Many of the residences in Over-the-Rhine are a blend of antique features and modern trimmings. My own home is a melange of distressed oak floors, brick walls dating back to 1877, and shiny, silver duct work.
It's a beautiful space that blends old and new, and it presents some interesting opportunities where home decor is concerned.
The clean lines of Ikea work well with the modern metal kitchen racks and exposed beams, but the old brick and flooring do well with antique wood and warm lighting.
And that's where crafting comes in.
I've become quite good at reupholstering chair seats to blend modern fabrics with the traditional lines of old chairs. It's easy, affordable, and can leave you with a sense of accomplishment.
Things you'll need:
- Wooden chair
- Sharp scissors
- Foam padding - 1 to 1.5 inches thick depending on your preference
- 1.5 yards of upholstery fabric
- 1.5 yards of batting
- Staple gun
First, find a well made wooden chair in great shape.
Turn over the chair and unscrew the seat, separating the seat from the frame. Put the screws to the side - you'll need them later.
Seat and frame - ready for a renovation
Use the end of your scissors to pry the staples out of the old upholstery and batting.
This stuff looks like it's been through the ringer
You can buy foam padding at your neighborhood craft store; I think I got this piece for $7. I like my chairs on the fluffy side so I opt for thicker foam; it's all based on your preference.
Cut the foam to fit a half inch beyond the seat. Any smaller and the wooden seat will protrude beyond the foam. That could feel funny and it would look horrible.
Next, you want to lay down your fabric, batting, foam, and then the seat. Trim the fabric so that it extends a couple inches beyond the perimeter of the seat.
Affix the fabric using your staple gun. Make sure to pull the fabric taut as you staple - this will ensure your finished product is firm and the fabric is tight around the foam and seat.
A word about corners. They are tricky. It's somewhat similar to folding hospital corners on a bed. I usually staple down one side of the seat, play around with how I fold a corner, then begin stapling this perpendicular side.
You might want to start with the corners that face the rear of the seat to allow a little practice before you tackle the front-facing corners. If worse comes to worse, you can rip out your staples and try again.
Voila - finished product. I spent about $20 on the chair itself and less than $15 on the fabric, batting and foam.
Antique chair with an Ikea bookcase in the background. You can't get more OtR than that.
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.