You’ve finally decided that your Grandma’s chair you completely love is worth reupholstering. You answered “yes” to the questions: Is it unique? Is it well made? Will it be comfortable? All important questions, because your investment in reupholstering is usually equal to or greater than purchasing something new. This stands to reason as reupholstering a piece of furniture is more than just covering it with new fabric. In addition to replacing the fabric, a quality upholsterer will repair compromised frames, retie springs and replace or rebuild cushions. In the end you will have a new piece of furniture built to last.
My favorite strategy in bringing both an appropriate and updated flair to a vintage chair is to find a fabric with a traditional pattern in keeping with the chair’s original style. Some motifs that often make up traditional patterns are Jacobean florals, scrolls, fleur de lis, and medallions.
The key to modernizing your chair is to look for these three characteristics in a patterned fabric:
First, the colors have a refreshed look that will work with the contemporary interior space where your chair is going to live.
Second, the pattern is larger in scale than it would have been originally, or, oversized relative to your chair. One of my favorite hallmarks of modern design is unexpected scale.
Lastly, a stylized version of a traditional pattern will be simplified or abstracted in a way that will bring a fresh clarity to the patterned fabric.