24 Feb Slipcovering An Old Chair
Hello Everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. It has been much warmer, and dare I jinx it, spring-like in my neck of the woods. I feel for you out there who are still covered in ice and snow. (well, unless you really enjoy ice and snow 🙂 )
If you have been reading awhile, you know how much I love buying antique or vintage furniture pieces and giving them new life through upholstery. You can find some really interesting shapes and great bones in old pieces, and although discovering them before someone else does is getting a bit harder (don’t you think so?), the end result is well worth it.
While doing some friend visiting and furniture hunting in Austin a couple of years ago, I went to an estate sale and found this $40 chair. I do have a love for this type of chair, which I lovingly refer to as the Mad Hatter. (I have a similar pair I use as host chairs in my dining room.)
It has lived in my garage for a long time now as I waited for the perfect space for it. It came as pictured with no cushion, and at some point, someone took a marker to it, but I just couldn’t sell it. Finding this type of chair is rare, and I knew it had a spot somewhere in my home. A trip into my favorite local home store, Simple Things, inspired me, and suddenly I had an idea.
I saw this chair on their showroom floor, and I was sold.
It looked very similar in scale, shape, and size to my chair, and it was slipcovered in a classic linen. I took several photos of it, taking note of all of the details in the pretty slipcover.
I then went to Cutting Corners and purchased yardage of their Glynn Linen (you can also buy it online, and it comes in lots of colors), which is a 100% linen fabric that works beautifully in numerous projects; in fact, I used it on my racing stripe settees here. (If you are familiar with Lee Industries, this is their “Glynn” linen also.) I decided on “Driftwood”, which is a nice gray a tad on the brown side.
Side Note: I added a little extra yardage to my order so I could wash this fabric BEFORE I sent it on to my upholsterer. Since my plan was to use this fabric as a slipcover, I wanted it to be really soft, and I also wanted to ensure it would not shrink terribly when I washed the slipcover the first time. I washed the fabric twice on “warm” and used lots of my favorite lavender fabric softener. You may have an upholsterer or slipcover maker that will do this step for you, but in all honesty, my upholsterer had not made many slipcovers before, so I knew I needed to do this step for him.
After washing the linen and going over lots of details with my upholsterer, I sent it off and crossed my fingers. I needn’t have worried, it came back beautiful…
Would you ever know that underneath this pretty slipcover was a chair badly in need of a makeover?
Something I love about this type of chair is the way it wraps around you when you are sitting in it. Those curved wings are almost comforting in a way.
I will tell you, the cushion was not quite right at first…it almost felt as if you were sliding off of it when you sat in it. I think it was because the cushion was all foam, and I typically prefer a down/foam blend. I sent it back, and my upholsterer got it right the second time. It feels great! Moral of this little story: Never be afraid to send something back to your upholsterer if it is not quite right. You should feel good in your upholstery!
All of the little details I painstakingly went over were carried out so beautifully.
The feeling I get from this chair simply stated would be “lived in”. We are not a perfect family in a perfect house, and I like that it is a little messy, a little rumply here and there.
I have never taken an old piece and slipcovered it like this, and I have to say, I am a fan. It is easy to change if I want something different in the future, or even if I want to have a couple of slipcovers I can switch from season to season. Plus it is washable (hello, awesome) so I practically invite the kids to sit in it (unless they have a sharpie marker in their hand).
Perhaps you have a chair in your garage begging for a pretty slipcover?
P.S. This room smells heavenly right now because of my blooming lemon trees! Bring on the Spring!