How a Dishcloth Inspired Design for a Set of Chairs

I’m a frequent visitor to Anthropologie in Austin and on one of my visits this past year, I spied a dishcloth that immediately resonated with me. I love checks, black and white combos, and floral fabrics—this dishcloth had them all. The floral print was appliquéd on top of the black and white check.  The wheels started turning and the rest is history.

I bought the chairs this past year from a French woman who had brought them over from France. They are true antiques and the amazing whitewash patina is authentic. I’ve been drooling ever since I got them!

They had been sitting in my storage waiting for their new life. ( I have six total.)

Sometimes I think about a design for a while before actually starting and this was definitely the case here.  Recently I’ve had the opportunity to use Kim Parker’s gorgeous floral fabric on a set of chairs for a client, and that experience had me chomping at the bit to start my design.

If you’ve not seen her art, its breathtaking. It’s whimsical, and yet also “adult enough” for any upholstery project. (P.S. There are several more fabrics of hers that I’m dying to use.) 

I went to my favorite boutique fabric shop, Plush Home Fabrics, in search of just the size and color of check fabric. You would think I could go with a classic black and white check, but the background was not a true white on the floral, so I need one that had a touch of cream to the white. I also needed a bit of charcoal to the black to soften it up.  

Next up, size of the check. A small check would make it too busy for chairs, and the chairs were not large enough for an enormous buffalo check. I found just the  right size.

I cut out various flowers from the floral fabric and sewed them onto the check for the backside of the chairs. What a fun surprise, right? Each one is different. I’ve got three more of these chairs waiting for the makeover, so they will have other designs too. 

These chairs are on the petite side, but I don’t care—large chairs are overrated. They’re perfect for a kitchen nook.  What I like best about these chairs is the chance to combine fabrics that pack a bit of surprise. These may be my most favorite yet. What inspires you? I would love to know in the comments section. Enjoy the rest of the pics!


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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