Regardless of a project’s size or budget, we don’t believe it’s necessary to throw out everything and start over when redecorating. In fact, we like finding ways to use our clients’ existing pieces, especially when we can help reimagine those pieces in a new way.
Our clients had purchased and reupholstered these french bergeres just a couple of years before we began working on a renovation and total redecoration of their Mountain Brook, Alabama home. Paige and Doug debated leaving the chairs as is but as we developed the color scheme for the new interiors, it became obvious that the chairs were going to be too brown for the charcoal and white look of the home. Before reupholstering the chairs (in a super cool and super chic metallic silver damask) we had our decorative painter Jan Hale touch up the wooden frames of the chairs and add some more white to the chalky tone of the wood. The result is the same pair of chairs in a much different look.
While we were able to reuse many pieces in this project, due to the increased size of the home it was necessary for us to buy a lot of new pieces too. It’s well established by now how much we love breathing new life into antique furniture and in this house we were able to completely change the look of some older pieces with a few upholstery tricks.
When our client emailed Doug a photo from Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta, showing a set of 6 camel-back French side chairs she’d just discovered, Doug immediately said ‘Buy them!’ The dowdy red and gold tapestry look was never going to fly in this house so we selected something completely different to recover them in. At first glance a lot of people who visit this home are shocked that we covered the chairs this family of 6 sits in every night for dinner in pale grey upholstery, but the fabric is in fact some seriously commercial grade stuff! Manufactured by famed textile mill Maharam, this upholstery fabric is 60% nylon and 40% polyurethane, making it nearly indestructible. Doug worked with our upholstery shop to find oversized nailhead trim for the chairs (in lieu of the more standard issue size that came on the pieces originally) to add some updated detail.
Doug bought the pair of chairs below literally in the middle of the street one day. Circa Antiques, which has stores in both Mountain Brook and Charlotte, North Carolina frequently ships items back and forth between their two stores. Doug and our client happened to be in the right place at the right time and scored the pair as they came off the back of the truck!
Although they were in pretty rough shape when we found them, it was obvious that these chairs had potential. Paige and Doug debated swapping the pair with the silver damask pair in the Living Room but ultimately decided to place the chairs in the home’s Guest Suite instead. Refreshed with a beautiful Italian linen (that has just the slightest hint of lavender in the grey weave–which we love!) the chairs are now the centerpiece of the room. An elaborately detailed Ankasa pillow from our shop is the perfect finishing touch.