Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen my latest snap, summing up a fabric quandary which I had last week (there are worse problems to have I know!) The next project on my ‘hit list’ are the dining room chairs as I’ve wanted to paint and reupholster them for a while now.
We’ve had the chairs for five and a half years and they’re still going strong. At £65 each for a solid oak chair, they’re great value for money and look as good as they day we bought them. They’re sturdy, lightweight enough to move easily and most importantly, they’re comfortable due to their high back and padded seat.
I think a comfortable dining room chair is so important as it encourages family and friends to spend longer amounts of time socialising around the dinner table. As much as I love the idea of benches at dining tables, I can’t help but think, without the back support, you’d want to up and leave sooner rather than later (does that make me seem really old!?) Nevertheless, comfort is important I hope you’ll agree!
We originally bought our IKEA chairs as a low-cost option when we moved into our first home and money was tight. Being an apartment, space was limited and we bought the ‘Bjursta’ dining table too because it was the perfect fit for the two of us and then extended when we had guests. (catch up on our house history here) Moving to No. 49, we had more room so the old dining table went (not far, it now resides in the garage!) but the chairs stayed. Instead of replacing them, which will be too costly, I’ll paint them and reupholster the seat pads so that they’ll tie in with the new dining table.
As you can see, our dining chairs are covered in a rather unexciting grey material and the oak no longer matches our new dining table which has a much darker wooden top.
I went to a lovely local interiors shop which specialise in upholstery fabrics and wallpapers. With over 400 pattern books filled with beautiful textures, patterns and colours, I was in my element!
Once I had narrowed down my options, for a small, refundable deposit, I was allowed to take some of the pattern books home. This was essential, as it allowed me to take my time making a decision whilst trying out the various fabrics in the dining room.
When it comes to interiors, I love the decision-making process. It’s like house hunting. We often have very fixed initial ideas about our likes and dislikes and then when you’re presented with choices, you surprise yourself on what you’re instinctively drawn to. What you once considered a non negotiable suddenly doesn’t seem to matter any more and what was once an absolutely no way suddenly seems appealing! We are funny folk.
Well with the fabrics, I kept changing my mind and eventually narrowed it down to three options. The first was a clock motif but I ruled this out for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the print was too large really for a seat pad, the impact of the design would have been lost and secondly, it was quite a regimented design which would work better visually on curtains I think as the pattern repeated vertically in columns.
I felt the seats needed a more fluid design with perhaps a combination of colours. The second option was by Prestigious Textiles again but this time a floral print (and I thought I didn’t want a floral print… typical!!) but unlike the usual ditsy florals which are all too common in vintage inspired schemes, this floral print was big, bold and moody. It had all of the colours featured in my dining room – greyed off blues, shades of neutrals and splashes of black to balance everything out. I’m a big believer in using small doses of black in every room as it really helps to ground colour schemes.
Because it matched so well though, it just kind of blended in with its surroundings like a camouflaged animal. I knew I liked the pattern but wanted a colourway which held its own…
…which led me to this! It’s still the Willoughby fabric by Prestigious Textiles so the same pattern but the colours really pack a punch. The flashes of purple are just divine and the yellow really works with my blue walls. It still has some of the neutrals of the second fabric but with the colour dial cranked up!
See what I mean when comparing the two fabrics next to each other?
I’m so happy with my choice and can’t wait to get started upcyling those Ikea chairs! Next week I’ll show you a good old before and after with the newly painted and upholstered chairs. I’m so excited!
Do you like my fabric choice? Would you have picked something different? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below 🙂