lines

Blog

Styling Guide

Bring the Chair Whimsy aesthetic into your home with our styling guide!

Explore Categories

I Love Chair Makeovers

There’s nothing better than a good chair transformation…isn’t that the truth? The most fun thing about designing a chair for me is the planning. But I need a lot of time to do this well; it doesn’t come effortlessly. Here’s some of my most favorite chair transformations…

Although I personally love cane chairs, my client wanted the chairs upholstered.

Before

I chose Designer’s Guild Marianne for the fabric; it’ has so many dreamy floral designs that I could get different looks for each chair. I then chose a creamy white paint that blended well with the fabric. Aren’t they just the cutest?

After

If we go with a simple chair, this Victorian chair below is one of my favorites. The finish was too dark, so I took some sandpaper to it and removed the top layer to get a more boho vibe.

Before

Then, I used an embroidered Otomi wallhanging I found on Etsy for the seat. I even went the extra mile and did the welt cord in the embroidery…which is something I love to do!

After

With just a simple chair like the one below, you can make a huge statement. In fact, when you have a chair with just an upholstered seat, it’s the perfect place to do something dramatic.

Before

I used a fun patchwork quilt for this chair paired with a navy paint. And how darling is the pompom trim? That’s the easiest trim to apply and it brings a distinct personality.

After

These striped chairs were so dated before, but they made a huge transformation with black paint, Limousine Leather from Behr.

Before

The Mexican textile runners that I found online are the perfect update as well as the vibrant velvets from Kravet. I try to find velvets that pull out a color from the textile. So gorgeous!

After

This cute transformation just proves that you can use any textile from anything to achieve a fun look.

Before

I found an apron from World Market that I absolutely loved. And so I used it on this kitchen chair for a client. Isn’t that just so fun? And because the frame was so small, I went with a bold Florence Annie Sloan paint.

After

Sometimes gold is the answer, and in this case of a peach textile and hot pink seat, it worked great!

Before

Again, this small embroidered Mexican textile was perfectly paired with the hot pink seat because there was hot pink in the textile. Small chairs like this one are great for a closet, bathroom, or any small space to add a little personality.

After

Like I said, the exciting part of a makeover is the design. The skill of upholstery is the means to the end for me. It gets me to where I want to be with these chairs. If you want to learn more about how I transform ugly chairs into works of art, join my 5-Day Ugly Chair Challenge, which starts on Wednesday of this week, Jan 27. I’ll be teaching a lesson each of the five days as well as showing you a live makeover during the 5 days. Click here to join the fun and the community! You’ll be sure to walk away with some great ideas!

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!

white-lines

Bring some whimsy into your home!

24-Upholstery-Ideas
white-lines

Get 24 chair upholstery ideas for your next project!