The Ugly Chair Makeover Reveal

Remember back a couple of months ago? I put out a call for for you to submit all your ugly chairs, we voted, and there was a winner! Does this chair ring a bell? It was the winner!
This chair was one of those that has awesome bones. My rule of thumb is to always look at the shape of the chair. Ignore the wood and fabric. Is the shape attractive? Does it have potential? This one was a definite YES!
I went to work stripping away all the old dirty fabric.  One tip is to save the old fabric and use it as a pattern. That’s very important when dealing with a chair like this that has so many curves. Of course, don’t cut your fabric exactly the same size, you always want to leave a lot of extra fabric (many, many inches larger) so you can pull and tug on it.
My next steps involved selecting fabric and right away I felt that this little charm needed a floral. The curves are amazing, and while a geometric print might have been cute, I knew that a pattern like that would be tricky because of the curves. A floral it would be—and this awesome Robert Allen fabric would do the trick! It has wonderful jewel tones and a whimsical feel to it.
The owners of this potentially beautiful chair gave me the go-ahead and free rein to do whatever I felt looked best. (I love clients like that!)  I toyed with the idea of going navy on the legs, but the more I studied the chair, I felt that gold was the answer. So, hello gold legs!
Upholstering this cutie was tricky, I won’t lie. It’s been a few years since I did a curved back chair, so I got some advice and help from my friends who have years and years of experience.
Originally I thought I would do a velvet on the backside of the chair. But the more I visualized the chair in my mind, I thought that the floral really needed to be all over it. Otherwise, I would risk the velvet taking away something special from the chair.
Then, I thought I might do the welt cord and buttons in the velvet. But again…no, it will detract from the floral. So, it’s all floral!  Ta-da!
Buttons are necessary for curved chairs. They help hold the fabric back against the chair. It’s always good to be mindful of the fabric for chairs like this. If possible, get fabric that has a little bit of give to it.  When I decided where the buttons would need to go on the chair, I created each button in the right color so that it would “hide” in the fabric. Can you see them? There’s five total buttons on the top.
I absolutely love this chair. Look at how sleek it is! It’s hard to give it up, but I know its going to a good home! So, what lesson can we all learn from this? Sometimes you have to really look for the potential for beauty. But when you find it, boy does it pay off in a big way!
FullSizeRender_10Now, in keeping with tradition of pairing a cocktail with all my makeovers this summer, this one below is made especially for this chair and is a spin off of a traditional Bee’s Knees. Here’s the recipe with a picture…Enjoy!

Eau de Bee’s Knees 
1.5 oz Cherry Eau de Vie (Kirschwasser)
.75 oz honey syrup (1:1 honey and water)
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake with ice, strain into a glass, garnish with a couple drops of Angostura bitters.



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!

24 Upholstery Ideas

Get 24 chair upholstery ideas for your next project!

© 2022 Chair Whimsy | All Rights Reserved

Website Design by Natalie McGuire Design