I love a statement chair and the sad thing is: we don’t have one in our living room. Not a one. Don’t get out the sad violins just yet! Because now we do have one… in our master bathroom. One Kings Lane, one of my favorite online home decor retailers, has launched a fabulous Home Decor Resource Guide which is a really great tool for finding the perfect chair to fit your home and your style. When OKL reached out to me about presenting a chair in my home that most spoke to my style, I realized how there was no such chair to feature, so I did what any normal person would do: I made one.
First, you need the “bones” to start. Keep an eye open at Goodwill, thrift stores, consignment shops, etc… Something might look tragic now, but with a little love and craftiness, it can be a real stunner. Exhibit A: This crushed velvet number. Yikes. I’ve had this chair since I was a child. I really admired it at my Great Aunt’s house and one day she let me go home with it. It was in my childhood room and then never really used again… until now. I dragged it downstairs and got to work.
After you find your diamond-in-the-rough chair, you have to take it apart first. Start by removing the cushions. This chair, for example, is iron and the back and seat pads are held in with screws. Grab a screwdriver and start the deconstruction process. After it’s taken apart completely, give it a good solid clean. My chair has a lot of nooks and crannies, so I really had to clean meticulously to make sure every spec of dust was removed. This is important if you are painting your chair. The cleaner it is, the better the paint will stick. I decided to paint my little darling because I wanted something brighter and I wanted a complete makeover.)
After you remove the cushions and get it cleaned, it’s time to paint. Two words: spray. paint. For metal, spray paint is the way to go. I am huge fan of Rustoleum‘s Bright Coat Metallic Finish. It’s got a nice sheen, but with a smooth velvety finish. (You’re not going to be seeing your reflection in it, if you know what I’m saying?) It’s perfect for this! I actually had some left over from another project, so I didn’t even to leave the house to do this. (Seriously, everything from the chair to the fabric was stuff I already had!) So, to paint… Go outside and set up a drop cloth. If you don’t have a drop cloth, improvise with some newspaper or magazines. (Anything you don’t mind getting paint on, really.) Spray a test spot first and if you like it once it dries, then go ahead and do the whole thing. Hold the can 6-8 inches away and coat evenly. If you have to do more than once coat, cool. Just don’t spray too much too close or you will get drippies. No one likes the drips. While it dries outside, head back in to work on the cushions.
I wanted maximum impact with minimal effort, so this cushion tutorial is completely-wait for it- NO SEW! (Can I get an amen?!?!) To spice it up I used, not one, but two gorgeous prints by Waverly, the Santa Maria and the Panama Wave. I bought them a while ago and had absolutely no clue what I was going to do with them, and this. was. perfect. So, take the cushions and lay them on your fabric to get an idea for measurement. (No need for measuring tape, just lay out your cushions and cut with ample excess on all of the sides. I started with the top cushion, which is pictured below.
As you can see above I only cut enough to cover the front of the cushion. This is because I will use the second fabric pattern for the back of the cushion. Once your fabric is cut, start with the shorter sides and fold over the edges the same way that you would wrap a present. (More on that here.) In order to keep this a no-sew project, utilizing wrapping skills is pretty key.
So…. starting with the shorter side, staple the edge of the fabric to the cushion with a staple gun. Then do the same to the other short side. Take the edge that is now folded and stapled, and pull the corner up/inwards. Hold it in place and staple so it doesn’t move. Then take the remaining edge (from the longer side) and fold that upwards. Once it is stapled into place, you then staple the entire edge of fabric to the cushion. Once the first piece of fabric is attached you are ready to cut your second piece of fabric. It’s only going to cover the back of the top cushion, so just lay your cushion on the fabric and cut it. Staple the fabric around the edges, then trim any excess. (Don’t stress yourself out too hard about the staples being perfectly placed because the staples won’t be visible on the final product.) All of these steps are pictured below.
Now it’s time to move to the seat cushion. You do this cushion the same way: like wrapping a present. I opted not to cover the bottom with the second fabric pattern, but it you want to, you should! It does present a prettier picture, but who really looks underneath a chair? I skipped it, but here’s the seat cushion steps, same way as above. Use cushion to measure and cut fabric. Make sure the fabric placement is facing the direction as the back rest fabric. Fold it like a present and staple in place. Once the fabric is securely attached, trim any excess. (This part is important because it will droop down and could potentially be seen hanging from underneath the chair. Trim, trim, trim. By now the paint is dry, so you can screw your back and seat cushions back in.
Now you are officially done with the “hard” part and can get to the fun part: Figuring out where to put this fabulous new chair and how you will style it. I put ours next to a nesting table and some bright books. (Bear would call that clutter but I call it fabulous!) I added a really cute owl pillow that a friend gave me one birthday. (I have a thing for owls!) Voila! There you have it. Breathe new life into an old dusty chair, by making it completely new, modern, and most importantly, YOU! Don’t forget to visit One Kings Lane for their Home Decor Resource Guide for inspiration, tips, and any home decor shopping! Enjoy!