I have always found it fascinating how chairs, small seats, armchairs, ottomans, sofas can totally reborn when they get reupholstered. (It caught my eye in Hanne Berzant’s home as well that she gave a new dress to her favorite armchair recently – see the image below) The style of furnitures can be completely reinvented by choosing a cool new fabric, and of course not only that certain piece of furniture itself but also the whole room where it is placed can get a very different ambiance.
For many years it has been one of my dream-future-businesses to build up a manufacture that galvanizes new life into furnitures (anything to sit on) of which their owners got weary, or the sad old forgot ones: family fixtures, heirlooms. I thought it’s kind of romantic and heartwarming that they can get a second chance by a creative makeover. Even though my ambitions have changed, I still love to find good examples of such successful projects.
A few years ago I pitched upon my favorite firm operating on this very special field, Chairloom. If you visit their website, the following two principles can be read on the home page: “Once was lost, now is found. There are two guiding principles behind our work at Chairloom. One: The value of being found — we cherish the craftsmanship and good bones beneath faded and timeworn fabrics. Two: The importance of second chances. Life is all about second chances and there is always the hope of being found when we are lost.” I suppose there is no need to explain why I fancy them so much!
This Pennsylvanian firm founded in 2008 owned by Molly Andrews & Tracy Jenkins, specializes in sourcing vintage and antique seating which they offer for sale along with expert reupholstery and restoration services. They have a constantly evolving amazing textile library on view in their showroom, enabling their clients to reinvent their heirlooms, customizing each piece from head to toe. They also specialize in building and upholstering completely customized new furniture.
See some of their enchanting total makeovers:
An antique sofa with intricate carved wood details and a curving wood frame. They sanded off the old, dated finish and upholstered the sofa in a solid textile by Maxwell Fabrics. I adore this contemporary update:
They worked with *Lonny’s* Associate Editor, Kaylei McGaw, to make over her mid-century saucer chair which she was given by her Great Grandma Grace. The team painted the legs a burnished gold and paired two textiles by Maxwell Fabrics into a color-blocked seat cushion:
The owner of this vintage Overman lounge chair selected a Duralee velvet for the redo. The old seat back cushions were removed and the chair was reupholstered with five subtle tufts. What a gorgeous redo:
This ormerly mis-matching Danish modern set were reupholstered with original period tufting in Maharam’s Aria in Elan:
A pair of vintage Saarinen-style chairs of which the wooden leg bases were repaired and cleaned-up, then the seats were reupholstered in Mayer Fabrics’s woven crypton textile, Nostalgia in Capri:
A West Hollywood client asked them to find just the right antique sofa for her. Chairloom team sanded the wood to its raw state & reupholstered it in Maxwell Fabrics’s 100% linen textile, Barclay in Slate:
Vintage swivel desk chair reupholstered simply, without tufting which accentuates the clean and stylish lines of the piece, the metal base was painted gold:
This accent chair from the fifties for example was reupholstered with a textile designed by Charles and Ray Eames:
This stylish pair of Kofod-Larson Penguin chairs got Clay McLaurin’s Arches for reupholstery.
I appreciate a lot Eero Saarinen’s master pieces (you will see it in the next post!), so in the end I would like to show you some Chairloom projects that gave a “second chance” for some beautiful Saarinen chairs.
For example they reupholstered a set of six vintage Eero Saarinen for Knoll dining chairs in Maxwell Fabrics’s Interface, a sunbrella acrylic fabric, in Marshmallow. The result is absolutely stunning and elegant:
Another vintage set of Saarinen chairs that are Brooklyn-bound. The textile is Hilo in Coal, by Hable Construction for S. Harris:
Eero Saarinen desk chair in Studio Bon’s Fuzz in Black:
Last, but not least, his pair of Saarinen chairs were brightened up in Maxwell Fabrics’s Sugarloaf in Berry.
All pictures are from the website of Chairloom.