before and afterchairs

before & after: hannah’s chair + jennae’s mirror

by Grace Bonney

today’s first before & after project comes from d*s reader . hannah truly had some visionary skills with this project because when is saw the before picture i thought, “oh hell no”. hannah found this rotten iron back nursing chair on ebay for a steal and discovered that the only parts that weren’t rotten were the legs and iron frame itself. it was truly a nightmare. but hannah pushed through and stripped down the chair to its frame and re-built and reupholstered the chair using fabric. she polished the legs and arms (some of the few non-rotting parts of the original chair) and now- voila! a brand new chair. i am so impressed with this project- well done, hannah! to see more images on hannah’s site.

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for jennae’s mirror makeover after the jump!

i love sunburst mirrors, so it’s always fun to see people find a way to create them using inexpensive materials. jennae at found a small, inexpensive sunburst mirror on etsy and decided to expand it by adding bamboo barbecue skewers and painting the whole thing black. i love the expanded look and the clever use of skewers. thanks for sharing, jennae!

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  • Holy crow that chiar makeover is A-mazing!!! I never would have thought it possible from the before pictures. The fabric selection is perfect. Incredible!

  • WOW! Now the chair is most impressive, but Hannah, what is even more impressive is the drive and motivation and follow-through you had to complete this gorgeous chair.

    For someone like me who has issues with procrastination, hesitation and over all resistance, you are truly an inspiration! Bravo!!!!

  • I have a very similar chair in a lot better shape. I’ve been wanting to have it reupholstered but was worried the cost would be crazy. Does anyone know what it might cost to have that done? Hannah’s chair looks gorgeous!

  • Wow! That chair is beautiful and a huge pat on the back to Hannah for her vision, hard work and execution. Definitely one of the best ever transformations.

  • Does anybody know of any upholstery classes in San Francisco? I’m dying to learn how to do this. (Hannah is very brave!)

  • A-MA-ZING! I have collected many pieces of throw-away furniture in my garage and they are still sitting there with fabulous ideas attached to them but no time and motivation to follow thru…bravo for putting forth all that effort into the chair, it’s GORGEOUS!!

  • WOW Hannah, gorgeous job! I have just one question for you… how did you not barf while you were peeling off all those old rotting chair parts?

  • WHOA amazing job with the chair! I would love to hear more about the process because that is just crazy impressive!

    and the mirror is amazing as well! Very do-able! I would definitely try it so thank you for sharing the idea!

  • I’m having a hard time even imagining that chair makeover was possible, physcially or mentally. My applause! The end product is gorgeous.

  • Both are amazing! The chair looks absolutely stunning. Upholstering chairs like that l is way harder than I ever expected (especially with all those rounded edges!) and this one turned out gorgeous!

    The mirror project is sooo creative!

  • Oh. My. Word. That chair is stunning – what a transformation. I can’t believe some people have the vision to see through the despair of a piece of furniture and turn it into something so gorgeous. Big claps to Hannah! L x
    PS Okay, the mirror’s not bad either. Damn these creative folk with their skills and vision ;o)

  • I grew up when it seemed like sunburst mirrors and clocks were everywhere. I got tired of them when I was a child, never took to them again and have been astonished to seem them come back in style. But you got me with that “after” mirror. It’s fantastic.

  • I’ve seen chairs that bad before – it’s a labor of love to get them together again. But totally worth it in the end. Lovely job! Heres to lasting another few decades!

  • wow. I literally said “EW” in the most disdainful to-myself-voice I have EVER used when I saw that chair before. That re-do took some serious cajones, and the after is a reflection of a truly well done DIY. Nice work! Also the mirror looks great, but I’m afraid it’s been overshadowed by my awe for that chair.

  • Per the chair designer’s website…she’s a student studying Advanced Traditional and Modern Upholstery at the Metropolitan University in London. She is very obviously extremely talented. You must see the Heico chair she’s done on her website…she designed her own fabric specifically to display the decorative nails! Amazing!

  • that CHAIR! I am a chair FREAK and have worked SO hard on some of my chairs, but this one is beyond what I have ever come close to doing. How long did it take?! GORGEOUS in every way, I am SO inspired!!!

  • that chair is gorgeous, I have some queen anne style chairs (i think) that I am planning on reupholstering, thanks for showing it can be done with some hard work.

  • Amazing chair! I wish I had those skills. Is it crazy to love the raw iron fram underneath as much as I do? It us almost too cool to cover up! Guess it wouldn’t be too comfy though.

  • I can’t believe anyone would sell that chair in the first photo. It’s even harder to believe that someone actually bought it.

    But it’s such a huge transformation and looks beautiful afterwards.

  • Thanks to everyone who commented about my mirror! I appreciate it. But you’re right — it’s completely overshadowed by that amazing chair makeover! I stand in complete awe that:
    1. Someone would sell it in that condition
    2. 1. Someone would BUY it in that condition
    3. Someone was able to transform it into that incredible, almost unbelievable after. That is a chair I’d love to curl up in!

  • Thank you so much for the chair love. I’m feeling a little choked reading the comments.

    Yes, I am indeed a mad woman for actually buying the chair – but I love a challenge! In the image on ebay the legs looked pretty special even though one of them had been broken off and the proportions of the chair looked pretty good – the back not too high and the seat deep and wide. The metal frame needed a lot of cleaning and I actually painted it yellow. Again, madness – but I like that there is something beautiful hidden inside that someone will find in years to come. The total cost of the stuffings and wood for the frame came to around £80. The fabric is £55 a metre – I used almost 4m – so not cheap… but hey

    Jennae your mirror is beautiful. The black is so slick and the bamboo additions make it almost architectural – great vision Jennae…

  • I love this chair – and I’m so glad they kept the brown color of the legs, rather than paint them a shiny white – much more timeless looking.

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