Friday, July 23, 2010

When Old Becomes New

The "before" picture

These are our dining chairs--or more accurately, these were what our dining chairs looked like before. Underneath that baby blue layer of paint is solid narra (Philippine mahogany) wood.  When I first saw these chairs, I had a hard time visualizing them in our house, but I saw potential in the fluted legs and the mother-of-pearl inlay on the cross rail. Proportions were not bad either on this typical Federal style dining chair. We rescued 12 of these chairs from hubby's bodega.

The mother-of-pearl inlay on the cross rail

Stripping the paint revealed beautiful old  narra hardwood.  Some legs had to be reinforced or straightened. Then reupholstering was next.  I was at the store when I saw a pile of samples in one corner. In this pile were some prints that I've always been attracted to. You see, a long time ago I wanted drapery like this for my french windows but couldn't find anything similar locally.

at Hotel Puerta de Sevilla in Spain
And here they were in a pile of samples!  I pulled out those I liked. Sample cuts are not that useful unless you are re-doing small things like footstools or thin-cushion chairs like the one in the photo above.  I was able to gather an assortment of prints that I really liked and not just because they were dirt cheap.

I got a jolt of inspiration  when I had an assortment of 6 pieces laid out in front of me--they looked good beside each other. Now will the cut fit? All the yardage guides say you need at least one yard for these chairs, but this half-yard looked like it would cover a seat (well, with no allowance whatsoever). I figured 'so what'--each sample piece was 25 pesos or 50 cents! 12 pieces would cost me all of $6! How can I go wrong?!?

The original price per yard was P550/yard. Not bad even at full price but they didn't have any stock left
that's why they were getting rid of the sample cuts.

My upholsterer was amused at my super cheap find and assured me that he would make it fit. He also mentioned that even if the fabric was drapery-weight and not really for seats, it would still last a few years. By the time I had to change it, I would be happy to choose something new again. 
My favorite one

Now we have happy colors around the dining table, and it doesn't really matter if the kids get it all dirty. I love the creative process of  giving  new life to something old.

The AFTER shot

It's particularly attractive when  all 12 of them are lined up on a long dining table.

This is decorating the green way!


Pamela said...

Gorgeous and very creative! I covet those chairs.

Mélanie A. said...

I love your idea , very inspiring ...

*Chic Provence* said...

Very nice...creative and yes, very green! Inspring post, lovely chairs!




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