Tuesday, February 4, 2014

75 Our Thrift Store Chair Project

Hand over two crowns and a couple of over-sized chairs, because we have been the king and queen of procrastination. 

Although you may think I am also the queen of exaggeration, this project started back in September of 2012!  I guess that is why it feels so fabulous to finally call it done.  The funny thing is that it was a really simple update and was another one of those, "why did this take us so long?" moments.  You may have caught a glimpse of our new-ish studio chair back when I shared an update here.


Back in that 2012 month of September, I shared a little recap of some of my favorite local finds and my desire to diversify my shopping habits.  After that post, I realized that I should have jumped on one of the chairs I spotted at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.


Sexy right?  Check out the backside.


I am pretty sure they once lived in a nursing home dining room, but those curves.  So fabulous!  And I have been head over heals obsessed with chairs that offer an open back.  I really had to have one.

So, I went back and purchased one of the chairs with intentions of using it in my studio at one of our two workspaces, as they just were not going to work for our dining room situation.  Total cost - $15.

We tackled this chair project in three simple phases; phase one was painting the frame.

Painting the chair frame was a super simple paint job.  I just removed all of the cushions and used three thin coats of Annie Sloan's chalk paint in Pure White.


Fast forward a few months and phase two was about to begin!  I couldn't wait to get those maroon vinyl cushions reupholstered!

This part of the process started out with hours and hours of needle nose staple pulling to remove the original vinyl upholstery.  Not at all enjoyable, but so worth it in the end.


For the piece that shows through on the backside of the chair, we used the original insert as a template and sprayed it with adhesive glue.  This was to ensure that the patterned fabric would lay nice and super flat and allow me to press out any wrinkles.



Once the fabric was attached to the chair insert, I switched to a set of fabric sheers and cut around the template.  Then we popped it back into the painted chair frame and attached it with a staple gun.


I had wanted a pretty floral pattern for my studio, and I ultimately had landed on P Kaufmann Arabella Pink.  It doesn't seem that this particular pattern is available any longer as I purchased it over a year ago now.  But I really do love it! 


For the seat side, I found a super soft suede from a local fabric store in a tealy blue color.  The seat was a pretty straight forward upholstery process.  I always push down on the seat while my hubby pulls the fabric tight and staples. 


Because the back cushion didn't have anything for the fabric to wrap around and staple in, we had to staple the fabric directly to the frame of the chair.  We used the staple gun to follow the edges of the foam cushion and did the best we could to pull the fabric tight.


Then we very carefully cut away the excess fabric as close to the staples as possible.


The edge was looking a little rough at this point, and I would either need to add double welting or some decorative nailheads.


After seeing this amazing chair, I knew nailheads was the way to go. 

Fast forward to this past weekend and we finally busted out the hammer and needle nose pliers.  Another very time consuming part of the process that the hubby and I took turns tapping away at, literally.  It was fairly simple as we just used the pliers to hold the nailhead and gently tapped it in place with the hammer.  {I found the nailheads at JoAnn}.  It just required some patience to keep everything lined up as we added one nailhead at a time following the natural lines of the cushion. 


So a project that probably could have been completed in a single weekend, is finally done over a year later. 


Isn't she beeeeautiful!?


It has definitely come a long way from it's nursing home dining room days...



The solid colored front and nailhead detail adds a bit of sophistication...


While the back is unexpected whimsy!


Although the studio still has A LOT of work to be done, I have really been enjoying working at this space, while the fam has taken over the desk on the opposite side of the room.  Some days my desk faces out towards our family room {so I can watch a movie while working on emails}, and other days I face it towards my memo board.  I love the versatility.

Speaking of memo board, I made it years ago from a frame found at the Salvation Army paired with some cork and linen fabric.  I call it my "board of happiness".


It basically is covered top to bottom with things that make me smile throughout the day.  Photos of our family and friends, special cards received, inspirational quotes, fabric swatches, tokens from travels....




It does a good job at keep my spirits high, especially on days when I am feeling cooped up or stressed out.

Under the desk I keep a pile of inspiration. 


As I mentioned, the studio has a lot of changes ahead of it.  Although my vision for this area changes quite frequently, I am just taking it one day at a time.  I have been plucking away at it for a few years now, but it is where I spend so much of each day that I want to make sure I really, really heart it.


What is the longest you have had a project drag out?  Did you feel overwhelming amounts of joy once it was finally finished? 


