Salvaging a Sleepy Hollow Chair

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.

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.

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

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

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.




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…

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

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!



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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