Take a Seat


Dear friends,

I’d like to introduce you to the epitome of ugly, hotel curtain fabric.

CAUTION: this image is not for the weak of heart.

I think it’s ferns… on a base of some coral chevron pattern… but let’s just call it hideous.

So, I paid $20 for that.  WAIT, I’m not crazy.  Let’s pan out.

I paid $20 for THAT.  Yup, another CraigsList find.  From the most unsuspecting seller too.  We drove up to the place and found a 20-something single guy living in a new, downtown district, sky-high-price-per-square-foot townhome.  I was kind of curious how he came to own this chair… but, at the same time, assume I wouldn’t want the chair if I knew the whole story.

I made Chris make the obligatory test sit.

The picture is actually in our garage some time later but you get the idea.  The chair held sturdy so a $20 bill later and we were the proud owners of the fern beast.  Still not sure how I convince Chris to go along with all these crazy schemes.  You see, I had grand plans for a sitting area in our bedroom.  I was coveting a beige linen wingback chair from Pottery Barn.

Oh, hello cute chair!  Oh, hello exorbitant price tag.  Seriously?  $899 for this sucker?  Not in this life time.  I was determined to replicate this, complete with my own nailhead detail.

I found a great fabric with the linen look AND got it 20% off because I hit up a semi-annual sale.  At $70 for 7 yards, it was a done deal.  I called up our amazing upholsterer and he whipped it out in a week, complete with nailhead trim!  I keep waiting for the frequent upholsterer discount as this was the third chair I’ve brought to him… guess I need a few more before that happens (probably won’t be a problem considering my chair addiction).

Before it was upholstered, I had to fix up the legs.  I decided the cure would be a fresh coat of paint over the cheap-looking wood.  I painted it black for now but will probably go back and paint white over it then distress it.  Eventually.


Ah, much better.

I found a great numbered pillow to complete the look.  A score at Stein Mart for $19.99.  Not too shabby!

I also need to spend some time explaining the “sitting area” to Chris.  He doesn’t understand why I never sit there yet insist on calling it the “sitting area.”  Ugh, boys.


It takes a lot to surprise me, even from Julie. So when she suggested we drive 20 miles to go look at a $40 chair, I didn’t think much of it. We have two compact sedans, so I knew I’d need to source a larger vehicle if we wanted to actually bring it home. I asked my boss if I could borrow an SUV from work and he agreed, but was curious as to why. I told him Julie’s grand plan and he replied, “wait… are you even old enough for a wingback chair?”

Anyway, we went downtown and looked at the chair and decided it had potential- after all, it held me up without anything breaking, which is more than can be said for the chair I had in my college apartment. I chatted the guy up about his car and motorcycle and talked him down to $20. I tossed it in the back of the car and away we went, trying to figure out exactly what the smell was.

The first order of business was to paint the legs, mostly to hide all the nicks and bite marks (I’m serious). Next, we called the upholsterer, who is a little bit crazy but also does excellent work. We got the chair back in about a week and as soon as I texted Julie that it had arrived, she called me in a frenzy wanting the know if they installed “the buttons.” I confirmed that there were indeed nickel buttons. I’m not really sure what all she said next, but I do remember hearing the phrase “AAAAHHHH I LOVE BUTTONS!!”

This chair has now been placed in a “sitting area” in our bedroom, but no one ever really sits there (except the laundry).


For more information on those fabulous chevron curtains you see behind the chair, check out our no-sew curtain tutorial here.



Filed under Before & After, Master Bedroom

5 responses to “Take a Seat

  1. tina

    love the chair! looks great xoxo

  2. How much does your upholsterer charge?

    • DO or DIY

      Hi Renee! He charges $250 for wingback chairs but delivers for free (always an awesome perk). He was actually the least expensive quote I received. Most places priced it around $300-350.

  3. Pingback: Buy This Not That: Chairs and Tiles | DO or DIY

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