Of course, figuring out how family pieces fit into the style we're developing for our own home is an ongoing process. Sometimes a little experimentation is in order!
These chairs are family treasures from my mom's side. A matching set of four!
I like many things about these chairs, but I think anyone who ever sat in them will acknowledge that they aren't the most comfortable of chairs. So a little over a year ago I decided to increase their comfort quotient a bit. [That's number of times shifting in your seat/(number of hours sitting + number of drinks consumed) -- though using that equation I think I actually want to decrease the comfort quotient, right?]. I'd recently been coming across a lot of DIY chair reupholstering projects in my various internet explorations, and it seemed like a pretty straightforward thing to give a whirl. Plus I knew I'd get to use my staple gun, which my dad gave me as part of an incredibly awesome housewarming present when I moved into my first apartment (a very well-stocked tool box!).
So I spent some time looking around for the perfect fabric. This was during the early days of my turquoise obsession (which I can happily report is still in full swing, 13 months later), and some fabric from Tonic Living caught my attention. It's called Sweet William, in teal (there's also a pink version). [Note: I've subsequently seen it a few times on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love - how prescient am I?). I ordered a few yards, and also ordered some 2" upholstery foam from the internetz (without a car, I often have an easier time ordering supplies online and being patient than trying to find what I need locally). It turns out Tonic Living is based on Canada, and shipping time was 2 weeks. I displayed much patience.
To make each chair, I started by detaching the seat. That meant flipping the chair over and unscrewing the four screws holding each seat on. Then I traced the outline of each seat onto the upholstery foam using a sharpie, and used an exacto knife to cut around the outline. Then I cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the top and sides of the foam + seat with a few inches to spare. I lay the fabric on the ground (with the back of the fabric facing up), then lay down the foam and the seat (bottom up). Then I worked around the seat pulling the fabric taut and stapling it to the bottom of the seat. The corners were the hardest because the fabric had a tendency to bunch a lot there, but by folding in the right places I managed to keep it pretty clean looking. Then I screwed the seat back onto the frame. Tada!
I'm a fan - a little bit of color, plus quite a bit more comfortable!
With the leftover fabric, I used my sewing machine (for the first time) and made a pair of curtains for the window in the front door. It just involved cutting two pieces of rectangular fabric and hemming them around each edge. Then I mounted a small curtain rod I had on hand, and hung them using ring clips.
I'm now (13 months later) in the process of planning a hallway upgrade - and the curtains are going to match the color scheme perfectly. Can't wait to get started - this one involves a trip to Home Depot to purchase some lumber. I'll be trying out something a little new, and might get myself some new tools (including the next step up from a staple gun: a nail gun)! Here's a sneak peek at what's inspiring me: