How to Upholstered Wood Dining Chairs
Do you have an ugly wood dining room table? One that was a bargain at a garage sale or a family hand me down? Do you dream of having upholstered wood dining chairs?
Do you spend countless hours scrolling through Pinterest to find the perfect dining room table and chairs? And then, you see it, you stop scrolling and you daydream of how that table would look in your dining room.
I envisioned my table having a few upholstery chairs like this inspirational photo above from Pottery Barn. My dining room was too dark with all the wood that was in the small dining room area.
I kept telling myself that I could upholster 2 of the existing wood chairs and paint the rest. Painting the dining table was the easy part, the upholstery, not so much. I went back and forth on my decision to DIY upholstered wood dining chairs, because what if I failed, and reunion 2 of my chairs.
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I decided I would forget the whole DIY upholstery and bought some chairs similar to these from Wayfair. After I purchased them, brought them home, put them together and they sat looking so pretty in my dining room.
Now, I had the dilemma of having 10 dining room chairs because my table had 8 and now I just added 2 more and had no room for 10 chairs. What was I thinking?
Guess what happened, I changed my mind and decided I did not need the extra chairs and I would use what I have. Look at it, I did it, they turned out pretty good for my first attempt! Now let’s show you how I did it!
Here is a DIY card to make it easy for the steps to be in one place and you can print the card to have with you as you take on your upholstery project.
Upholstered Wood Dining Chairs Active Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour Difficulty: advanced Turn a plain wood chair into an upholstered beauty. Print Materials Upholstery Fabric
Button Cover Kit
Cardboard Strip or Upholstery Tack Strip
Spray Adhesive Tools Scissors
Measuring Tape Instructions Make a cardboard template for the chair back. Place that template on 1/8 inch hardboard and use a jigsaw to cut out the shape. My chair backs had a curve to them so I needed the thinner hardboard so it would curve with the chair. If you have a straight back chair, use a thicker hardwood for the back. If you are lucky enough to have a solid back chair, omit this step. Cut out the foam. Place the hardboard back and chair seat on foam and trace. Cut the foam shapes using an electric knife or scissors. Attach the hardboard to the back of the chair using the appropriately sized screws for the thickness of your wood and chair. Using spray adhesive, attach the foam to the hardboard on the chair back. Layout the marks for tufting. If you have a flat back chair you can omit the tufting. Begin the tufting process. Staple front upholstery to the back of the chair. Carefully adjust the tufting on the front before securing the back. This is an important step. Place back fabric on top of the chair and place a thin cardboard strip on top of the fabric. Staple the cardboard and fabric in place. The cardboard creates a clean edge when flipping over. Staple flex-gripon to sides of chairs. The direction of the flex-grip is important, it needs to be placed on the open side facing out to the edges. Place batting on the back, pull down fabric and begin to secure the back fabric in flex grip. Trim off excess fabric and tuck into the flex-grip. Gently close the flex-grip with a hammer. Finish bottom edge by folding the fabric under itself to make a clean edge around the chair back. Using a button cover kit, make buttons and glue over the washers using E6000 Upholster the seat cushion. Notes See blog post for details on tufting with power tools.
How to calculate fabric
I found this great post from the online fabric store, Calculating Fabric Yardage for your Project. They also share some upholstery charts with images of furniture with the yards needed for that type of furniture. It is a great resource that will help you to determine how much fabric you will need for your upholstery project.
My chair took slightly over 1 yard of fabric. This will vary based on the width of the fabric you choose.
How to Upholster Wood Chairs
Make a cardboard template for the chair back. Place that template on a 1/8 inch hardboard and use a jigsaw to cut out the shape. My chair backs had a curve to them so I needed the thinner hardboard so it would curve with the chair. If you have a straight-back chair, use thicker hardwood for the back. If you are lucky enough to have a solid back chair, omit this step.
Now cut out the foam and fabric. Cut the foam to the exact size of your template. Place the hardboard back and chair seat on foam and trace. Cut the foam shapes using an electric knife. I find using an electric knife is much easier than using hand scissors. This is the 2-inch foam that I prefer to use for the seat cushions. When cutting out the fabric, measure the width, and add the depth of the foam cushion. Also, add an extra 2 to 3 inches extra for wrap-around and tufting.
Example: My chair back measures 20w x 24h. I added 4 extra inches for foam and 3 extra for wrap and tufting. I cut a 27w x 31h piece of fabric for the front.
Attach the hardboard to the back of the chair using the appropriately sized screws for the thickness of your wood and chair.
Using spray adhesive, attached foam to hardboard on the chair back.
Layout the marks for tufting. Remember I said my chair back was curved, so I needed to tuft the chair in order to keep the fabric flat against the chair back. If you have a flat back chair you can omit the tufting.
The easiest way to lay out the tufting marks was to find the center horizontally and vertically. I measured and marked the tufting spots from the center lines(5 inches). I thought my chairs would look best with 5 rows. Your chair may be a different size so you will need to determine your measurements on your chair. Using scissors, cut an “X” over each tufting mark. The x is done so you can feel where to place your screw when tufting since you place batting and fabric over your marks. Place batting over the foam.
UPDATE: I recommend that you treat your fabric before adding it to your chairs. I used a fabric repellant on my chairs after they were done and I have a small rust spot on the back where the fabric tact must have been wet from the fabric spray. So AVOID the whole thing by treating your fabric before you upholster. I am just trying to save you the work of replacing the fabric later like I need to do. UGH!
Begin the tufting process. I use these 3/4 inch washers and 1-inch wood screws to do my tufting. Yes, you heard that right, washers and screws to do tufting! If you would like more detailed instructions on this tufting process, stop over to read my DIY tufted coffee table bench. I have the complete instructions for that post.
Since I did not have a solid back, I had to add a few wood pieces to the middle tufting row so those screws were secure. All but 3 screws went directly into the chair wood, so there is no going back now!
Staple front upholstery to the back of the chair. Please refer to this Tufted Coffee Table Bench, on how to carefully adjust the tufting on the front before securing the back. This is an important step.
Place back fabric on top of the chair and place a thin cardboard strip on top of the fabric. Staple the cardboard and fabric in place. The cardboard creates a clean edge when flipping over.
I made my own cardboard strip or you can purchase an upholstery tack strip.
Staple flex-grip on to sides of chairs. The direction of the flex-grip is important, it needs to be placed on the open side facing out to the edges. See the picture above, because I placed it incorrectly the first time and had to remove it and do it again. Learn from my mistakes.
Place batting on the back, pull down fabric, and begin to secure the back fabric in flex grip.
Before closing the flex grip, trim off excess fabric and tuck into the flex-grip.
Tip: I used an envelope opener to tuck the fabric into the flex grip before and after trimming the extra fabric.
Gently tap the flex-grip closed.
Finish bottom edge. I folded the fabric under itself to make a clean edge around the chair’s back.
Staple the fabric to the underside chairback.
Using a button cover kit, make buttons and glue over the washers using E6000 . Again, click here for detailed tufting instructions. The benefit to gluing on the buttons covers, if one pops off, you just glue it back in place. With traditional tufting, if a button comes off, the tufting thread broke and that is not as easy as gluing on a button cover.
Would I do it again? Yes, if I already had the chairs. It was a difficult process so I would recommend tufting something else first like this first.
I am so pleased with how these tufted dining chairs turned out, they are not perfect as this was my first attempt with upholstering wood dining chairs.
Make sure to stop over and see how I painted the rest of my table with this Dining Table Makeover.
Have you taken on a DIY project like this?
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26 Modern Living Room Ideas That Will Make You Rethink Your Design Aesthetic
Modern home design is often viewed as cold, stark and maybe even a little bit boring. The reality is, it is anything but. There are many design avenues that can be taken to achieve a fresh and elevated space — even if you're working with a family-friendly living room or looking for small living room ideas. A touch of modern design can be incorporated into any living room, no matter what the overall feel of the home is.
Sleek floor-to-ceiling windows, custom built-ins, the right accessories, including stylish rugs, and grand architectural elements can create a modern living environment filled with both visual interest and functionality. Wallpaper, art and pops of colorful fabric can all result in a modern, chic and inviting space. A fresh coat of paint (especially if it's one of our favorite living room paint colors) can revamp your space in an instant, even if it's only an accent wall.
To help you get inspired, check out these dreamy modern living room ideas, which are full of 2022 design trends. There's something for everyone, whether you want to make a large living room feel cozy, design the perfect modern living room for your apartment or need creative solutions to distract from the TV. You'll even find a few DIY home decor ideas (like layering in glam touches or hanging an oversized mirror) that work well if you're on a budget.
10 Modern Living Room Interior Design & Decor Ideas You Can Steal
Every single design blogger, architect, interior designer, and home guru on youtube is preaching "modern," "modern," "MODERN!". It's because Modern is a broad genre of design and makes room for variety, thereby not constraining you and your sensibilities. Indeed, there is an official definition of this interior design style floating somewhere, but we find it easy to understand what it is not, rather than what it is.
Modern design does not follow a set template - it channels the art movement predominant in this period. Present-day modern decor involves many movements- Minimalism, Bohemian, Eclecticism, Rustic, and Millenial tropics.
And a common thread that we see running in contemporary decor is that it has future pointing. Here are some modern living room ideas for you.
