Sep 8, 2009

Before & After: Cafe Chairs

It's official --- the apartment T and I now share is just 455 sq feet, not including closets (of which there are many) or the butler's pantry storage. Or the basement storage. You get the point - we don't have a ton of space, but we do have a good amount of storage. Due to the desire to make this "our" home versus "my" home, and the sheer practicality of needing to organize everything to make room for him, we have undertaken quite a few home improvement projects. Yes, we rent, so most of our changes are superficial... but make a HUGE difference, especially in our small space.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting "before" and "after" photos of our projects. It's my favorite feature on Design*Sponge... to which I'll be submitting a few of these projects.

The first one up is a pair of wrought iron chairs I picked up at a local thrift store (Urban Renewals) for $6 each. Man, these things were UGLY. The white paint was chipping, the fabric covering the cushions was hideous and not centered, and the bottoms of the cushions were made of crumbling cardboard.

Nevertheless, I had a vision. A dream, if you will. A dream of a kitchen table with real chairs, not folding chairs from Costco with paint specks and sagging seats, thanks to a careless roommate. I plunked down my $12 and lugged the chairs home.

Off came the wretched plaid fabric. A nice blue striped fabric showed up. Nice... except for the mildew and dirt. Through the crumbling cardboard, a lime green speck caught my eye.

Magnificent!! Lime green, easy-to-clean vinyl that perfectly matches my yellow and white kitchen. No trip to the fabric store needed! I simply re-spray painted the chairs white, stapled on a floral fabric to cover the plywood, and my dream of real chairs became reality. Bonus: I can stand on these sturdy chairs to water my plants!


  1. Berkley10:49 AM

    I love the green!!! I didn't read all the writing and looked at the pics first and thought you had done the fancy green edges (piping??) yourself!!! I was going to sign you up to come to my house...

    still very very cool, I love finds like that.

  2. Anonymous2:41 PM

    LOVE it! i need to repaint the backs and rungs of my kitchen chairs (table + 4 chairs = $40 on craigslist, woot!) to off-white instead of the chipped white primer that is currently on them. i might add a layer of polyurethane to help protect them, too. maybe this winter...and they could use some cushions...hmmm! :) cousin liz


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions! Makes this much more interesting.