[before & after] 3 chairs

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.

21 thoughts on “[before & after] 3 chairs

  1. Every day I am inspired by your beautiful projects and designs- You both are a talented pair and would love any room you designed! Cant wait to see the girls room you posted on the other day… the sneak peek was fabulous.


  2. I definitely have a favorite. The 6 camel back chairs and I think its because they are so functional and the other chairs are lovely,but more decorative. Thats quite a find getting six. The fabric sounds superb too.


  3. Would yall be willing to share your resource for the GREAT galvanized bucket lighting (Port Aransas fish cleaning area)??
    I’m decorating a “Fish Camp” in Mississippi, and would LOVE to use some of this lighting in the “fish cleaning” house, as well as use one in a powder room, if they make different projections or a ceiling mount. Yall are always SO great on sharing info w/me and I always truly appreciate your help.
    (Fish Camp is on my blog right now and I’ll be adding more photos this wk., it’s a great setting with precious new cottage & “fish house”)
    Thanks so much!!!,
    Jeanette Van Wicklen


  4. All of those chairs are amazing. Ya’ll did an excellent job with the new upholstery. I especially like the last chair – both the style of chair and your linen selection.

    I’m slowly starting to train my eye to look out for these potential opportunities when I see old chairs at places like Scott Antique Market. I’m definitely inspired and upholstery is becoming my new fascination.


  5. LOVE a good makeover story! Always inspiring to see the glamour reclaimed in the downtrodden. My fav has to be the last pair-I’m a sucker for those strong {almost} 90*angles and a good story, too. However, the ‘after’ photograph of the 1st chair, completely ethereal!


  6. Oh my gosh, it is like an Oprah makeover moment! Love it. Scott’s really does have the most amazing pieces, and with you all working your magic, stunning!

    As always, lovely!

    Giannetti Home: Design Online


  7. The camel back side chairs look amazing! A little simplicity goes a long way..
    Why can’t I find things in the middle of the street??! Jeeeeeez. That’s it- I’m moving to the beach! 🙂


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