1. Keep It Minimalistic
Modern minimal usually espouses clean lines and a uniform color scheme. A living room with a running color scheme across the walls, the furniture, the paintings, and the light, creates those clean lines.
The central theme to a minimal living room that isn't bland is to have an accent piece. It could be a sofa, art, or even sculptural decor complemented by other minimal parts in the room. Minimal living rooms are not afraid of highlighting excess space, making the area look bolder and chicer.
2. A Modern Bohemian Decor
What's fantastic about bohemian-themed decor is that you can use as many colors or as little color and bling as you like. Bohemian decor plays with different textures- mostly of ethnic weaves. For instance, the above design is made from a heavy-duty display of velvet and suede.
To create an extra dimension, the designer has added a striped center table as well. Go bold with paintings and art since boho gives you the license to do just that. This modern living room is for you if you love putting colors, prints, and textures out there.
3. Mid-Century Modernism With Eclectic Vibes
This style evolved out of a need to revive furniture and art from the mid-'50s. The plushness of metal and wood was a movement that picked up pace back then and added that element of luxury to otherwise dull rooms. Look for sofas that have wide seats and broad headboards. Add poufs as they're making a huge comeback.
Eclecticism also gives you a license to play with color, but be sure to use metal accents to create a mid-century modern living room.
4. Rustic Living Rooms For Your Environment-Friendly Soul
Rustic living rooms make eco-friendly living incredibly stylish by allowing you to upcycle old family favorites. While designing a modern rustic living room, key things to note are wood accents, a neutral color palette, soft furnishing, and cozy textiles. Now mix this with a couple of modern pieces, and you've got yourself a nice rustic room with a touch of modern.
5. Tropical Theme For a Pop of Color
Millennial living has managed to sneak into the decor, and people across all generations are finding themselves turning into tropical-themed set-ups. There's not too much to do here. Pick solid-colored furniture and rugs (preferably in peaches, creams, and beiges).
Go for plush rug textures that ooze luxury and frame leaf prints. If you want to go bold, you can have a highlight wall that espouses these prints. For added drama, pick up neon-colored elements like the light fixtures displayed on the wall.
6. Transitional Designs For The Conservative Ones
Designers and bloggers alike can be talking about modern design all they want, but if you don’t feel entirely comfortable, there’s no value in adding it to your home. A classic neutral color scheme, paired with some modern-looking furniture pieces, can give you that transitional look and still provide you with enough wow factor.
Adding an accent pop of colors can bring a classic space to a more modern-looking living room without changing too much about the room.
7. Mixing Your Style With Modern Design
Sometimes your home’s design is already set. For example, this space has striking industrial design vibes, but you can still notice the modern influences. By choosing low-profile, mid-century style furniture, you can set an inviting vibe that screams modern aesthetic.
Swapping the light fixture for a modern statement sculpture like this quintessential chandelier is another excellent example of how you can infuse the modern aesthetic with your current style.
Of course, when you do this, you still want to make sure your two styles share some common ground, like the hues, patterns, and metal finishes you work with. Otherwise, it can look like a hot mess that’s neither modern nor industrial in this case.
8. Going All-in With A Dramatic Modern Living Room
If you’re ready to take the plunge and go all-in with your modern decor, then this monochromatic living room must be your source of inspiration. The dramatic statement walls with geometric wallpaper are what sets this room apart. There’s no need to add any wall art, although a rose quartz accessory breaks up the wall and creates an intended focal point. Metallic accents add the modern touch, and the velvety couch adds that contemporary vibe to complete the room.
9. Peace & Serenity In a Modern Design
A modern living room doesn’t have to be about bold statements and accent pieces. Take this space, for example. Its monochromatic white and gray color scheme makes it exude an air of peacefulness and serenity. The key is to add textured accents and natural elements like wood, greenery, and metals to add interest to the space.
Of course, the modern element is brought with clean and sharp lines, velvet-upholstered sofas, and sleek decorative pieces. You will notice that maxi or oversized coffee tables can serve as a great way to make the room seem more spacious for these types of living rooms.
10. Modern Coastal Inspiration
Coastal design is frequently traditional or classic, but it can also be modern and contemporary. For example, this living room features soft blue tones that bring out the ocean reference without being too literal. The rug mimics the ripple pattern a stone makes when dropped in water, and other elements like the crystal coffee table relate to coastal vibes. The low-profile furniture pieces, the accent hints of natural wood, and the clean lines in the furniture bring out the modern vibes.
Decor and design have become so much more accessible than it was a few years ago. Vision boards are easy to find, and quirky home elements are easy to source. We hope you find some inspiration from these ideas.
Need More Modern Design Ideas?
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