I found this wingback chair on a rainy Friday night, dumped on the street, a couple of months ago. It looked rather old (according to the paper attached to it inside, it was made 54 years ago!), it was wet, it smelled, and was crying out to be reupholstered. I know very little about upholstery, but it seemed to have good bones under the dirty fabric, so I asked a friend to help me drag it home.
Then it stood on the balcony for another few weeks before I decided it was time to be brave, and spent 6 long hours to strip all the fabric off. That was 6 very long hours of pulling nails out with the help of a screwdriver and with the constant fear of poking my eyes out. Not even at this point did I know how I wanted it to look, but I knew 3 things:
- I wanted to use piping on it;
- I had some beautiful Dutch wax fabric from Togo on hand;
- and the fact that I madly love anything velvet.
I had a harder time finding instructions and inspiration on Pinterest and online in general, but I stumbled upon a few sources that still make me wish I could start the chair redo all over again. Co-Lab’s boards, this one or, well, my own dedicated board is worth checking out for some good ideas, but here are the ones that really got me thinking:
Inspired by these images, I came up with the idea of upholstering it with grey velvet (or mustard yellow. Or soft pink…or any colour, really) and using hand printed burlap (that was an over-ambitious idea, I know now) on the back of it. Then I went food shopping on a lazy Saturday afternoon to Peckham, and the next thing I knew was that I was walking out with THE fabric in my hand. Obviously, prior to the walking bit, there was a 45-50 minute period when I tried to describe what the selected 4 rolls of fabrics looked like to my sister, as well as taking rubbish photos of it to help the case move along. With her gentle nod and my strong desire to make something sophisticated, I went with the (little did I know) trickiest fabric. I was very close to giving it all up half way through, but I didn’t. So stay tuned, I’m almost there!