Salvaging a Sleepy Hollow Chair

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When I was first presented with this chair – a Sleepy Hollow gone wrong! – I was a little horrified. This was, supposedly, a “professional” job done by some guys who actually charged for this third-rate workmanship. I felt very sorry for this client, and wanted to do my very best to salvage this could-be gorgeous chair.

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It started out very flat. The only reason I could tell it even was a Sleepy Hollow chair was that the back slanted so far back.

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After stripping the vinyl off, the chair’s potential became much more obvious.

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I googled some images for Sleepy Hollow chairs to find a guide for my new button placement.

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The meagre padding consisted of straw and cotton felt padding. I always attempt to keep an antique authentic, so instead of replacing the old padding with foam I added multiple layers of cotton felt to fill out the form, after teasing the straw to create more bulk.

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The fabric speaks for itself, really. My client was going for Alice in Wonderland, and gave me permission to do whatever I thought would best achieve this ethereal look. Glossy black show wood, shiny nickel studs, diamond tufted psychedelic diamond fabric…

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The new look is totally amazing! I love this transformation.

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It so completely encompasses Alice in Wonderland; an amazing fabric choice by this client! I do not think I would have had the courage to do this on my own. Goes to show what a bit of co-creativity and imagination can come up with!

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12 thoughts

  1. Wow and double wow you just don’t upholster furniture you give it life beautiful now I am thinking I should have my little antique chairs done after Christmas instead of my other sofa

  2. This is a great little adventure you’ve shared, a co-created, brave and glorious result. Thanks for the pictorial journey. This could be contagious…

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