6 Times Designers Used Furniture Reupholstery and Paint to Upgrade Old Pieces

Some of Sarah Storms’s favorite pieces in her home are gifted antiques. The New Jersey–based Styled by Storms owner and designer has a pair of petite club chairs from her mother. “She had them recovered in this peach-and-mint flame stitch fabric,” says Storms. Wanting them to flow with the design of her own home a bit more, Storms had the chairs reupholstered in Schumacher Vanderbilt Velvet. “I love the modern-cut velvet pattern with the original wood, which was shined up.”

An Updated Antique Chest

Sometimes all a beautiful antique piece needs are a few small updates, like knobs and hardware, and a little love and care. 

Photo: Amy Owen

This antique wood chest just needed some new hardware. According to Lauren Robbins, owner and lead designer at Lauren Robbins Interiors in Augusta, Georgia, “While many people were quick to repaint wooden chests, we are seeing that brown furniture is back.” So a beautiful family heirloom with details such as inlaid wood doesn’t need much of an update beyond new hardware. Or opt to modernize your sleek wood chest of drawers by updating the art and accessories around it, says Robbins. “The contrast between a 200-year-old chest and a modern fixture can elevate the space.” 

Neoclassical Louis XVI Style Chairs

Painting a piece can totally change the look and feel and open up a wide variety of fabric options. 

Photo: Emily Minton-Redfield

These chairs needed new paint and fabric. Designer and owner Nadia Watts of Nadia Watts Interior Design in Denver had the wood refinished and then painted the frames with a pleasant blueish-gray shade. “We reupholstered the seats and backs with two distinct fabrics and added a braid trim as a welt,” she says. Using two different fabrics created “an element of interest and provided more room for creative expression with color, pattern, and texture,” she says

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