Sit Back and Relax!

My favorite chair is about 10 years old. It's nothing fancy. We probably paid less than $150 when we bought it at Copenhagen furniture. It is light weight, has a bent wood frame, and is curved to give you the most perfect lower back support when you are seated. It's my favorite place to sit and knit. It's also my favorite seat when my daughter and I have summer afternoon Mario Cart marathons. (Sometimes I even win!)


This was also our dog's favorite chair. Yes, that dog, The Chilly Dog. No, I don't believe in letting your dog up on the furniture, but she would frequently find her way into this chair when we were gone. I can't tell you how many times I found her sleeping in the chair when I returned home.

The frame has held up remarkably well, but after ten years, the cushion hasn't. The original navy blue fabric was faded and worn. I knew the day would come that I would have to give the cushion some TLC and was dreading it.

I have built a couple pieces of furniture, but I have never done any reupholstery. Frankly, the idea scared me a little bit, especially since I love this chair. What if I ruined it?

So, before committing to anything too drastic, I decided to wash the cover. I removed all of the foam pieces and gently laundered the cover by hand in our kitchen sink. It was going so well at first, and then...

 

The water turned purple. Yes, the cover was free of dirt and grime, but it was also losing it's color. Aaagh! I quickly rinsed it and let the cover air dry. If the chair didn't look shabby and worn before, it certainly did now. I still had anxiety about reupholstering the piece.

That was until I visited with my friend Maryse. I've introduced you to Maryse before. (If you missed it, check out the interview.) She is an amazing artist. One of the projects she was working on the last time I visited with her was reupholstering an old chair. She was using a fun ocean print fabric that totally gave the chair a new and beautiful life. Seeing her work made me think that maybe I could give the upholstery thing a try.

It still took a few weeks to talk myself into it. After thoroughly inspecting the chair cushion, I finally decided that if I disassembled it carefully, I could use the old pieces of fabric as a pattern to recreate the cushion. Seam ripper in hand, I went to work.


First, all the foam came out. There were five pieces in the three sections of the chair. The foam was in surprisingly good condition, The batting around the foam, not so much. I ended up reusing the foam, but replaced all of the batting around it.


Then, the scary part, dissecting the cover.

-Nine pieces of fabric
-Three zippers
-One no-slip bottom

It was at this point, as I looked at the pieces on our living room floor, that I had a panic attack. What had I gotten myself into?

Deep breath... Whew... I can do this.

I went to the store bought new fabric ($21), high-loft batting ($14), and some upholstery thread ($2). I reused the zippers and the no-slip bottom piece.



After a few hours, it was all coming together. The front and back pieces went together beautifully. Not to brag, but look how well the pattern matches up at the seams and zippers. That took some planning.

The curved sides were a little tricky, but I am a decent seamstress, so I was able to get it.

Once completely assembled, I fit the foam pieces into each section. Then, the moment of truth came when I slipped the cushion into the chair for the first time. Everything fit PERFECTLY!

Now my old favorite chair is my new favorite chair. It has a fresh new look (and smell). The aqua and browns match our decor way better than before and it is still just as comfortable!

 

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The Chilly Dog: Sit Back and Relax!
Sit Back and Relax!
DIY Inspiration - Interior design project. How I reupholstered an old chair. Replacing the fabric cover was an affordable way to take this chair from drab to fab!
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The Chilly Dog
https://www.thechillydog.com/2013/08/sit-back-and-relax.html
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