When Bad Things Happen to Good Chairs

Oh, my. I recovered Mr. Blandings grandmother’s chair in this blue and white ticking fifteen years ago. It was in our previous house and the room was the very best navy blue that I copied from my friend, Mrs. Milledge’s, dining room.


When we moved to this house it wasn’t right for the office anymore, but I was busy with toddlers and babies and so she waited patiently for a suitable reupholstery.

As is often the case, sometimes you have to have a complete breakdown to get any attention at all. So, office chair did the only thing she knew how to do and came to pieces completely. It wasn’t her fault; she’d been neglected for years.

While darling Rosie began to tear at her stuffing, I draped any number of tweeds and wools and herringbones over her back, but none seemed to suit. Part of the problem is that in my plan, this room will eventually have antelope carpet and everything was looking a little brown.

And then someone, I think Peak of Chic or maybe Stylecourt, did a post on Chinoiserie and it hit me. Not camel, not brown, not more red. Turquoise, aqua, robin’s egg blue.

I’d been hanging onto this memo of Ralph Lauren glazed linen for a long, long time. I’ve moved it here, moved it there, but I think it likes this chair. Red contrast welt, a few buttons, nail head trim. I’m calling the upholsterer this week. She’s been so patient, I think she deserves it.

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11 thoughts on “When Bad Things Happen to Good Chairs

  1. sounds absolutely dreamy. love the red contrast welting and nail head trim is so “courant”~
    just picked up 2 berger chairs that our pup had mistaken for his bone. (sitter did not realize the pup’s naughty behavior- sly pup)
    chairs are restored to the orignal splendor!

  2. “The Inspired Room” just did a post on what is classic. I say this chair is classic! What beautiful lines! I am hopeless at fabric, so I can’t really comment there, but I can relate to the memo that hangs on the chair for weeks (months)! I have a memo right now in my bedroom – a possible headboard fabric – that has migrated all around the room.

  3. Patricia – I’m sure you are as devoted to your pup as I am to mine – the boys would have faced much more severe consequences in a similar situation.

  4. Sarah – I will check out Inspired Room today – The elder Mrs. Blandings had wonderful taste – many of the antique dealers here in town will tell me tales of her good eye. This glazed linen was origianally discovered for curtains – and I think they’d be great as such, but this seems to be the best fit. As for fabric, the best showroom here carries all the English lines, B&F, Scalamandre and others – I could stay for days.

  5. If I may – love the glazed linen it is gorgeous. With the contrast of red piping perhaps that would be better suited to a slipcover with a contrast box pleat at the back? Pattern does hide a multitude of sins especially on tight upholstery.
    Just a thought – I’m sure it will be lovely what ever you do.

  6. ah, the box pleat is so appealing – thanks for passing the thought along. I ordered the fabric today – hopefully, all will fall in place quickly.

  7. This is what I love about blogging – how nice of you to be excited! I can’t even say my husband is excited – but I am. Fingers crossed it goes fast. I’m not as patient as “office chair.”

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