I love second hand furniture.
I’m frugal, I like old stuff, I hate furniture shopping- coincidentally, this is the only kind of shopping I hate- but I either inherit furniture from family members or find it on Craigslist or vintage shops.
I think my best find yet came from Farm Girls Vintage Finds in Bakersfield, California. The owners go on buying trips across the country, because, let’s be honest here, most of the good antiques and vintage come from the east coast, at least in my experience. When I found these chairs, something about me told me to take another look:
They had an interesting shape over the top that I haven’t seen very often, and I love deep armchairs… I like to be able to pull my legs up and cuddle in. When I saw the price tag- $150 for two chairs- I just decided to bite the bullet and get them. We were getting ready to buy our new home and knew we needed more furniture to fill it.
Before I even purchased and picked them up, I knew I’d have to reupholster them, so I went to a local lady and asked her for a quote. When she gave me the price range- between $400-600, depending on the fabric- I knew it would be worth it. A well made piece of furniture will cost at least this much, if not more, so I felt this was definitely the right decision.
I really, REALLY struggled with picking out the fabric… I wanted something bold, but wasn’t sure if I could live with it. I even put it to a vote on my Instagram stories, and I’m grateful you all helped me pick this fabric.
I cannot tell you how overwhelming selecting fabric can be- when there are literally 23,000 options! I narrowed it down by color and pattern type, and ordered swatches. Admittedly, this added about $30 to the cost AND slowed the process of getting the chairs finished sooner rather than later, but I really needed to see the fabric in person.
I dropped off the fabric- all sixteen yards of it!- to Lori, and waited patiently. We moved across the state in the meanwhile, but thankfully my parents were willing to pick them up for me and bring them to me when they came up to visit.
Sometimes you just need to follow your gut when you make a bold choice, and I’m glad I did. These chairs are amazing. They were worth the wait and every single penny!
My dad said when the upholsterer described the fabric to him, he couldn’t believe I’d picked yellow- but when he saw them in person, he admitted he was wrong. They’re gorgeous, and yes, I’m biased and I love mustard colored anything and I’m a sucker for a bird and floral print, but holy cow. HOLY COW.
I can’t wait to finish the living room and do them justice, but in the meanwhile, I smile everytime I see them. They’re bright and sunshiney and really bold, and I am positively delighted!
I do need to offer a few pointers if you are going to reupholster furniture. This was my first experience, and I had a learning curve!
- Pick quality furniture. These chairs are solid wood- probably from the 1940’s or 1950’s. They had upholstery tacks on them, which definitely dated them from before the 1960’s. These chairs will outlive me. It’s worth it to invest money in something that will last so long. You’re not going to want to spend this much money on an Ikea couch- I do love me some Ikea finds, but this wasn’t the time or place for it.
- Pick the right fabric. <Do as I say, not as I do>The fabric I selected is NOT heavy duty fabric, and this will probably be something I regret- kind of. It’s not designed for every day use on furniture- I’ve seen it on drapes and it’s most likely better suited for that. However, these are occasional chairs, so I’m not going to sweat it. I knew this fabric would be an issue, but nothing else spoke to me, so…
- Don’t be afraid to go bold, especially if the fabric really speaks to you. If you think I’m crazy for saying this, this rule doesn’t apply to you- but if you get me, you know this is right.
- Find an upholsterer you trust, check their work, and communicate with them. I found Lori through Yelp, she was honest, I loved her work, and her enthusiasm for these chairs was all I needed. She answered my questions honestly, as well. She was great!
- Get quotes before you start. Obviously.
Have you ever loved a piece of furniture so much you got it recovered? What was your experience? Comment below!