The Evolution of A Dining Room Chair

I had said I would chat about the Five Things I Can’t Live Without today . . . but something arrived in the mail that was a game changer. You see I am smack dab in the middle of giving new life to my dining room chairs. I actually was going to buy new ones. But when I took the slipcovers off, I remembered that I actually really like the lines of the chairs. Yahoo for the wallet. Here is a little evolution of these babies! Way back in the day, I inherited four chairs. I think they might have been one of the first things I owned for my first apartment. They were an awful dull brown with blue seat cushions. Have no fear . . . even my first year out of college I was all over the furniture makeover thing. Little did I know that the “crackle finish” fad was so terrible. Do you remember this? Please tell me I am not the only one who jumped on the crackle ban wagon. Oh dear! First Phase:  Crackle Paint! {Yes, you read that correctly} IMG_0059 And I love how I did it all in one spot on this particular chair! Crackle skills, I know!!! Second Phase:  The Waverly Floral Slipcover IMG_0056 Now, in all fairness to this look, I must say that the slipcover and this print have served us well for years. With two small children, there hasn’t been a day that I have worried about what they are spilling. They not only get tossed in the washer and dryer, but the print hides all! Yes, this Waverly Floral pattern phase has passed for me, but I have nothing but kind words for it! Third Phase:  Uncovered After Years & Years! IMG_0057 The Current Phase: The Grand Plan! So here is the plan for these babies:

  • new paint job in a creamy white
  • new fabric on the cushions
  • the fabulous hardware that arrived in my mailbox today from here!!!

Plain Ring Pulls - Hardware                I learned about them from nancy at Marcus Design when she did her amazing dresser. IMG_0065IMG_0067IMG_0069 I cringe at showing you close ups of these “before” chairs. Just remember I was only 21 when I attacked them and it was my first “makeover!” Fingers crossed that my painting skills have improved over the last couple of years {ok . . it’s been more than a couple}. IMG_0070 They new pulls are just stuck on there with Earthquake Hold right now {a perk to living in California!} so I could show you what I am going for. I may or may not add some nail heads around the seat of the chair. Might be too much and I would rather these sweet pulls steal the show. I have been to multiple fabric stores many many times and have come home with nothing. I recently saw that Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms was using a faux fabric on her dining room bench. Thought this could work for me. I pulled some of the samples, but once home I realized that I need more of a print. I am keeping the room neutral, but think a bolder pattern might be more striking. The problem is the kids!!!! I love the idea of something that wipes clean so it’s a challenge. I am now thinking an indoor/outdoor fabric. The search continues.   IMG_0071IMG_9856 Here is a reminder of what the space looks like. What do you think? Any fabric recommendations for what you think would work great? I really need a nudge in the right direction {as evidenced by Calico Corner wondering just how many headers I will be checking out over the next couple weeks!}. What’s your expert opinion?


  1. says

    Courtney, there are actually companies you can send your fabrics to and they treat them so they are stain resistant. Thought I saw something about in a recent magazine article. Kirsten (6th Street Designs) might know who does it. Then you wouldn't be so limited in your fabric choice. I'll see if I can find that article.

  2. says

    Outdoor fabric is a good idea. I would also suggest an outdoor velvet. I reupholstered a living room chair in tan outdoor velvet and it is wonderful. I bought the fabric at Calico Corners and was told it would withstand even red wine.

  3. says

    Definitely go with a pop of color and indoor/outdoor fabric ROCKS! Love that hardware on the back, so unique! Can't wait to see them all finished : )


  4. says

    I love the pulls on the backs. What a great idea. You can actually stain guard any fabric yourself with a spray on stain guard product. I agree with you about not going too neutral with the fabric. Can't wait to see what you choose.

  5. says

    Hi! The hardware is a great idea!! Check out, they have a good selection of indoor/outdoor. I think that's a really good thought…and I agree, you need a bold floral or graphic lattice. Maybe pull in a punch of green(like your garden stool)!

  6. says

    Hey Courtney, have you looked into oil cloth? Sarah Richardson used it to upholster the kitchen stools in her farmhouse and they looked amazing. Waterproof and wipes up easy. The fabric comes in some pretty bright patterns but I'm pretty sure that you can get neutral as well.

    Ps…the hardware rocks! I love that you can hang stuff from them at easter, christmas etc. awesome idea!


  7. says

    I agree with the indoor/outdoor fabric. As for color, you could go all sorts of directions, but pattern is necessary, though I still like the curtains stealing the show. They are perfection!

  8. Anonymous says

    There is a company called Custom Laminations that I used to send client's fabrics to. They can coat basically any fabric with a "shield". I'm sure there are more companies if you google fabric laminating. Good luck!

  9. says

    I love where this is going Courtney! The hardware is a very nice touch and don't worry , we all have some bad paint jobs. Mine are more recent than yours :)

    I vote for easy fabric. Loved what Janell showed yesterday and am in the market for a faux leather myself.

  10. says

    Oh my gosh yes- the crackle paint – totally been there done that too and at the same young age – 22ish :) I swear if we lived closer we'd be dangerous together :) I can't wait to see what you do – love the pulls. An indoor/outdoor would be great with kids!

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