Double Take: Before & After Armchair

Let me first start off by saying Kah is forcing me kindly asked me to write this post for one of our beautiful furniture re-dos. It was our first time trotting into the territory of furniture upholstering. However, I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t offer my dear sister much help with this project. We (Breeze and I) assisted her with the removal of the old mud-stained  fabric (Kah and a cousin of ours dropped the chair in the mud, while trying to get it in the car). We spent countless days removing staples from the frame. I’m even a little sad to say that we invited my mother and aunt over under false pretenses to help with the staple removal process. I know! Bad twins, but we provided food and movies.

Breeze helping too

See! This is evidence of me helping

After the deconstructing process is where I threw my poor sister to the wolves. I know what kind of twin sister am I, right? But I didn’t have the patience for upholstering at that time. And let me mention that neither one of us knew how to sew. We owned our sewing machine for a whole year and didn’t use it.  So Kah, because she becomes obsessed sometimes, dedicated long hours and nights to teaching herself how to sew. After unsuccessful attempts of trying to drag her away from the sewing machine before the sun arrived, or when I was sick of watching, I would finally leave her alone. I was having nightmares of the non-stop buzzing of the sewing machine and would hear Kah yell at Breeze to stop eating the thread, and yet I didn’t feel an ounce of shame when sleeping “peacefully” in my bed.

After a few weeks  the chair was finally complete. The pieces were all sewn together and we began stapling them to the existing frame. I helped with this, go Milla!

So I’m finished my rant, here is the unfortunate Before (The Evil Twin) and the beautiful After (The Good Twin):

armchair before in floral fabric


upholstered armchair thomas paul hedge fabric

Very Pretty!

Now and then, Kah will show her disdain for my lack of patience  to learn how to sew, but she gets over it whenever she looks at the beautiful chair in our living room. What’s really amazing about this project is that we scored this Thomas Paul “Hedge” fabric for 5 yards for $35 and the chair for $25 totaling $60.

thomas paul floral chair "hedge"

And she’s ecstatic because she shared her makeover on the Facebook page for Young House Love and Sherry said she loved it.

Woah- it’s amazing!!! Waaaaay intimidating and above my skill level, but amaaaazing all the same! Haha.

December 2011:

Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesday

The 36th Avenue

I’ve linked the armchair makeover at these great parties.
DebbieDoos Monday Newbie Party
Erin of Home Savvy’s Homemade Monday
Petite Hermine
My 1929 Charmer- Sunday’s Best
J&M’s Eye Candy-Strut Your Stuff Sunday
Between Naps On The Porch – Metamorphosis Monday
Creations by Kara
The Thrifty Home
Saved By Love Creations-Thrifty Thursdays
Serenity Now-Weekend Bloggy Reading
Tickled Pink Friday @ 504 Main

We’ve been Featured



Posted on by Milla Posted in Before & After Projects, DIY, Furniture, Thrift Shopping, Upholstery Projects

About Milla

Milla is the other half of the Design Par Deux duo. She enjoys finding design inspiration in all things creative. She has an unhealthy obsession with the color Turquoise.

109 Responses to Double Take: Before & After Armchair

  1. janet metzger

    Just lovely!!!

    I just taught myself to make custom slipcovers a few months ago…so much fun and sooooo money saving!

    janet xox

    • Milla

      Aww thanks Janet for being our very first commenter! Yes we are all about teaching ourselves things in order to save money. On my way to your blog now.
      – Milla

  2. Deb Owen

    It IS AMAZING! I’m always so jealous of you upholsters’. it’s intimidating to me! I love the fabric and you did a beautiful job!

    • Kahli

      Thank you so much Deb. I’m definitely an amateur all the way especially since I didn’t even know how to sew first. Don’t be intimidated :)

  3. Helena

    Love love LOVE that fabric! Looks like something straight out of Thomasville…just much cheaper! :)

    • Kahli

      Thank You very much Helena. If I didn’t find that fabric at a fabric outlet for remnants it would have cost more because I believe the fabric is originally 30+/yd.

  4. Helena

    wow! Excellent find, then!

    • Kahli

      Exactly how much are chairs at Thomasville? I’ve heard of them, but never actually shopped there because I’m a dedicated thrifter :)

  5. Helena

    I’ve never purchased anything from there but we were hunting for a new bedroom set recently and popped in. There was a chair similar to this one that I fell in love with – a little less cushion and had a foot rest – and it was over $1000. I want to say $1,100.

    • Kahli

      Wow that’s a little much for a an armchair! I say if you can do it yourself and love it, then go for making over a chair for your bedroom. The Thomas Paul fabric I used is no longer available in that colorway from what I’ve seen on Duralee’s website.

