Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beautiful Bedroom Chair

What is it they say? Your bedroom should be your sanctuary...?

That's not exactly how I would describe our bedroom. It's more like a laundry processing center. The laundry is all clean, no problem there. It just happens to belong to every member of the family. All in our bedroom. Maybe folded, maybe not.

There has been a great little laundry catch-all in our bedroom for the last year or so. Do you have one of those? Ours is this chair:


(please excuse the phone photos. though it's not like a great camera would have done much to make the chair look better.)

I found this chair at the back of a consignment store. The back rooms are always my favorite. They are often filled with the outdated, maybe broken furniture. This means that they are cheap and that they are ugly. Perfect.


I saw this chair and made a beeline towards it. I have bought lots of chairs with this striped-velvet material. It was during this purchase that my mom diagnosed me with a chair fetish. Not an illness I can deny at this point.

But really, who wouldn't want this chair?


My original thought was to put a really bright, graphic print on it and enjoy the dramatic contrast between the classic shape and the modern fabric (I almost used the word juxtaposition instead of contrast. I just couldn't do it. I'm not an artist, I'm just suffering from a chair fetish.)

I kept choosing other chairs to work on and not this one. This usually means that I'm not 100% sure what to do with the chair. Once I've decided on the right look or fabric, I can't wait to get started. So I kept thinking and browsing online fabric collections. Then I decided that I really did want to keep it in the bedroom. But not as a laundry holder. As a chair.

Problem solved. I knew exactly what I wanted. A white matelasse. But oh, matelasse is so expensive. On my $2 chairs, I refused to pay much for new fabric. This chair I'm willing to splurge on. It was probably built in the 1800s and is really solid. And I had to have the arm repaired by someone who really knew what he was doing. So I spent a chunk of money and decided that since I was going all in for this chair, I would tackle a new skill as well...

Brass Tacks.

I bought a box of 1000 from Genco (the smallest amount they have in one box). I bought one little box from Hancock Fabrics to see if they would cut it, but the first nail I pulled out of the box was too easy to snap into two pieces. So I made the trek to High Point and bought the quality tacks.

It's a tough skill to perfect, and I clearly haven't gotten close.


But it was a great way to finish the chair and I'm very happy with the results.


No better motivation to PUT UP THE LAUNDRY!!



  1. It is beautimus! I could learn a thing or two from you about upholstery. I keep thinking about taking a class. I know Forsyth Tech does not do it now. Do you know any local schools that teach upholstery? Thanks!

  2. Your work is amazing Katherine! Sandy

  3. Great job - I thought you were going to say you sent it to an upholsteror! I saw you on


  4. the chair fetish has paid off!

  5. Good for you for saving such a wonderful old chair. I'd love for you to share your redo on Modern Craftswoman Monday! Rory

  6. I am in. love. with this chair! What a great job!

  7. I'm so glad you were able to stop by and link this project up on Modern Craftswoman Monday! Thanks, Rory

  8. just stumbled across your site. what did you use for the cushion? foam? i need to make one myself and bough a chunk of foam from Joann's but don't know what else i need. any advice?

  9. Melinda - Surry Community has a course. It's more of a workshop, though.

    Jay - On this chair I used the original cushion because it was down and very comfy. On others I cut foam to fit and wrap in cotton or poly. Complete your chair before you start your cushion...often you will add cotton to the frame which will take up some of the original cushion space. Good Luck!