75 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous of your organization. That chair turned out so adorable!!!

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  2. Love how it turned out--such a cheery spot! Also love that your projects are on the same time frame as mine :) 2012 wasn't all that long ago, right?!

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  3. Beautiful chair update! Absolutely love the pattered fabric that you chose.

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  4. I love the chair and your studio! I am currently working on rearranging and organizing my office. My goal is to have it super organized and pretty... trying to aim for one like you have or those that you have featured (although I don't know if I can get it that pretty!). I need something bright and cheerful as we've had ice and now almost 8" of snow with more in the future... I need spring, flowers, and color!

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    1. I hear you! I bring in color and flowers every chance I get! I bet that is why I love springlike colors so much, because I spend 6 months looking at white snow! :)

      xo!

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  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE the chair but mostly LOVE LOVE LOVE the memo board! I need the exact same thing for my home office!!!!!

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  6. OMG! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! When my office chair finally bites the dust, I will be doing just this! NICE!

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  7. I've been a lurker on your blog for probably 2 years and have never posted about how much I love your projects! You've inspired me to do so much, from just organizing my makeup drawer to getting a silhouette for more organizing projects. (I used it the first time this weekend, and it was amazing!) This post spoke to me so much because I always start projects and then take literally a year to finish them. AND I've been searching for a perfect chair like this for my desk and never thought to do what you've done. Thanks for the inspiration, Jen :)

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  8. Gah, that back is ah-mazing! Loving the more regular posts! I check on the blog everyday to see if I can find anything new.

    Sarah

    www.thesimplehomeblog.blogspot.com

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  9. Thank you for sharing this project. I love your chair and inspiration board. I'm going to keep my eyes open next time I'm thrifting.

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  10. I love all your projects! You are so talented & have such expertise! We found some thrift store chairs for our dining room and are about to sand, prime & paint...I saw that you only used chalk paint. Do you recommend that method versus sand, prime & paint? Thank you in advance!

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    1. Hi Christine!

      I have used the chalk paint a few times and it does seem to cover and coat nicely, but you will definitely want to look into adding a protective wax finish to anything you paint with it as the matte finish seems to ding up very easily. I have also done the sanding, priming and painting thing on a few pieces, and good paints will cure over time with no need for additional finishing coats. I am not necessarily partial to either, they both give off the similar results with similar amounts of effort. Or so I have personally found anyway.

      Have fun with those thrift store chairs!! <3

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  11. Where did you get the "I never met a color I didnt love" print?

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    1. I found it on Etsy last year, however, it appears it was only a limited edition print: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/141669355

      xo!

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  12. Beautiful job on the chair. LOVING the colorful fabric on the back. I never would've thought to do that and it looks so pretty!

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  13. I love your chair! I'm a "chair freak" and love single chairs. You did a beautiful job and I love the fabrics, especially that floral! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. That chair is so totally awesome. I want one. That fabric on the back and those pins really set it off. Well worth the wait.

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  15. Love your space! What color paint did you use on your walls?

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    1. Hello!

      The wall color is Behr's Reflecting Pool.

      xo!

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  16. Thank you for this post. I want to reupholster one of my grandmother's old dining room chairs so this post was very inspirational to me :)

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  17. It turned out so well! Stunning!

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  18. I love the back of the chair - so cute!

    My longest project started back in 2009 when my family went on a trip around Europe. I collected a postcard from each city we visited with the intention of completing a scrap book with details and photos. I am still yet to finish it... (However I have made it one of my 14 in 2014 goals so hopefully this is the year!)

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    1. Such a great idea! Cheers to getting things done in 2014!

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  19. Love the chair, did I miss something though, I though you had a more natural looking desk there that your hubby built and now I don't see it.

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    1. Hi Jess! When we updated our oldest son's work nook, his desk was sagging, so we took the one we built for my studio and resized it for his closet instead. It was just too perfect for his space:

      http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2013/09/closet-office-makeover-mission.html

      I stole my old vanity desk from our dressing room for my studio as a replacement. I loved the natural wood look the other desk offered, so I am looking at ways to reincorporate that effect down the line as we continue to tweak the space.

      xo!

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  20. It looks fabulous!! I love your style! I'm in the middle of redoing my guestroom/office and room is now MY inspiration! I would love for you to stop by my new blog and check it out! Xo, Kathy www.thedailynest.com

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  21. I LOVE THIS PROJECT! Your space is so inspiring to me. So cheerful and pretty. Great job, Jen!

