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How Modern Toile Dressed Up Some Old-Fashioned Chairs

I’m constantly on the lookout for chairs to redo for my clients. When hunting, I think a lot about the size and sturdiness…we want something that is useable and will last. The fabric and wood really don’t matter, but the shape of the chair is everything.

Before Magic Happens!

A while back, my client bought this set and we knew we would take out the cane and upholster everything to give it a new life and a new look. Her dining room is traditional with gorgeous blue damask wallpaper. So blue was the color we would use.

After a long time searching we found Modern Toile by Schumacher based on old school Renaissance drawings.

Most chairs couldn’t handle the scale of this print, but these chairs—with so much real estate to cover—were perfect for it. Truly, any other fabric would look dwarfed on such tall chairs.

The fabric had so many interesting scenes to choose from. Some were traditional showing people and the landscape, and others were influenced by the sky picking up on the stars, sun, and solar system.

Of course, the blue velvet (a performance velvet because she has children) finished it off. For paint, I used Sherwin Williams Dark Night.

I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. What’s the big lesson here? With fabrics, you need to know the scale to know if it works on your project. It matters. And when given a choice, find a large-scale toile!

Wendy Conklin

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!


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