Thursday, May 14, 2009

Decor To Die For: Re-Upholster your life!


Ok, so obviously us gals over here at Things-We-Heart are super obsessed with our homes and trying to make them the best they can possibly be.  We spend hours on line and browsing shops trying to find the perfect sofa, or the exact chair we are dreaming of for that corner by the window.  With all that time spent looking we often see things we lust after, that are just uber- expensive.  And seriously even if you have an extra $4000 are you gonna spend it on a foot stool?  We wouldn't and I am sure many of you are the same. 

Well, I like to apply the same philosophy to decorating my home as I do to getting dressed.  Yes, I will spend the money on a killer handbag or a breathtaking pair of shoes, but you better believe that I'm gonna mix in a vintage cocktail ring and a forever 21 camisole to go with that swanky piece. 

Because that is what keeps you fresh and unique and well, stylish. Because if you are wearing all Labels, then you might as well be eating finger sandwiches and playing bridge right? 

Well, lets apply that idea to the home, I have to admit, I have fallen prey to the amazing simpleness that is Pottery Barn.  They have beautiful good quality pieces and I back any purchase you make from this Mega-tron home store. 
But you know it just kills me when my sinfully stylish friend walks in, looks at my adorable yellow ikat bench, and says; "Pottery Barn? I almost got the same one!". 

Now, what kills me about this? Not that we almost had the same bench, because we swap furniture ideas as fast as we swap beauty tips. Not that I was ashamed to have something from Pottery Barn, Like I said, I think they are great.  What kills me is that my cute little bench was instantly recognizable! I like a little bit of mystery in my purchases, if only so I can tell the story of the score I made finding this little guy for such a steal of a price. 

So what to do if you don't want to spend a fortune on furniture, but you want something unique and totally you? The answer is as easy as 1, 2, 3! 

1. Find the piece of furniture you love, either from a 2nd hand shop or an affordable home store. 

2. Find a fabric that you love, go wild on the print, find your favorite color, pick something that makes you smile from ear to ear! 

3. Find a great (affordable) furniture upholstery person near you, drop off your piece..... (Don't forget to get a quote!!) 

Viola! Instant unique custom radness for your nest! 

Here is one of our favorite super pricey chairs and our idea for a solution.  
This super sunny and stylish Antwerp chair from Anthropologie would bring a smile to anyones face, but for almost $1500 it might also bring a tear to your eye! 
So, what, you may ask is a girl or extremely stylish guy to do? 
How about this! 

Buy this super blah chair off ebay for $65 
(you have to pick it up, but you are saving a small fortune so I say grab a friend and ROAD TRIP!!) 

Then you are going to want to find your fabric of choice... There are many options in the world of fabric, so make sure you double check that you are getting an UPHOLSTERY suitable fabric.  Price is as varied as pattern, but you can find something great within your budget. 


Hi there super tropical color punch! WOW, this is not for the shy or timid decorator.  This print is loud and bold and slightly tacky... Hmmm that sounds a lot like me. 
But for only $19.95 a yard from Denver Fabric, it is a steal! Plus when put into the right room on the right piece, total kitchy fun! 

For a more subtle but equally fun option, you could try this brown based flower print from Make Me Fabrics.  (At only $14 a yard, you can use the money you saved on one of those amazing vintage cocktail rings I was talking about!) Can you imagine how great your new chair would look in a light pink bedroom? Total girlie girl paradise!

Alright I hear you, you are thinking "Well, I saved all that money on the chair itself, maybe I want to go crazy on the fabric!". 
Bank Account, meet Schumacher Fabrics, Schumacher Fabrics, meet my Bank Account. 

I gotta say though, if you can swing it... This is the place to go. The fabric is beautiful and of the highest quality and the prints are total top of the line. The best of the best do prints for Schumacher, Kelly Werstler, Trina Turk, Celerie Kemble. 
It will cost you, but it will turn your piece into something you should hold on to for years to come. 
Plus, even at around $150- $200 a yard if the piece isn't that big, you are still paying way less then you would for a $1500 chair! 

Then you have to take your little collection of goodies to your pre-determined upholstery person ask them to sand it down to a natural raw finish like the Antwerp chair, or even sand it then paint it white. Have it covered and there you are, unique and fresh and all you for a fraction of the price! 

Of course there are many, many furniture and fabric options and you can just have so much fun trying this out. Don't be afraid to buy that ratty old chair you fall in love with at the flea market... Hope is there for beautiful furniture that was forgotten in time.

Here is a beautiful example from Casa Sugar of what a little imagination can do. 
Check out this before and after! 



Interior designer Eddie Ross really worked some magic here! That chair is so beautiful in the "after" photo and so grim in the "before"! You CAN do this too, trust yourself! 

So now we are going to leave you with some beautiful images that will hopefully inspire you to re-Upholster your life! 
Have fun! 



Ruthie Sommers at Chapman Radcliff Home is a genius! I have a total designer crush on her and the rooms she makes lovely. If she could take the brown crazy disco chair above and make it a clean lined Hampton's ready chair you know she is tops in my book! 


More ideas from Miss Ruthie Sommers, bold coral ikat flowers on this ottoman! We heart this very much! 


The sofa bellow is the first thing I ever saw from Ruthie Sommers, it was featured on the first ever cover of Domino Mag! Such a great bold print on a traditional sofa it could be the heart of any room. 

Please let us know if you have any before and after photos of your projects! We would love to see them. 

Now, I have to go because I have a certain Birthday Party to get ready for! 
(Sorry to burst your bubble, but these posts are not written in real time we plan way ahead, like 4 hours before they are due to go up! :) 

XOXO- Things-We-Heart

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