A few months ago, a client contacted me looking for a set of dining chairs. Her family had just moved from sunny New Mexico to Minnesota. She wanted something to brighten up their home during the long, dreary winters that were to come. There’s nothing better to cure the cold winter blues than colorful Otomi. And, she wanted something to remind them of home.
It’s takes a little bit of work to get from the chair frames I started with to the final product. This set of chairs was sturdy and solid, so I knew the fabric and paint could bring a big transformation and make them functional as well.
We found this Otomi coverlet online. The small embroidery is especially unique. While this coverlet was pricey, it was so worth it as far as quality. You really do get what you pay for.
We settled on a new color of paint that I’ve never used before; Giverny chalk paint by Annie Sloan. I also applied a dark wax to give it a Santa Fe artisan look and tone down the bright color. Then, since there were children involved, I found a sunflower yellow vinyl for the seats. This would ensure that the chairs would last a long time as well as clean up easily.
I started with the backside of the chairs and cut those parts first. I wanted each one to be unique, and I also wanted to save the special parts of the coverlet for the front. I cut from two of the corners and two other parts to get the best look for the back of the chairs.
Then, the front of the chairs (the most fun part, in my opinion) could take shape. Anyone who knows me knows that I love pink. However, this client was not a fan, so I worked around most of the hot pink embroidery that was on the original coverlet. I wanted each chair to have a unique focus in the middle of each one—insects and flowers!
It was a process from start to finish. What fabric do we use? Then, what seat fabric will be durable enough for a family with young kids? What color paint will compliment our choices? To wax or not to wax? And finally, what decorative tacks do we use?
I have no doubt that this set will do the job in making this new home a little brighter for my client and her family. And hopefully, it will bring back good memories of the Southwest, too. What do you think of the Otomi fabric? Is it one of your favorites, too?