  6. Jenny

    Gorgeous chair and it astounds me that you were new to upholstering by how amazing it turned out! Did you use the original seat cushion?? It’s so nice and comfy looking! I guess the thing that I am blown away the most by is that you used cording on it. Usually it is so wonky when new sewers use it, but it really does look like a professional job!

    I have a chair that was my grandparents that I want to reupholster (or at least attempt to). I feel like I should give it a try before spending the $350 + fabric to have someone else do it! So afraid to screw it up, though!


    • Kahli

      Thanks for visiting Jenny! You probably won’t believe this but cording was one of the easiest things for me and I don’t know why! I was so scared to try it, thinking that I would totally botch the project. I think it may have something to do with my steady hand. Yes that’s the original seat cushion. The chair was in great shape structure wise it just needed a cosmetic update. And it is very comfortable, I guess that’s why the cat loves it!

      I say give it a try and reupholster it yourself. The most important tips that I can give is to take the existing fabric off very carefully, label them (with letters, and the direction in which you took it off) and cut out the fabric carefully from the pattern. My sister says I have an obsession with learning new things so I was willing to put in countless hours learning how to sew. The cushion proved to be the most difficult for me with the different parts and also adding the zipper.

      Good luck!

  7. Wendy

    Looks great! I am way too terrified to even attempt that!

    • Milla

      Hi Wendy. Thanks for the comment. I was terrified as well which is why my sister Kahli did most of the work. I plan on helping with the next project though.

  8. Dee

    It was fugly! I have to find a chair and do the upholstery work. Never done a fully upholstered piece before either. I hope it turns out as well as this. Good work.

    • Milla

      Hi Dee. Love your name. Yes the chair was very fugly. Even though I didn’t help much I would recommend attempting to upholstering a chair of a similar construction. Chairs with very pronounced curves on the back and arms are very hard. We too unfinished chairs in our living room lol.

  9. Prissyville

    You did a great job. I love the fabric choice. Bold prints are my favorite! This chair fits perfectly in that corner.

    • Milla

      Thanks for the comment. We love the fabric choice as well. I originally purchased the fabric to make window drapes in my bedroom, but we tossed it over the armchair and it was a match made in heaven.

  10. cailan

    can’t even imagine trying something like this – it’s beautiful!

    • Kahli

      Thank you Cailan! You have to try it!

  11. michele

    great job–I just love that fabric–very cute!

  12. simple home life

    I just adore the fabric, the chair looks amazing and thank you for sharing this at my party!!!

    • Milla

      Oh no problem! Thanks for coming to visit our blog.

  13. trissta

    Wow, you girls are GOOD! I’m a novice sewer myself, so I haven’t gotten brave enough to do something like this, but you did so great!! I’m loving the fabric. It’s adorable!

    Much Love,

  14. Milla

    Thanks Trissta! The chair is very adorable and extremely comfortable. It seemed from watching my sis that cutting out the patterns in the right shape correctly was the hardest part.

  15. brandi

    I love this chair! The fabric looks great, such a cute chair!

    • Kahli

      Thanks again Brandi, I just about died when we found the fabric and we bought all that was left of it!

  16. Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

    The chair looks fabulous now! You took it from “ho-hum” to hip!

    Thanks for joining the party. I would love to have you join me EACH week. The party link is up by 9pm on Wednesday nights. Come by tonight to see yourself featured.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

    • Kahli

      Oh wow! Thank you for the feature Liz! I’ll be there at 9 on the dot!

  17. cassie

    that doesn’t even look like the same chair! it’s fabulous- loove the fabric!

    • Milla

      Thanks Cassie! I know that’s the best part the fact that it looks like a completely different chair. I’m so sad that fabric has been discontinued I think :(

  18. Jessica @ Balancing the Dream

    you did a fantastic job! I love all the colors, and the pattern on your chair!!

    • Kahli

      Aww thanks Jessica! We appreciate the love. That pattern is the best right! So lively and modern :) I just came from your blog great stuff!

  19. Lindsay

    Aw, this is gorgeous! I love the fabric you chose!

    I would love to have you link this up to my first link party–

    • Milla

      Sure Lindsay no problem! Heading to your link party right now. Thanks for the comment and visiting.

  20. Rachel

    Oh my goodness, your chair looks amazing! It definitely looks WAY more difficult than mine 😉 You did a wonderful job! I love the fabric you used, and I love the whole room design (well, what I can see in the picture)–the entertainment center and lamp especially are amazing :-) You should be so proud of yourselves!

