8.19.2016

Project Design: Exceptionally Clever Chair Makeover


When Cindy Hattersley and I were brainstorming Project Design ideas, she suggested updating a granny chair or garage sale find.

I thought, I have two chairs in our living room that REALLY need help (or donating) but do I really want to show them on the blog?

  You might judge me.
 I was pointing fingers.  "Tommy, one of your friends has a greasy head."  Except the other leather chair started getting a stain after Tommy and his friends went back to school.  Natural oils?  Too much hair product?  

I researched and tried various cleaning methods...not much better.
 I've notice these type of stains on other people's leather chairs, too.
We've had these chairs for about 10 years and they are comfortable.  In fact, they are still available at Pottery Barn for around $2,000 each (plus tax and shipping).
 I like that you can't really tell it's a recliner.

So, they were definitely worth keeping.  
I wanted something that was removable for cleaning.  

Tah dah!  This lined runner is made with Ralph Lauren Byres Linen Stripe fabric and 
Zak and Fox Uroko lumbar pillows
secured in place with upholstery twist pins.
The screw tacks are on the bottom and top of the chair backs...and the runners have been staying in place even when reclined.   You can't really see them.

 Liana made the tassels (fabric:  Zak and Fox Uroko).
I like that the chairs feel lighter in here now...

And then this prompted some other pillow changes (fabrics:  Velvet Kravet Versailles, Katie Leede THEBES in agate, Penny Morrison Ashok).
White sofas with blue and white pillows
Liana added the blanket stitch detail with embroidery thread.  She is amazing.  
I love neutrals...
 but blues and grays complement the view outside our living room.


 

Please check out these ladies' marvelous chair makeovers!

The Polished Pebble


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33 comments:

  1. They look amazing! I can't believe you returned those pillows! Love the blanket stitch. That Liana is a genius!!

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  2. That's fantastic. I love the way you made them work!

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    1. Thanks so much, Leslie.! Have a great weekend.

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  4. The chairs look amazing! GREAT solution to the hair issues:)

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    1. Yes, Mindy...and I will take them off to dry clean them when necessary! Thanks.

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  5. Oh that is such a smart idea and it looks so finished and intentional! Love how the fabric lightens up the brown leather....I am going to try this trick!

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    1. I also used those pins to secure the suzani throw on my dining bench, Lisa.

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  6. Mary Ann,
    I love the way the chairs look and could see this working even if you weren't covering up a spot. Our leather chair does the same thing and my husband doesn't wear hair product and doesn't have particularly oily hair! I love the lighter look it gives the chairs, great job.
    Karen

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    1. Thanks, Karen... It's funny how I've noticed it happening elsewhere. That's probably why they have covers on the tops of airline chairs.

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  7. I wish I'd known about upholstery twist pins years ago!!!
    You pulled off a great rescue.
    And your view is amazing!

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    1. Thanks...a nice view while being house bound with a broken ankle...and good to have the recliner to elevate it (and to think I was originally against getting them).

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  8. The chairs look so good. I am impressed.

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  9. This is probably the best furniture redo I've ever seen. I've been hesitant to get leather chairs simply because you always see the head spot.. And that they don't look like recliners is even better. I think they will be on my shopping list!!! looks fabulous

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    1. You know, it would probably be a good idea to put the covers on before they get stained. But we had the chairs for several years before the stains showed up. Except I don't think we reclined them much.

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  10. What a clever Idea! This does remind me of an teacher in Jr High that used to lean back in his chair and leave a big greasy spot on the chalk board. 70's hair products ; ))) My best friend and I got detention for laughing at him. Love your new pillows and the view...wow xo kelley

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    1. Ha! What a great/funny memory, Kelley! You did a great job with this Project Design!!

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  11. Incredibly clever and simple way to revive the leather chairs, I think you have just given a great tip to a lot of people, thank you

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    1. Thanks so much...I do think that it solves a problem. Have a good weekend!

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  12. What a brilliant idea!!! We have a leather couch and my husband was laying back on it after tennis with his sweaty head!!! I was thinking what will I do when eventually it has a stain!! Thanks for solving the delima!!!

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    1. Thanks, Leslie and thanks for participanting. You did a great job with your Project Design! Love your new book too!

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  13. Nice fix, Mary Ann. My great grandmother used to protect her sofas and chairs with what was then called an "antimacassar". In those days, they were often crocheted. You've done a brilliant job on updating the concept!

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  14. That is so interesting, Lee...I wonder if that look will come back someday...everything does, it seems!

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    1. If they do come back, it will be thanks to your ingenuity and great sense of style!

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  17. That did the trick my friend!! Softened the leather look with that fabric!

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  18. Leave it to you Mary Ann to come up with a clever way to fix that dreaded "grease spot" and not spend a ton of money either. I love what you did and they have a fresh new look. I also love all your new pillows and fabrics. Genius, Mary Ann...genius!
    Hope your doing better and getting around a bit.
    Hugs! Gail

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  19. Smart girl! I've used those pins before and they should be in every one's "tool box". Still, I think the 800 pound elephant (with hair oil?) in the room is that stain. Surely someone can come up with a solution that counters the solution! My own leather issues: butt puddles that show the remains of who set there before. So, I countered that with buying two Hancock&Moore leather chairs ($$$$) with tufted seats and backs. So comfortable for me and 6'5" husband...who by the way, "drops" down into the chairs because they are a bit low for him and he is popping out the seat buttons. Men and chairs! What gives? This is the same villain, who at 12, set down in his mother's newly upholstered crewel linen wing chair...with some grease of some kind on his sunburned legs. She screamed, cried and had the chairs done, again, this time in a woven tapestry that she called cast iron. I have those chairs and 40 years later they still look great. Boy wonder is not allowed to sit in them! Hope you are feeling better.

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  20. Damn girl....brilliant! And that blanket stitch on the pillows is making me so jealous! I am dying to get me some Zak and Fox in my house ASAP!

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It's nice to hear from you.

 
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