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  22. So pretty Jen!! I love the blue with white and the back is amazing!!

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  23. I can be such a procrastinator too. I LOVE how this turned out - such a fan of curvy chairs like that too. And I will always love nailheads - they are a pain in the tush to hammer in but so chic!

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  24. Absolutely beautiful! Wow, and the vision to see past the old chair sitting in the store is amazing. I have some projects that can take me for-ev-er to do...then realizing why didn't I do this sooner? I'm a new reader and love your blog, thanks for the inspiration!

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  25. Replies
    1. I found local retailers by checking out the website online: http://www.anniesloanunfolded.com/retailers

      xo!

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  26. What a gorgeous fabric on the back of the chair! I absolutely love it! I love how every photo you post shows changes you've made to your house, even if it's not what the post is actually about. I'm the same way - I feel like I'm never done organizing and decorating - it's always a work in progress!

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  27. I heart your office!! I am so envious, my beige cubicle is so boring and messy, your office gives me a lot of ideas on how to brighten it up (as does your blog). I love the chair re-do and on a budget, just my style. Keep up the great work Jen!

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  28. I'm not a huge fan of the nail head trend, but this is just absolutely stunning! Makes me want to stalk my ReStore for nursing home chairs. Even though I don't have anywhere to put such a beautiful chair!

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  29. I love it. I've seen so many of these chairs on craigslist but I never but I never saw the potential. Now I think I am going to try it out. Thanks for the inspiration

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  30. That chair looks incredible!! I so envy your patience.

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  31. I purchased the floral fabric at Hancock Fabric in Woodbury about a month ago for my nursery! LOVE it on your chair!

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  32. It's really neat, I love how the back has a different fabric! That fabric is really my style, all colourful! I also have a chair project on the backburner, the main reason is that I cannot find the fabric I want to reuopholster it. It's been almost a year now.

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  33. What a beautiful transformation! I love your entire office/studio, it is so inviting.

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  34. Love the chair!! SO pretty! And the memo board...well, let's just say I see I have another project to do...mine just looks like I pin a bunch of junk on it...oh wait, that is because I do!!!...and nothing about it makes me happy to look at it...I need to cheer it up! The longest project for us was removing wallpaper from a huge 2 story entry hall...it started with me seeing if a piece would peel off easily..it did, but NOTHING else did. Not the 2 horrible layers of paper, or their 2 layers of glue underneath. It took 1 1/2 years to get it done and the hall repainted. After it was done, we would literally walk into the hall every 10 minutes to admire it! I swear, 2 years later we would still say WOW when we went in there!!!!

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    1. Wow! Two layers? I can imagine what a process that was! Happy to hear all of that hard work paid off in the end!

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  35. STUNNING! I am in love with the fabric you used on the back! It makes such a statement! Love, love, love! Thanks for sharing, Jen!

    ~Abby =)

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  36. We bought an awesome dining set on consignment with 8 chairs, all royal blue, to go in my dining room, decidedly NOT royal blue. It's been on my "I'll recover these at some point" list, but I finally had an epiphany: It's a lot freaking easier to paint the smallish dining room than to recover 8 chairs! Reading your update on the work that goes into making sure they look awesome made it an easy decision! One chair? Sure. Eight chairs? I don't need to be that crazy! Thanks for the inspiration… even though it isn't in the direction you may have planned!

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    1. I love that this gave you a new perspective on your space! What a happy surprise! Glad I was able to save you the trouble of taking on all of those chairs! ;)

      xo!

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  37. Wonderful job on the chair re-do AND great job finally getting it done. ;) I love the different fun pattern on the back! Did you make the Chihuly quote on the memo board? (Never met a color i didn't love)? I tried to find it on your site but couldn't. Thank you for your awesome site!

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    1. Thank you so much Shelly!
      I found the print on Etsy last year, however, it appears it was only a limited edition print: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/141669355

      xo!

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  38. You're chair turned out gorgeous! It reminds me a lot of a chair I was lusting after at CB2 a while back. You're entire studio looks fabulous and so inspiring!

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  39. Looove it! - Rachel www.atwelladventures.com

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  40. Oh Jenn, you NEVER cease to amaze me with your projects and ability to pull a room together with such amazing class, colors, and details. This whole space has come together so well, and I absolutely love what you did with that chair and memo board. LOVE!