    • Milla

      Hey Rachel. Thanks for visiting. I wish I could find more of that fabric for the same price but it seems to be discontinued in that colorway. That lamp was originally for my bedroom, but it worked better out in the living room. And you can only see that much of the living because the rest of it is sort of cluttered with other unfinished projects lol.

  21. Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses

    Hey I’m Kassandra! I featured this here at my blog. I hope you’ll come by and grab a button!

  22. Nita{ModVintageLife}

    I featured your pretty chair today over at Mod Mix Monday at ModVintageLife.

  23. Malena

    I am in LURV with that fabric!! I. Must. Have. Eet! I’m in a grey/yellow/turquoise phase and I have just the two (free!) chairs that need help!! Where did you get it?

    • Kahli

      You are not going to like hearing this Malena, but….from what we know that fabric colorway by Duralee has since been discontinued :(. We actually found our five yards as a remnant at a fabric outlet in Baltimore, MD. It’s called Thomas Paul Hedge in the Thomas Paul Prints 2 line if you find it. Good luck!

  24. Miss Charming

    It doesn’t even look like the same chair. You took it from outdated to super stylish! Love the fabric. I really like your design in the whole room–magazine worthy for sure!

    • Kahli

      Thanks Miss Charming :). Hopefully we can make the other side of the room look as great! Thanks for visiting off to your blog now.

  25. Jennie Larsen

    FREAKING LOVE THE CHAIR AND THE ENTIRE ROOM. fab-u-lousity at it finest. winks-jen

  26. Milla

    Wow Jennie you have quite a way with words lol. I love it. Thanks for the comment. Off to your blog.

  27. Rachelle

    This is amazing! You give me courage for the reupholstering project I’m about to take on. Your chair turned out fabulous. I’d love it if you’d check out the giveaway I’m having for a Dremel Trio!

    • Kahli

      Thanks for visiting Rachelle! All you need is courage and patience and maybe some….sanity to start this project. Can’t wait to see how your chair turns out. Off to your blog now to check out the giveaway.

  28. Jill @ Craft in a Northern Town

    Love the fabric! It looks great. (Visiting from Fingerprints on the Fridge)

    • Kahli

      Thanks for visiting Jill :). That fabric seems to be a hit with everyone who visits.

  29. Sherry

    You guys are doubly awesome at makeovers! iIlove this chair! It looks fabulous! Thanks for linking it to Home Sweet Home!

    • Kahli

      It’s a good thing we can learn fast. Just have to jump headfirst into projects!

  30. Heather @At The Picket Fence

    This is so fabulous! You gals are talented! Thank you for sharing your armchair transformation at Inspiration Friday! We are featuring it this week. 😉


    • Kahli

      Yay! Thanks Heather :). I’ll put that button up right now!

  31. Patricia Ann

    Beautiful chair! Found you through Inspiration Friday, love your post!

    • Kahli

      Thank you Patricia Ann we love it too!

  32. Becca

    The chair looks amazing! Actually, your whole setup looks awesome! The pops of turquoise with the other muted tones looks so great. Fantastic job…now I need to learn to sew, so I can do my own!

    • Milla

      Go for it Becca! We loved the muted tones as well so the focus remains on this beautiful chair. Thanks for visiting Becca.

  33. Mary


    • Milla

      Hey Mary! Thanks for visiting.

  34. Lucy

    I’m jealous– in a good way. You girls did such an amazing job– I have a little sofa/chair similar in shape just sitting in my back porch because I’m way to intimidated and don’t know where I’d start. By the way that Chicago art work is an “I must have it”– for this Chitown gal =)

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  36. Jessica

    LOVE the chair! I also love love the chicago poster! Where in the world did you get it?

    Awesome room, thanks for sharing!

  37. Laura Cano

    Awww Im jealous you took on the task, Someday Im gonna get brave and do this. Awesome Job…cute little legs!! Thanks for stopping by. Laura

  38. Kristin

    A-mazing. Wow. Fantastic job!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog–I’m glad it gave me the chance to check out yours!

    • Kahli

      Hey nice to see you again Kristin! Thanks for the lovely compliments :)

  39. Ashley J @ MommyByDayCrafterByNight

    I seriously think this is the BEST redo I have ever seen! I LOVE everything about it! I wish I could zap it to my house right now:) Great job and thanks so much for linking up to my link party!!

    xoxo, Ashley J

    • Milla

      Hey Ashley J! Thanks for visiting and no problem on the link party. Thanks for hosting. I can’t believe you said that this is the best you’ve ever seen. That is very exciting to hear.

