You know that favourite chair or sofa that was passed down to you from Grandma or your crazy Aunt Lucy? I mean the one that's looking a little bit tired and worn, but you would absolutely never consider parting with.
Furnishings that give a nod towards a specific time period can end up feeling as important as a cherished family member or your favourite pair of comfortable old shoes. The only problem with vintage furnishings is that their upholstery often gives out long before your feelings of fondness for them do.
I’m a total fan of almost anything mid-century, so if you’re lucky enough to inherit a cool vintage or mid-century piece of furniture, sooner or later you’ll probably be faced with reupholstering or updating it. And if you're a person who feels like a deer in the headlights at the thought of navigating a project like this, Chairloom will soon become your savior.
Chairloom is the brainchild of Molly Andrews and Tracy Jenkins, and it emerged from their shared love for vintage and antique furnishings. They offer many different options for preserving vintage pieces or updating them by using unexpected textiles that add just the right amount of punch.
Here are a few examples of some pieces that will help get your ideas flowing on creating or reviving your own unique furnishings.
Whenever I see olive or bright tangerine coloured upholstery, it reminds me of a pair of beautiful Danish chairs that my grandparents used to own. Oh how those chairs with the bright orange cushions are still deeply embedded into my childhood memories. So when I came across this gorgeous mid-century recliner with similar styling, it reminded me of those orange chairs. This piece can be purchased “as is” or they can help direct you to some quality upholstery fabrics if you want to update it’s look and add some punch.
I’m not sure whether it was their sleek, highly varnished teak frames or their bright orange cushions that kept me mesmerized, but whatever it was just screamed great design and still does as far as I’m concerned. I’ve often wondered where those chairs ended up, so first chance I get, I’m going to dig through my sister’s basement, because I think she may be holding out on me with those orange chairs!
Check out the transformation they did on this curvy tufted sofa that looks like it came straight from your Grandmother’s living room. This piece was discovered at Brooklyn flea market and they sanded down the wood to its natural tone and reupholstered it with Maxwell Fabric’s Baird in this luscious Midnight blue colour.
This is just one example of the work they can do, so scroll through their Before and After pictures to view many, many more pictures of transformed pieces to help get you started with your own ideas.
Next, scroll through some of their textile pages to get an idea of the amazing quality upholstery fabrics you can choose from and since they are “trade members” they can order you fabric samples to help make your fabric buying decision.
So if you don’t already have a piece of furniture in mind, start crawling through your attic, basement, or visit the next flea market in your area to get you started customizing your own vintage furnishings. Skies the limit!