Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PROBLEM CHILD---The Upholstery Mini Nightmare

Finally......these guys have made it to completion...almost.

This is what the chairs looked like when I acquired them

This what they looked like while being painted

When I had completed painting the chair frames, I had a difficult time deciding what fabric to upholster them in. The fabric had to be appropriate for the period and design of the frames without looking "Grandmotherly"--so I first purchased a deep gray velvet, but wasn't happy. Then I purchased a top quality linen in a Chinese Chippendale pattern.......too boring. Finally, I found the perfect fabric--a top quality velvet printed in an abstract/ethereal lime green, ivory and gray pattern. I knew that there would be just enough fabric for the chairs, but just in case there wasn't enough for the welting, the gray velvet would be a perfect accent. Off the chairs went to Lalo (with whom I have worked for almost 6 years). Four days later I get a call from, there isn't enough fabric for both chairs!!! Lalo had cut and completed one chair without making sure he had enough fabric for both chairs and the welting. I have been doing upholstery for almost 25 years and I used to make my own clothes--so I really do know how to make the best of yardage and how to measure--Lalo had obviously been very careless and wasteful. And of course, I couldn't get any more of that fabric.........So I found another great fabric, but had to buy 7 yards and spend another $140. Lalo dropped off the chairs yesterday, when I wasn't at the shop. When I went over the work this morning, I noticed that pieces of straw were dropping out of the bottom of the chair. Lalo was supposed have replaced all of the insides--many times early 20th c. chairs (and period chairs) had padding created with horsehair and straw. When Angie and I turned the chairs over, the bottom liner was the old stained fabric!!! So when Lalo came to pick up his payment, off the chairs went again to have their undersides worked on......Ayyyyyyy!

But do love how these guys turned out

I think Lalo is going to be very surprised when I deduct the cost of the original fabric that I had given him. But perhaps he will be more careful the next time.

Next Up
The Jacques Adnet style occasional folding tables are ready. And they are show-stoppers!! I think I will hold off with cutting the 1/2" glass--the buyer can decide the dimensions of the glass top.


I love the vintage 1980s faux bamboo brass frame. And the workmanship is fantastic. Now that I have this new employee of the leather craftsmen (this is the shop that crafts all of the Disneyland fantasy costume shoes) who can do superb custom leather, I have started designing again.  Let's see what I come up with.

It's getting late and Mr Jones is starting to prowl as he waits for me to go to bed.
Hope you all have a wonderful spring day.

Mary & Jones & Cole


  1. Mary, so stunning! I love the fabric on the Chair/ is it more like a mini loveseat? The lines are gorgeous!! I can picture a designer snapping it up quickly!

    The Arts by Karena
    A New Gallery in Town!

    1. Hi Karena--Thank you. These are small bergeres--it's just the angle of the photo that makes them look bigger. Have a super day! M

  2. Ouch! I've been there and feel your pain. But gosh they look divine!!! So chic! I'm back to a normal blogging schedule - cheers

    1. Hi Loi, Lalo was very apologetic and agreed that he should cover the cost of the ruined fabric--I'm overjoyed that I could salvage that relationship. So glad that you are back to posting; I've missed you! xoxo Mary

  3. Great job - soon the under belly will be as smart as the top!

    1. Hi Gesbi, Thank you so much. Yes, the underbelly is looking just fine now!! Have a super week. xoxo Mary