Amitha's Blog

Do you see what I see?

It’s that time of year where we’re all geared up to work on projects. Something about the spring just re-energizes our creative spirits! Often when we’re looking at furniture, we see it “as-is.” Today I wanted to share with you how I look furniture with endless possibility. How do you choose a piece of antique furniture? If you’re like me, you might find yourself falling in love with certain designs at first sight. Others might put you off because of their color, or the print of the upholstery. But what if you could use your creativity and imagine them into being a totally different way? I’m a great believer in repurposing found pieces, and changing the fabric round on a chair or settee is one of my favorite revamp ideas. So many times you’ll find a beautiful piece that’s perfect for your home, but the color is a little off, or the fabric is frumpy or tired-looking. So how should you go about personalizing your piece?

Step 1: Choose the frame, for instance a chair… Look for a design that you really love, a classic piece that will retain its charm no matter how old it gets. Whether its a fauteuil (an armchair with open sides) or a bergere (armchair with closed sides), you’ll be able to change the look to suit your own space.

Available at Village Antiques, $425 (JAM-2CH)

Step 2: Repaint the frame You’ll be surprised at how much you can alter the look of a piece simply by painting and waxing the frame.

Step 3: Look for a matching fabric. Usually settees, bergeres and the like are covered in very neutral looking fabrics like plain linen. But it’s so easy to change that. Finding a new fabric can make the piece a better reflection of your taste and style, and can help it blend into the existing decor easily.

Available at Village Antiques, $925 (BDI-CHR3)

I love playing around with different prints, and one of the things I like to do is to juxtapose an antique chair with a much more modern print. Bold geometric patterns, stripes, and graphic prints all look great on antiques.

Another one of my favorites is stripes. Thick or thin, bold or subtle, striped fabrics can look wonderfully dramatic when paired with a classic frame. It’s a very fresh, modern look that works well in contemporary spaces.

Available at Village Antiques, $2,200/pair (GCI)

Available at Village Antiques, $495 each (GCI)

And if you’re looking for something a little more elaborate, how about some embroidery? These days you’ll notice a lot more embroidered and suzanni pieces around. Have a look at the two embroidered side chairs in the foreground of this picture. Talk about making a style statement – they are just stunning!

Another interesting trend is the super-scale. I’m noticing lots of prints and patterns that have been super-sized for maximum effect. You must have noticed that I write a lot about finding the right scale and proportion for your room. Once you’ve mastered that, you can start to play with scale and intentionally mix things up – like putting a giant check on a delicate fauteuil. I love the effect – what about you?

Toile is a French classic, but it’s being interpreted in new ways this season. Fun colors are making an appearance, as well as larger scales and scenes depicting modern day city life instead of rustic scenes!

Available at Village Antiques, $1,695 (BDI-CHR2) So the next time you chance upon a pretty chair, settee or bench, and you feel unimpressed by its plain upholstery, use your imagination! Think back to all these great ideas and use your own personal touch to create a piece that will reflect and inspire you.

And of course, don’t forget to share pictures of any pieces that you’ve had reupholstered! I love to see how you’ve been inspired!

Leave a comment and let us know if you’ve transformed a vintage piece! Also, don’t forget to stop by our Spring Sale – it ends this Thursday, April 24th!


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