French provincial armchair reupholstered!

One of my very long term unfinished projects was reupholstering an armchair from my mom. She no longer wanted it and offered it to my sister and I. I accepted it for my sister ūüôā

red velvet french provincial armchair

The plan was to remove the red velvet, reconfigure the seat, change the tufted back and paint the wood frame. The french provincial style and the new feminine fabrics would be perfect for her dressing room.

painted curved chair leg doris lovadina-lee toronto

One of the first stumbling blocks to this project was the size of the chair. I could not get it down into our basement, which meant I could only work on it outside or in the kitchen. As you can see in the previous photos, the removing of all the old upholstery and painting happened on our back deck. The rest of the work was done in our kitchen! When I say my entire house is my studio, I am not kidding.

French provincial armchair in pink reupholstered by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada
closeup of pillow on armchair by doris lovadina-lee
floral and solid upholstered chair in front of staircase

My very first Instagram post was a photo of the fabrics for this project! Did you notice the date? It only took three and half years to complete – May 6, 2015 to December 30, 2018. I may not be speedy, but I am persistent!

Finishing this project and another even longer term unfinished project is helping me focus on what I want to achieve in 2019. It has freed up space for new projects, including a new series of textile paintings, and the 100 Day Stitch Meditation Project. How have you prepared for 2019?

Mid-century modern reupholstery project

Last summer on my way to an appointment, I spotted a mid-century modern two seat lounger on the curb. The upholstery was awful, but the lines of the piece were sleek and modern. When I reached my destination, I called my husband and asked him to look at the piece and to bring it home if he thought it was worthwhile salvaging it.

midcentury modern wooden sette teak doris lovadina-lee

When I arrived home it was sitting on our back deck. The upholstery fabric shouted 1970’s and called for shag carpet. The wood was in great condition, but only three strips of the webbing were not broken. Sitting on the piece was a very delicate matter!

mid-century moderntwo seater teak vintage sofa Toronto doris lovadina-lee

We purchased new webbing and easily fixed the seat. The wood was cleaned and waxed. The upholstery fabric absolutely needed to be changed! I decided that instead of four cushions I wanted to have two. That way I only needed to put in two zippers instead of four and two cushions would look more modern and streamlined.

doris lovadina-lee itajime shibori snow dyed handdyed canvas upholstery fabric

I had been hand dyeing fabrics and scarves and wanted to try dyeing larger pieces of fabric. I was certain I could create an interesting hand dyed piece to use for the cushions. I split the canvas into 2 pieces one for each cushion and cut off a long narrow strip that would be used on the sides. The piece above shows the two ends of the same long strip!

teak midcentury modern sofa snow dyed canvas upholstery toronto dorislovadinalee.com

I snow dyed the fabric and am so happy with the results. The cotton canvas was fan folded and then folded into a triangle. The result of the folding was a tall stack of fabric. I decided to rest the stack of fabric on the bottom of the plastic tub instead of having it suspended above the melted snow.

Danish teak 2 seater lounge chair itajime shibori snowdyed canvas upholstery doris lovadina

As you can see when looking at the photographs, there is a distinct difference in the fabric. The part of the canvas stack sitting in the melted snow absorbed more dye. In the photo above, the cushions show the portion of fabric resting above the melted snow. The design is sharper with more white visible.
hand dyed itajime shibori canvas upholstered mid-century modern two seat teak sofa doris lovadina-lee

In the photo above, the seat cushion shows the part of the cotton canvas that was eventually submerged when the snow melted. This created a softer less distinct pattern. In the photo below, it’s the back cushion fabric that was submerged.

danish style teak lounger snow dyed upholstery doris lovadina-lee

We will be placing this mid-century modern lounger outside on our deck when the weather turns warmer. This summer we will be sitting in style!

Barrel chair upholstery completed!

In the early summer I posted photos of our leather barrel chair that was in desperate need of being reupholstered. I chose fabric, stripped off the old leather and then it sat, and sat and sat taking up space.

Barrel chair before reupholstery by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Barrel chair before

Finally, I had the time to work on it during the holiday break.

Newly upholstered barrel chair by Doris
Newly upholstered barrel chair

This is our new chair. I love the beautiful colours of the stripped leather that I found at Designer Fabrics. I was able to get enough of the leather in two pieces to do the outside of the chair.

Side view of upholstered chair with stripped leather and fabric
Side view of chair with leather

The inside of the chair is a beautiful op-art piece of upholstery fabric. I love the dimensional look it has.

Matching pillow for newly reupholstered chair by doris lovadina-lee
Matching pillow

With the leftover bits, I made a pillow and added a beautiful fringe repurposed from an old pillow. It feels great having completed this project after such a long time. How long does it take  you to complete your projects?

Barrel chair upholstery

This is a barrel chair we’ve had for a few years and the upholstery was the worse for wear. I found a beautiful piece of leather in stripes of cream, grey and beige. There wasn’t enough to redo the entire chair, but enough to use on the outside.

Barrel chair before
Barrel chair before

A trip to Designer Fabrics, a store that has a great selection of fabric was needed. I love going in to browse, there is always something new to look at and fondle!

Barrel chair side view before
Barrel chair side view before

I brought a selection of samples home.

Upholstry fabrics1
Upholstery samples from Designer Fabrics in Toronto

I like the idea of having a circular design to contrast with the linear stripes. The design below is the one I liked the best. It is a wonderful, op art designed cut velvet.

Upholstry fabric
Upholstery fabric for barrel chair

I love the circles!


Upholstry fabrics
Upholstery fabric with leather stripe

I hope to start this project soon. I have already removed the old upholstery. I think it will look great in our room and with the new indigo pillow I dyed!



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