me know if you try it!

 

Drab to Fab: Bamboo Chairs

 Repaint bamboo chair

Sometimes furniture just needs a little rehab and doesn’t require a lot of time like these awesome bamboo chairs!  These are super comfy on our patio but as you can see on the left – they got pretty drab! The outdoor elements started to take a big toll.  Weathered, dried out and stained from rain -ewww! Yes they are under cover but not completely weather proof.

I’d been dying to try out this Krylon spray stain I saw on my last visit -wierd I know I check out paint. Pretty sure Krylon should hire me (which they haven’t) or I should buy stock since I luv all their stuff! Why am I raving on about this spray spain?

Stain on regular wood works great but stain on bamboo doesn’t  – trust me I tried. Bamboo is such a hard wood it won’t absorb regular liquid stain so this was the perfect project for spray stain!  Here’s the deal with Krylon spray stain – it sticks just like spray paint but looks like stain which is awesome!  Hand painting all the round surfaces of these chairs would pretty much torment me!

The best part about the spray stain is its translucent – yep you still see the grain of the wood through the stain – Luv for adding the little bit of color! I wouldn’t suggest using spray stain on your antiques which would be like slapping a paint brush job on your car – just not the right tool for the job.

Here’s a great look at how weathered they looked before and how fab the bamboo looked after…

Bamboo chair stain

And most importanly how did it look on the patio garden? I know you were thinking the pillow colors were just too much but it picks up all the great colors in my succulents and their pots!  Still debating changing out the cushion fabric but that will be for another day…it requires sewing a zipper so I have to psych myself up.

Bamboo outdoor chair

 

DIY: Tables in the Air

hanging night stand

 

 

 

Who couldn’t use a little more floor space and a unique piece of furniture? A walk through Anthropologie always get my wheels turning on doing things a little different. I luv this idea of a DIY table in the air and suspended for a night stand

Ok I haven’t officially tried my own yet, but it’s on my list and would luv to hear if you have! The DIY plan for the suspended table looks pretty simple. Piece of cut plywood stained or painted. Drilled holes for the rope and knotted on the underside. Depending on the weight you’re planning to hang J-hooks, like something used for heavy planters would do the job screwed into the ceiling for a night stand. Anchoring the hooks for sure is required! 

I can tell you I luv sitting in rope swing seats table side that we found at a restaurant in Belize. If I could rig up hanging swing seats for my patio table I definitely would! I think swinging things just make you feel like a big kid and who doesn’t want that carefree feeling again!

How about a suspended table! Luv this idea

Maybe a great living room suspended coffee table is the piece of your dreams!

Suspended coffee table

Photo by Patrick McMullen

Have a small space and need the dining area to do double and triple duty?  Luv this suspended dining table that can move between low floor height for a Japanese dinner, dining chair height and then just completely reeled up to the ceiling to use the entire floor space below…genius!

suspended and movable table

Source: newpublicdomain.com

Enjoy figuring out how to make your furniture hang in the air! Shoot over a pic if you’ve tried a suspended table and any tips. I’ll be sure to share and credit back to ya!