Most of us, at some stage, will inherit a piece of furniture passed down from a grandparent or parent. These pieces are often loaded with emotion; memories of the good times and sorrow at the ending of an era.
Sentimental furniture, especially chairs, are often hardest to deal with. Chairs have soul and character. And changing their appearance, namely reupholstering, often feels like a betrayal.
We inherit them in the condition we remember them in; the fabric grandma choose, the pattern that reminds you of your childhood, the way it fit perfectly in their home. Everything about the chair echoes a time gone by.
So, in some way, you fear that by stripping away the old cloth, you’re stripping away the memories embedded in it.
I know how you feel – I inherited my Dutch grandmother’s fireside chair. My grandparents both had matching bespoke chairs created in 1953 (talk about coincidence that I end up doing bespoke chairs -that’s a blog post for another day!)
My emotional journey and resistance to reupholstering her chair is nearing its natural end. For the past few years I have loved sitting it in, feeling the velvet, now coarse with age, and warm, worn wood under my fingertips. The green and cream stripe even fits with my decor. I have felt loathed to change the way it looks. I don’t want to lose its smell.
But recently, something shifted in me. I am at peace with all this chair embodies. I am ready to reupholster it.
I have chosen a striped velvet that respects the chair’s heritage and my grandmother’s tastes. It’s a contemporary chenille stripe in rose, chocolate, sage and cream. I like to think she would have chosen this fabric too.
My upholstery team know how much this chair means to me. And I know they will treat it with respect and bring it back to life again. I have asked them to save a large square of the original velvet and any tickets or labels they discover.
I can do the same for you.
Together we will discuss the way you want your chair to look. To feel. To respect its heritage while bringing it up-to-date.
I will source fabrics for you. I will collect your chair. I will save a section of the original fabric, plus any labels we discover. We will repair, upholster and deliver it safely home again.
You will forever have the memories of your chair and your loved one. But crucially, you will have a chair that is ready to be cherished for many years to come.
Ready to make new memories for a new generation!
~ Emma x
P.S Vintage upholstered chairs are so on-trend these days too!