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How to Update a Dining Space on a Dime

I talk to clients all the time who want new chairs for their dining and kitchen spaces. But if you are like most people, it’s costly to afford an entirely new set. So, why not just update the end chairs instead? That’s exactly what this latest client decided to do. 


I started with these chairs.

I went to work looking for fabrics that had florals and dark turquoise or teal. And let me tell you, there are not many of those. But we happened upon this amazing floral and knew it was the one. 

There were many different flowers on this fabric, which gave me a few options for the chairs. Since these chairs will sit at the end of the table, the backside is important. 

Then, the search for the right seat fabric went into high gear. We settled on this amazing velvet to bring out the dark teal in the floral. It’s not only beautiful and soft, its super durable. And when chairs are used in a dining space, that’s important. 


The chairs were painted grey to match a buffet in her dining room. I used Annie Sloan Paris Grey and a clear wax. 

Then, I added a black glaze to the floral carvings on the chairs. This was done to keep the chair from looking too flat from the grey paint and adds a bit of personality. 

Using glaze on chalk paint can be tricky, so the key is to make sure that the paint is covered well with the clear wax before applying the glaze. If the glaze dirties up the chair too much, simply apply clear wax to remove the excess. 

These will be fabulous end chairs and they don’t break the bank in the process. Chairs like this stand out as unique pieces in what could be a very mundane dining space. 

So, the next time you want to update your dining space, don’t be afraid to mix different end chairs with the others. And, you don’t have to do arm chairs either. I’ve had clients use armless chairs which makes getting into and out of the chairs at the table easy to do. Have you updated your dining space in this way too? I would love to hear about it in the comments section. 

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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