(This was a originally a guest post on the Metrolina Habitat Restore Blogsite)
Having a the name of a great reupholster is a must when hunting for midcentury furniture deals. Due to the age of these midcentury pieces the chance that 40, 50 or 60 year old fabric, cushions and upholstery will still be in good shape when you happen upon them are very slim! It pays to have someone that understands midcentury style and can help you see beyond the current fabric and even possibly the current outer structure of a piece to be able to give it a functional and enjoyable second (or third, or fourth) life for you. Even something as simple as new cushions can turn an mediocre piece of furniture into a fabulous favorite overnight! This is typically easy, fast and less expensive, because after all–it’s just cushions! But oh what a difference it can make….
Case in point: I recently I found this fantastic Danish Modern chair a local ReStore. I actually gasped out loud when I saw it; Danish Mod, in my experience seems a little more scarce and elusive to find. The chair had a white sheet-type Velcro-attached slipcover on the existing original cushions:
This white slipcover had been placed over the original and very stained orange tweedy fabric. See how I strategically placed this pillow to hide some of the staining:
Maybe THE most important piece of info here is that the bones of this chair were fantastic. The slats on the back of the chair and the strapping underneath the seat were in not only in tact but in strong shape:
The wood was clearly marked ‘TEAK’ on the underside with a model number-and although it had tons o’ cobwebs and dust balls all over it, it cleaned up beautifully with a little Howards Feed and Wax:
So then I took the cushions to my new favorite upholsterer, Dennis Caldron at Revived Furniture Gallery in Denver, NC. Even though Dennis will reupholster all types of furniture, his personal love and his furniture gallery is full of fab midcentury modern furniture. He suggested that we reinforce the basically good cushions with Dacron- they weren’t crumbling or falling apart so they were reusable. He also suggested several fabrics that I truly liked from the large inventory that he has onsite at his gallery. These were the final three to which I narrowed it down out of the dozen or so that he sent me:
…..but then he showed me one in his gallery in Denver that I just LOVED on sight and knew would work well in the room.
And here’s the fun rule-break story of this re-do:
When I chose this fabric out of Dennis’ inventory I really was drawn to it upon first glance; what I didn’t realize at the time was that I was actually looking at the back or dare I say ‘wrong” side of the fabric. The opposing- or “right” side of this fabric is much lighter and more baby blueish. To me the ‘wrong’ side of this fabric was just so much more interesting! In this pic below you can see both sides of this fabric; above the zipper is the ‘wrong’ side and below the zipper is the ‘right’ side:
So who can’t tell the right side of the fabric from the wrong, right? (Me, evidently!) But then Dennis told me he had used the back side of this particular fabric before on another project and that it had turned out beautifully. Well that just confirmed my choice, and I went with it! Right side, wrong side…what does it really matter anyways as long as it works for you and your space? And boy do I extra-love someone who is willing to break rules with me….
So here’s the final result:
Wowza, right? It’s so perfect with the colors in the shade of the fiberglass lamp, compliments the wall color and was just the right choice all the way around. Sometimes wrong can be oh-so-right! Here’s a little progression:
What a huge difference freshly reupholstered cushions can make. And since I now have Dennis on permanent speed dial, we’ve got some other great creative projects in the works that I cannot wait to show you down the line.
Okay so tell me: what rules have you broken in your home decorating? I’d just love to hear…