  40. Ashley

    I love this! Such a difference. Thanks for sharing! : )

    • Milla

      Thanks Ashley! No problem. Thanks for hosting.

  41. Ashley

    I am featuring this on my blog tonight! Feel free to stop by and pick up a button from my sidebar : )

    • Milla

      Oh my goodness. Thanks so much Ashley! We will surely pick up a button from your sidebar. Thanks again!

  42. Bailey K.

    your armchair makeover was featured at Let Birds Fly! come check it out, and thanks for linking up last week!

    • Kahli

      Thanks Bailey! Let me go get our button!

  43. Ellen

    LOVE the chair! What a difference, it’s amazing. Love the fabric. I can’t believe that only cost $60 total. WOW!

    BTW I’m also a twin (We have our blog with our other 2 sisters) I do most of the work 😉


    • Milla

      Hi Ellen! Thanks for visiting. Yes this chair was quite a steal. I wonder if we get that lucky ever again. Aww you have a twin too…I just went over to your blog you two look a lot alike. But you do most of work, me no likey lol. Hey, but it’s true one twin is always the more of the go-getter type, dominant, and or bossy one. I’ll give my sis credit for that.

    • Kahli

      Twins are great! You and your sister look a lot alike! Tell those sisters of yours to get on board and help you out! Lol thanks for visiting Ellen :)

  44. WhyCuzICan

    Wonderful first effort! You have courage and it shows. Love the fabric choice and your cat is cute too (I have a long hair orange and white tabby too- named Butterscotch)

    Visiting from TGIF’s linky party today,
    Suzanne in NW Illinois

    • Milla

      Aww butterscotch is such a cute name. Yea this chair turned out great. We were very impressed. Thanks for visiting

  45. Honey

    Oh, another fabulous chair makeover. You gals tdo such good work!

    I am so pleased that you linked to Potpourri Friday. Your participation certainly makes the party more successful . I appreciate you, Sonya ! I hope you will make this one of your regular stops each week!

    • Milla

      Thanks Sonya. We will if we keep doing makeovers like these. We probably will since we are obsessed lol

  46. Sarah Y

    That chair is amazing! What a great job you did! It would FAB in my office…lol! Thanks for sharing!

    • Milla

      I love this chair too! If we had another one we would gladly give it to you Sarah lol. Thanks for visiting

  47. Jen @ Little Miss Penny Wenny

    Oh my gosh this chair is to die for! I am absolutely in love with that fabric and can’t believe the price you snagged! Way to go… love it

  48. SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime

    I love how it turned out, too! Thanks for sharing this totally cool post at Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop.

  49. Christine

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The chair is amazing!!! I just adore the fabric! WOW!

    • Kahli

      Thank you Christine! We appreciate your comments :)

  50. Desiree

    WOW ladies your chair looks great… Thank you so much for visiting my party. I shared your project on my FB page 😉

    Have a great weekend!

    • Kahli

      Oh my! Thank you very much Desiree! We’ll be visiting your blog more often now that we’ve discovered it!

  51. Stephanie

    That’s gorgeous!! I too am a lover of all things turquoise.

    • Milla

      It’s such a beautiful color. Thanks for visiting Stephanie!

  52. Rachelle

    This is a gorgeous makeover! I can’t believe it’s your first reupholster. Looks great. I love the fabric you choose.

  53. laxsupermom

    Love this makeover! The fabric is gorgeous, and you got it for such a steal – I’m jealous! Fabulous job! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m hosting my monthly Before Blogging Throwback Thursdays party and would love it if you’d come and share something you made/did/bought sometime before blogging. Can’t wait to see what you share at the party.

  54. amy

    holy AH-mazin’. i need myself your kinda sister!!

    that chair is spectacular!

    • Milla

      Hi Amy thanks for commenting on this as well. Yea my sister is amazing.

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  57. Barbe aka Bee

    Amazing job ladies! I do miss reupholstering but can’t try again until I get more powerful tools as my hands just don’t have the strength anymore. lol But I do have an electric brad nailer on my to buy list, as well as better hooks for holding the fabric in place. If you check my Old Projects page, you’ll see the victorian sofa I inherited from my mom that now needs a do over! It was still in good shape in the pics, but she bought it in 1973 and is a bit worse for wear now.

    • Kahli

      I will definitely go and check that out! My hands hurt a lot of times too, definitely need to invest in an electric stapler!

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  59. shannon

    where did you find this fabric? i have been looking everywhere and just cannot find it!

  60. Declan

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your bllog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing too your rss feed annd I hope you write again very soon!

    • Milla

      Thanks for visiting Declan. We are in the process of gathering inspiration on post ideas to update again.

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