Chair Upholstery Ideas for Your Next Project

We all need ideas for our projects, and sometimes those ideas are hard to come by. Just recently I was asked to put together fabric ideas for several clients who wanted custom chairs. This is the part of my job that I love doing. It’s really fun playing around with fabrics. However, it takes a lot of thought and time to do this…it’s not hard, but it takes effort, if that makes sense. Here’s a few that I’ve worked on the past several months.

This first combo is a bright and happy look with three different fabrics. The floral is what I call the hero fabric and is on the front-top of the chair. Because the pompom fabric is three-dimensional, it had to go on the backside of the top of the chair to protect it. And since this client needed durability on the seats, I went with a performance velvet.

You can see the final result below. The chairs had a whitewash frame which allowed the bright fabrics to take center stage.

Then, another client wanted a chic desk chair in animal print. The animal print was linen and I mixed it with a velvet seat. I stayed in the orange/gold color scheme, which is something I rarely do given my feelings toward orange…but it turned out great.

The frame of the chair was metallic bronze which was a perfect backdrop for the fabrics to be amazing…a showstopper for sure! You might have heard me say this…the fabric always drives the paint color.

Finally, a third client longed for a colorful set of end chairs for her dining space. The appliqué fabric with a tropical theme was her first choice. Then, I added a turquoise and chartreuse Kate Spade fabric for the backside of the chair.

Perhaps the boldest part of this design was the seat fabric. It was so bold that I was actually unsure if it was going to look right. But in the end, it made the chair. The gold paint was the perfect finishing touch for achieving the glam look.

Because so many struggle with putting together great fabric combos, I just created a new freebie: 24 Chair Upholstery Ideas for Your Next Project just for you. It’s bound to help with fabric selection and spark new combinations, too. I hope you enjoy it!


I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

Check out my online courses to spark your creativity and upgrade your joy, starting today!

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