31 January 2009

Making something old new again - reupholstering dining room chairs

For quite some time, the state of my dining room chairs has been bothering me. Before we moved, I was cleaning them nearly everyday after mealtime and finally I stopped being able to remove the stains from them. Savannah's chair was in the worst state, followed by Kevin's. The light canvas cushions were covered in small stains - olive oil, blueberry and raspberry, turmeric, tomato, red wine, chocolate, etc. I purchased this set of six chairs used from a family in Denver with a formal dining room that was never used - they always ate in front of the tv. The chairs were made in Italy for Pottery Barn and I got them for a steal. They are very well made and the wood is beautiful. I intend to keep them for many years.

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Before (Okay, the stains don't show up as pronounced as they really are, but you'll have to trust me, this chair, Savannah's, is covered in them.)

A while ago, I made slip covers for them in a zebra print, which no one liked except for me and Savannah. Now that we have moved in to our new house and my dining room table and Chobi rug are selected, it is time to reupholster the chairs with a more long term solution.

Jo-Ann's had a 50% all upholstery fabric so now was the time to do it (the same sale will return around February 13th if you missed it). Instead of going with another canvas, I opted for something with a more luxurious texture this time. Here were the considerations that made it to the final round:

We don't have much green in our house, except for the living room, and I thought it might be nice for a change. The red fabric had the most interesting texture and the colors would have hidden most stains. In the end the wheat colored velvet won the contest since it picked up the same colors in the rug and added an interesting texture to the room without being a focal point.

Here's the end result compared with the original. The texture in the new fabric draws more attention to the rug below it. We're all happy with the new ones!

Tutorial for reupholstering dining room chairs.

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