these elegant chairs and wanted some help modernizing them: I acquired these chairs from a friend of mine and would love some tips/suggestions on what to do with them. I love the design, but think they need to be brought up to date a bit. Any help is appreciated!
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Lisa, we're envious you've gotten your hands on such nice chairs and we see a few possible avenues you could take to freshen these up. A fairly easy option is to just repaint the chairs
a vibrant new colour. The existing white upholstery would look great with a bright green or red finish, and this route would take very little time, effort and money for such a dramatic change in personality. What once looked traditional would look eye-catching modern with just a little sandpaper, primer and paint.
Another idea is to cover these chairs with slipcovers, like these tailored matelassé slipcovers, but I think that detracts from the charm and interest of the ornate Etruscan form of your chairs.
But if you wanted to go the route of reupholstering, we'd recommend you comparison shop your local upholstery shops
(unless you're fairly confident about ripping apart the chair's upholstery and tackling the project yourself
, a daunting first task without some instruction
). You can go downtown to LA's fabric district and check out the selection at an upholstery shop like Michael Levine
or browse/order online at sites like ReproDepot
and find a new interior fabric that compliments the chairs and your existing home decor. There's a myriad of beautiful fabrics out there that would compliment the dark framed chairs (think high contrast in colour and even in era), and don't hesitate to bring home a selection of swatches to drape against the chairs to get an idea of how they look. Whatever you decide to do, we hope you share the results with us!