Dining chair re-do

I’m super excited about my latest home project. I replaced the fabric on the seats of my dining room chairs, and I think they look great.

The last time you saw our dining room, it was in the pink room, but we switched it with the red “reading” room a few weeks ago, so the dining table is now in front of the fireplace. Our dining table is old and antique and… so boring. It’s a very nice table, I’m sure, but it isn’t necessarily my favorite style. It suits our house, though, and we’re not in the market for a new one at this point. So I wanted to do something to spruce it up a little without doing anything drastic or permanent (I suggested painting it and Andy gave me a resounding “no”).

So here’s our dining room BEFORE:

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* note the cat toy on the floor. They’re everywhere.
* also note the paint chips on the wall. Yes, a new paint color is in this room’s near future. Love the red, but I really can’t live with it anymore. We’re going lighter and brighter.

Here’s a close-up of the fabric before. It was boring and kinda dingy and really grandma, but not in a trendy grandma-style kind of way. And yeah, this set was my grandma’s, so it makes sense.

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Here’s our dining room NOW:

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Woo, it’s the same old dining set, but way better. It’s so much more us. I love that the flowers almost look like records. Or giant polka dots. It’s graphic, fun and young and not too girly.

So here’s what I did. First I special ordered four fat quarters of fabric from Skinny Laminx on Etsy. Heather Moore makes the most adorable prints, and you can order any of them in a fat quarter, which just happens to be the exact size I needed for the base of my chairs, and the weight of the fabric is appropriate for upholstery, too, which is great. I was sure to measure my chair seats just about one million times before ordering, because this fabric came all the way from South Africa and there was no turning back.

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Then it was just a matter of popping the seats off of my chair frames, which turned out to be way easier than expected. Like, maybe too easy and I don’t think seats should come off that fast, but whatever. Then I centered the fabric on the seat, upside down, and turned it over to make sure I was happy with the placement. I purposefully chose a fabric pattern that didn’t require too much precision — no straight lines that needed to be perfect — to keep things easier. Turning the seat upside down again, I just used a staple gun to go all the way around, starting in the center of each edge and pulling gently to make sure I didn’t leave any wrinkles on the good side. I put a staple every 2 inches. I thought stapling into the wood frame would be difficult and actually expected to need Andy’s help, but I was able to do this whole project by myself. Around the edges, I worked with the fabric and folded it until it looked nice and flat on the good side, and then I reinforced it with a few extra staples to keep things snug. When I had gone all the way around with the stapler, I trimmed the excess fabric away and popped the seats right back onto the frame. Voila, it’s almost like a whole new dining set.

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Trixie tested and Trixie approved.

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What do you think? It makes me excited to get this room repainted and maybe actually eat meals in here…

Wait. What? Eat at the table? Isn’t that what couches are for?! But no, really, we should probably start eating at the table like grown ups.

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