Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Chair Reupholstery Project Gets a Bit "Hairy"

Before I start yapping about the chair redo, I want to thank everyone that left a what would you do comment on my Tuesday post.  Every comment was so fun to read!  It sounds like the majority of you are just as curious as I am about the key!   I've got a few things to investigate before I start buggin' strangers but I can promise you there will be more follow up to this story! For now - To Be Continued -

After getting over the initial excitement of finding that skeleton key, I continued on tearing away at the old upholstery in order to get it down to the bare bones.  I was happy to find beautiful shaped wood that was hiding underneath! 
I also learned a fun little fact about the guts of this chair.  See that gray/black stuff that kind of looks like gross hair?  Well, it is hair... horse hair to be exact and that kind of fill isn't cheap- $347.35 for 15lbs of horse hair fill compared to $78.60 for a 13.5lb bundle of organic cotton.  Who knew?  I didn't. Turns out most high end furniture is filled with horse hair, for example Hastens mattresses at $4,000-$12,000 a piece.
I consider Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware's furniture to be quite fancy and when I did a little investigating I found that they don't typically use horse hair fill.  Anyway, it was an interesting thing to learn because it made me understand that this chair was made of high quality materials and perhaps came from a higher end furniture store?  Haven't found other tags or logo yet, but we'll see!

With my chair down to it's bare bones, I looked to Restoration Hardware for some inspiration thinking my chair could have a similar look to some of their upholstered chairs.  The first collection I stumbled upon was their Deconstructed Collection which featured the artistry and inner workings of each furniture piece.  I thought it was totally interesting after gutting my chair and seeing a similar set up....
Restoration Hardware Deconstructed Collection

However I don't think my DIY skills can execute this look as nicely, LOL!
My inspired look is going to be closer to their Lyon Upholstered Chair.  I like the linen fabric and exposed wood framing. 
Restoration Hardware Lyon Chair

This chair redo will be my first full-on reupholstery project (this one was pretty easy).  I hope it goes well! 

I might try and add in some nailhead trim to the look, does that sound cute?
Do you have any upholstery tips?

Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts or tips!  See you tomorrow for Head Over Heels Friday!


  1. I can't believe how similar yours looks to the restoration hardware chair!! And ew to horse hair. I don't care if it is high end. Ew! Go for the nailhead trim too!

  2. Oh my and I are on the same wave length! I just bought a chair for $10 at a thrift store and when taking it apart found it had great bones, horsehair and 8 way hand tied and knotted springs. I, too, thought of the Decontructed look from Restoration Hardware. So I went for it and am very happy. I sent you some before and after pictures to your email.

    It was fun...maybe a little bit easier than regular reupholstery but I am no expert.

  3. Where did you learn to reupholster?! Are you teaching yourself? I have been searching everywhere for a class but there are none in my area. I have decided to just try and go for it after watching some videos. Can't wait to see how yours turns out! Post lots of process pictures if you can.

  4. I bought the singer upholstery basics plus book off of ebay. Some of the styles are outdated but the information is the best I've found. Can't wait to see your after pictures.


I love to hear from you! What's on your mind?