Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Before & After ~ My sofa and a new Arm Chair




Today is going to be another mini-post. I wish the photo above
had better resolution. It's actually copied from the original from an
obviously bad copier. It's the before photo of my latest pride and joy.
I bought this Arm chair for $35 from a Salvation Army that had great
furniture.





And Voila!! The end result. This chair is SOooo
comfortable but I really love the fabric!





Another find from the same Salvation Army for $45.
It was marked down from $90 because no one wanted it.
Cream striped sofa that had huge unsightly stains on it.





And after the make-over, the
ugly duckling turned into a swan.





This is the best before photo of my sofa I could find.
Really kicking myself for not getting better photos.





And of course the after. For all those finding
old pieces to be reborn - Happy Hunting!!

37 comments:

Deborah said...

ok ; please help me -how do you know if an item is worth reupholstering? how do you get the material& how much material?

I picked up a fully upholstered chair becaue I love the shape but it smells really bad. Should I just trash it?

I see so many lovely results on line & I would loooove to do this!

Ursie B said...

Wow! Amazing!!! I love it!! I'm so impressed that you tackled a tufted sofa...seems quite challenging!

Cote de Texas said...

Wow!!!! those pieces look great -a great job - you should go into interior design, hahaha1!!

The Peak of Chic said...

Happy hunting indeed! Karen, you really did a fantastic job refurbishing these old pieces. I love all of the fabrics you chose for these different pieces.

diana @ please sir said...

WOW - amazing transformations!!

diana @ please sir said...

Do you re-do these yourself?

Mrs.French said...

I am in ah. stunning...I need to go to the Salvation Army now.

Suzy said...

They all look fantastic! You have a great eye. I wish there were more flea markets etc. here in HK, I really miss searching for old pieces to be reborn.

Suzy said...

They all look fantastic! You have a great eye. I wish there were more flea markets etc. here in HK, I really miss searching for old pieces to be reborn.

SimplyGrove said...

That first couch!!!!!!!!!! Takes my breath away! Brilliant job on all of the pieces!

Alkemie said...

Thank for all of your kind words!

Deborah - I don't actually upholster these myself except that I hunt for pieces and for fabrics. There is no rule for choosing pieces, it's simply what you like or it could be a really ugly piece that you can see a lot of potential in. To do tufted pieces or chairs that need repair work - it takes a lot of work and time and the expertise for it. I would start with something simpler if you want to learn to do it yourself. There are many books that can teach you about upholstering. If you have to refinish - you should definitely have an aired out workspace you can work in. There are many ways to buy fabric but you have to choose upholstery fabric that is going to last on a piece of furniture unless you expect not to sit in it much. I personally shop at a discount wholesale fabric shop to cut down the cost of fabric or you can order fabric through showrooms. A sofa typically takes 16-18 yards - it could be more though if you have a particularly long one and chairs range from 1 yard to 8 yards. My striped chair took 8 yards of material because it is a larger armchair and the entire back is also covered in fabric. Knowing how much fabric to use just takes experience or you can go to a professional to get an estimate. I bought a pair of chairs that smelled horrible. Most of the smell is attached to the fabric and not the wood so if you're planning to recover it, most of the smell will likely go away if you're going to replace it completely with new fabric and cushions. Hope that helps.

You should check out this BLog under my blogroll. Her father is a professional upholsterer and she periodically posts about it. Wonderful photos.

Le Petit Cabinet de Curiosites

Hope this helps.


Ursie B ~ I only wish I could take credit for the upholstering - alas I can only take credit for finding the pieces and choosing the material.


Joni - You're too kind. I can only dream as I've never had formal training lol. Just a huge addiction to design and objects.


Jennifer - Thank you! I always find it a stroke of luck to find material in a discount warehouse full of fabrics that inspires! Then there's always the issue of whether there's enough left on the roll...

Diana - If you've read above, I do not do the upholstery myself. I considered it before but it takes a lot of work and sewing and gluing which I know are not my strong points ^_^ I couldn't sew a straight line if I tried.

Mrs French - Thrift Stores are definitely addictive but tons of fun. You never know what you will find.

Suzy - Thank you so much! I often wondered if there was something like a Craig's list in HK. But then again, most local HKers are not into vintage or antiques - they love their modern decor and items. When I lived there, many of my friends would remark that I seem like I was born from another era LOL. I would look for old Chinese records and attend concerts of singers popular in my parent's youth while everyone was hunting for the latest electonics.

Simply Grove - Thanks so much for the very encouraging comment!


Karen ^_^

Villa Anna said...

*sighs at the tuft love* Karen they are absolutely stunning! Wow I WISH they had sofa's like that at my local Salvo's.

Anna :)

layersofmeaning said...

Lovely!
where is the Arm chair fabric from?

Erin said...

This post was so inspiring! I love all these pieces, especially the arm chair. :-)

{this is glamorous} said...

Karen, these are amazing transformations! Especially love how the $45 Salvation Army sofa turned out with the beautiful grey velvet--stunning!

Jennifer Ramos said...

LOVE this post! i cant get enough of before n after shots of upholstery.

Jen Ramos
'100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More'
www.madebygirl.com
madebygirl.blogspot.com
--

Jessica N. Condatore said...

I love the idea of rescuing a vintage find and reupholstering it. However the cost of doing so often is intimidating - were these costly undertakings? Any tips on saving at the upholstery shop?

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I am totally *amazed* by that sofa!!!! It just looks fabulous!

Topsy Turvy said...

You did such a wonderful job on all of these! The chair and gray sofa are so glamourous!
-Lana

Abbey Goes Design Scouting said...

Total inspiration! Lovely lovely fabrics you picked.

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Sarah said...

Where can I find a coffee table like yours?!

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