Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Re-upholstery Befores and Afters: Dining chairs and piano bench

Lots of excitement at the red brick building today because the upholsterer delivered a batch of freshly reupholstered furniture.  I have been dying to redo these pieces and was really excited to see how they would turn out.

My favorite results were this pair of chairs that I bought on eBay when I lived in London and dragged back by rail and Underground, in the rain, to my flat in the city center.  Yes, carrying both of them at the same time.  And yes, alone.  I didn't realize what horrid condition their upholstery was in - reeking of mold and cigarette smoke, so I ripped it off as soon as I got back to my flat and thus they had remained for a couple of years (mostly in storage, but still!):

Here's what they look like now:

The fabric is linen, embroidered with silk:

There wasn't enough fabric to self-welt, so I asked the upholsterer to use a very slightly darker silk velvet.  The extra dose of shine and softness turned out great: 

Here's where this pair of chairs is going to live most of the time:

It's our little breakfast table nook.  If we have lots of people over, we'll recruit the two chairs to mix and match with our six dining room chairs, which I sent out to be reupholstered at the same time.

Here's the dining room chair before, with worn, stained velvet and sad gimp:

And here's what they look like now:

I opted for nailhead trim, to toughen up the look a little:

The fabric is a cashmere-wool blend, like a men's suiting fabric.  Very soft!

Isn't the change incredible?

Finally, I had the piano bench recovered.  It's mostly tucked beneath the piano so the former upholstery (not chosen by me and hidden under a scrap of brown velvet fabric) wasn't killing me, but the broken bottom of the sheet music compartment drove me batty and getting it fixed and recovered was an extremely inexpensive update.  Here's the before, with the bench spilling its guts:

And here's what it looks like now, with song birds a-singing:

Next up among the re-upholstery candidates: the sad antique French loveseat in the sunroom.  Fabrics have been selected, quotes received, an upholsterer chosen and the first payment made.  (I'm very excited about the fabrics: an amazing large scale Nina Campbell chinoiserie-inspired print paired with a solid yellow linen...)

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