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  41. Ah...you, me and chairs. I may have you beat. I purchased not one, but THREE different chairs when I was pregnant with my first child. All on the inspiration of a chair my mom had found at the flea market and transformed into a lovely entry-way sitting area. That child will be 10 in June. I have fabric for one that needs TLC, started pulling out staples from the other two but that has been as far as I have gotten. Yours turned out beautiful! Maybe this will be inspiration for me to focus on one and get it done.

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  42. I think if you buy nail head trim from an upholstery shop, it comes in a roll, and only every 4th or 5th nail needs to be hammered into the furniture. I'm not positive this is so, but it would be worth checking it out for the time it would save!

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  43. OMY! I absolutely love it! The design on the back and the studs framing the fabric make it PERFECT :)

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  44. I love the chair! Ya'll did a GREAT job!

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  45. Hi Jen, I've stalked, er, followed your blog for about 2 years now and I have to say this chair project is AMA-zing! And your step by step photos give me hope that I actually might be able to tackle redoing my piano bench.

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  46. Absolutely one, maybe the most, beautiful and happy rooms I have ever seen!!!

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  47. What a great makeover!

    xo

    http://thewearwithal.typepad.com/

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  48. I had a baby 5 years ago. We might have pulled the breaks and put a big ole HOLD on a whole house reno as a result. I started a blog to inspire us to get going on that and much else undone. Then got pregnant with baby #2. That announcement of said pregnancy might have been my last post. And I may or may not be living vicariously through your beautiful projects as I'm tethered to nurse baby #3 every 3 hours. Or really. Or yes. Oh dear. Procrastination or life? Probably both. Love your blog!

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  49. Beautiful chair- definitely worth the wait :)

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  50. gorgeous!! the colors are awesome!!
    I have been dragging out finishing my basement stairs for ooooh about two years- I ripped out half the carpeting in year one, then the 2nd half in year two. They're currently just hanging out waiting to be sanded and painted... but I dreaddddd the sanding.

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  51. This looks amazing! So much inspiration - I LOVE your entire space!

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  52. Love the chair! It's fantastic for your space. Where did you get the filing cabinet next to your desk?

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  53. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm obsessed with every photo in this post! The chair is amazing! I love everything about it, especially the back! And the pin board is amazing! I've been wanting a space like this for a long time! I didn't think we would have space for this kind of room, but I may just have a trick or two up my sleeve!

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  54. so inspiring. I think the nailheads were perfect for them. I would love to see what other options there were though!

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  55. Jen, your studio is so cheerful and organized! I cannot believe that chair was $15. The fabric you chose for the back is just perfect. I love getting to see a peak of your inspiration board too, love all the little details.

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  56. I absolutely love your office space! I have been slowing getting my office in order and I need to find a lamp for my desk. Yours is super cute and I was wondering where you got it? I have found a bunch of gray and silver ones, but I really like the pop of color your lamp adds. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thank you so much! You can find the task lamp here: http://www.westelm.com/products/industrial-task-table-lamp-w559/?pkey=climited-time-lighting-sale&cm_src=limited-time-lighting-sale||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-

      xo!

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  57. Your beautiful chair re-do! I love it, you and your husband did an amazing job. From the selection of the chair to the material to the very last detail of the nail heads. WOW, WOW, WOW! I need your help in my home anytime you are free I have no closet space, and a 1100 sq ft home I struggle with organization. I love your blog and I was always learn something new from you. You my darling are amazing!!!

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  58. Such a gorgeous job. I love the Kaufman fabric you used. Wow. . .and the patience. Kudos. My hubby said heck no to recovering my dining room chairs for the 100th time unless I buy an automatic staple gun! So funny. Your studio is beyond gorgeous. It's so happy, inspiring . . and so you. You are such a rock star.

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  59. Love it love it love it! I have some old wooden chairs that I just don't want to throw away because I know they'll be great to re-do when I move out into my own house. This gave me some great ideas! Question though -- don't you ever feel the staples in the bottom of the cushion when you sit down? I worry about them poking. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Rochelle,

      I have upholstered a few chairs over the years and with the thickness of the chair support paired with batting and cushion, I have never run into a problem with the staples poking through. Best of luck!!

      Jen

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  60. Hi Jennifer! Where can I find the bicycle print shown in your photos? I have been looking for one like it everywhere. Very cute! :) Thank you!

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