Please Check All That Apply:
☐ Hype Americana Empire
☐ Rich Hippie Regency
☐ Chinoiserie on Molly
☐ Over The Top Mod Pop
☐ Maxed Out Contemporary Classicist
☐ Insert Your Own Decorative Arts Babble Here _________________
After we acquired our chromed out dining table, the question was, what in the world kind of chairs do we get to go with the thing? I was full-on ready to settle for some kind of generic modern chairs or whatever, but then I was like, dang do I really want to fall asleep at the table every night because I’m so tired of my boring ass choice of seating? And a set of 6 vintage Bertoia side chairs on eBay was out of the question, so… Fortunately, G & I came upon this set of 4 bright red, large square back seats while on an antiquing pilgrimage upstate, and all they needed was some minimal freshening up:
Along with the chairs, you can see in the photo above that we picked up some other cool stuff on that trip upstate, including a faux bamboo plant stand, a wire MCM period plant stand and a sweet little cane seat chair.
My first thought for the upholstery fabric was something in black and white. Originally, I pictured something kind of Josef Hoffmann-y, Vienna circa early 20th century-ish. That one on the left, right??? Yes:
But then my mind wandered over to the UK around that same era in history, and I saw something Charles Rennie Mackintosh did in blue, white and wood. And I was like, that is fresh as hell. So, off I went to see the wizard at Mood with this picture in my head:
Guest bedroom of the “78 Derngate” house in Northampton, England, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1919.
And on that day, I swatched fabric like hell. Look how far I wandered away from the original inspiration. Pretty far. Right now I know you’re all like, Suzani? With those chairs? What was she thinking? But that was actually swatched for some throw pillows, so you can chill out.
In the end, I settled on something quite different from what I initially envisioned, but I’d really fallen in love with it in person. It was still blue and white, just in a much bolder pattern than vertical stripes:
Now I’d just like to take a second here and make some excuses for the quality of my photos… 1) My digital camera is a super old point & shoot, so I use the iPad camera a lot and, 2) My time at home during daylight hours is limited because I have a demanding day job, a second shift for cooking and cleaning in the evenings, and am just barely holding together the threads of a social life, so often I wind up snapping pictures under artificial light in the evening hours. It’s called leaning in, ever heard of it? LOL just kidding, I picked up that book at the library and tried to read it but only got through the first twenty pages before I was like, f**k this shit I want to lean back. Let’s move on.
G made me a “viewfinder” out of cardboard so I could pick where I wanted to cut the fabric to match the patterns on the cushions. Because he is awesome like that.
That was fun. After a while though, they all started to look like faces to us (or, Lucha Libre masks) and we couldn’t tell them apart and our eyeballs hurt. Here is what that was like:
[Remind me sometime to blog about a fun game my bestie & I invented called “Pick One or Die”]
So I’m going to try something here, tell me if this works for you. Pretending this blog post is now being viewed through the lens of Wes Anderson’s film camera, look at the image below and imagine you’re watching it in montage-form, set to this song. Overhead shot of workspace. Tight close-up on a pair of hands, whimsically going to town with the fabric, foam, batting, spray adhesive and staple gun. In time lapse. With numbered step-by-step instructions overlayed in Futura font. Big ups to Wes Anderson. I adore you.
Now here is the part where I should probably state that Eloise Moorehead is not a DIY-blog. If anything, at least with this specific post, it’s more of, how do I say this… a DIH-blog (Do-It-Himself). Meaning, G did all the work on this project. [Love you so much bb.] Ladies, don’t get me wrong, I hope I am not coming off like some backwards, anti-feminist, self-oppressed princess here but he is a professional, and I’m so lucky to have him. If you don’t have an extremely handy partner in your life and found yourself here because you were actually seeking a How-To guide on dining chair reupholstery, check out Design Sponge, or HGTV, where they offer suuuuuuuuper helpful tips such as, “when selecting fabric, choose one that coordinates with the decor of your dining room." Amazing! But seriously, this kind of thing is not hard. Fabric, staple gun, no problem. You know how to use the internet. Also, did that imaginary montage thing above work for anyone at all? LMK.
Et voila! Chairs:
I still have no idea what you even call this style of chair, by the way. And with this fabric? A mash-up of what, exactly, I couldn’t tell you. But we love them! So bold, very drama. Pairing them with a modernist table by an iconic American furniture designer is our take on Americana. Red, white & blue, you know? These colors don’t run. Made in Brooklyn, USA, obvs.