From Plain Jane to Hello Dolly!

I’ve been thinking about recovering the dining chairs for a long time. Ever since we purchased them actually. While we were shopping for them I told my husband it was important to find a chair that was not only comfortable but also had a stapled, removable seat for recovering. I knew then I would want the flexibility to change them up. It’s a project that doesn’t cost much in fabric (depending), it just takes some effort and time.

The previous fabric was okay. Very neutral. But with some wear over the years there were tiny spots starting to appear and it just seemed the right time to jazz them up.

They went from plain:

chair-beforeTo interesting…

chair-afterAll it took was a swoop of a staple gun. Okay, that might not be accurate. It took longer than I anticipated and the trapezoid-ish seats were more challenging than square to wrangle the fabric. But it’s done and looks so much better.

Another before:


And after:


dining-after-2I went with outdoor fabric. I read about someone doing that and thought it was genius. It holds up well to life (esp. kids) – durability and stain wise. All you do to clean is wipe with water. Outdoor fabrics are very nice (soft, not plastic-y) these days, so it’s hard to tell that they are, which is another bonus.

I’ve got a couple of other small fabric-oriented updates coming up for that area of the house as well. Stay tuned!

Stylist tips for shopping for dining chairs:

  • Think about how much they’ll be used. We use ours every day; sometimes three meals. So comfort was a huge factor.
  • Think about form. Our dining is open to our living room so I knew I wanted an open back to be visually lighter than a full upholstered chair would be.
  • Think about style. I knew I would want to change them up, so looking for something that would give me the option was important. Slipcovers can also work for fully upholstered chairs and new seat pads can work for wood chairs (as well as repainting them).
  • Think about skills. I went with a padded seat versus full upholstery because of the airy-ness and also because slipcovers are out of my DIY range (skills and budget).