Thursday, March 25, 2010

upholster this!

Like my baboushka? Dig my quilted pants? I swear I saw Grandma's sweater at Anthropologie last week

Anna Maria Horner Volumes in Gold

When my grandmother died 12 years ago, we all converged on her house is Muskegon and took stock of her life. My god, her house that had been a whole world to me as a child looked so tiny without her in it. My aunt Winnie and I stood in her bedroom when all the furniture had been taken out of it. Was it this small the whole time? Was she small? Physically maybe, but in personality she was a mighty force. While she never had a lot of money, the lady had a lot of style. Her home was always impeccable. We owe our beautiful Heywood Wakefield furniture to her. 

Grandpa and Grandma at the beach at lake Michigan with my aunt Connie

Anna Maria Horner Volumes in Rose

She had left little post it notes on the backs of things with people's names on them. She wasn't going to let that wooden crucifix or crystal duck go to just any old relative. I was the lucky recipient of these two beautiful chairs. I remember my grandfather sitting in the tall one filing his nails. He had worked for years in an auto parts factory and one of his nails was actually worn away from the repetitive motion of whatever his particular job was. My grandmother would sit in the short chair. I remember her always in an apron her hands bright red from scrubbing dishes. My grandmother taught me how to fish, how to whip potatoes with a hand mixer, and how to keep a home like a lady. I want to do her proud. 

Grandpa and Grandma's chairs

Amy Butler Coreopsis in aqua

The fabric on the chairs has seen better days. I've been reticent to have them recovered because they are filled with so many memories. But Mary would never have had threadbare chairs in her living room. So here's the deal. I've been looking high and low for fabric that suits the chairs, and would look great with our existing furniture. No easy task. As my friend Greer of the hilarious Dear Greer said when she "goes to fabric shows it's like a Marriot lobby threw up" on her lap. SO much ugliness. So little hope. 

Amy Butler Coreopsis in green

I had some beautiful fabric that I found at Michael Levine, but my upholsterer just informed me that it wasn't nearly enough for both chairs. SO I'm using that on a little 50's chair that my neighbor set out by his trash last fall. It's just the right size for Jack's room, and it swivels, which I'm sure will be a winner with him. But that means I'm back to square one with grandmas chairs. 

Amy Butler Coreopsis in peach

Throughout this post are my top options so far. I'm open to suggestions. Both of our couches are dark chocolate brown. Our furniture is all blond (champagne) Heywood Wakefield. I want something fun. Something modern. Something that might even be a little clashy, while still fitting in with our  "apricot fluff" walls and our crazy  Anthropologie pillows. What do you think?

Amy Butler full bloom in orange


  1. I heart all the Amy Butler fabrics! I fell in love with this one when I was looking for Queen Anne's lace prints after our wedding:

    Though for your chairs my vote (s) would be the full bloom in orange, or maybe the coreopsis in green. The chairs are so lovely!

  2. thanks! Amy Butler is a textiles genius. I love that full bloom too. I love the coreopsis in green, but I worry about little jam covered fingers all over it!

  3. It is hard to tell without seeing the actual fabric in the room but my favorite of what is shown is Amy Butler Coreopsis in aqua. The rest are too girly for Nipper and Jack - although I love full bloom in Orange.

    And I have totally been eyeing up the pillows in Anthropology.

  4. my vote would be the coreopsis in aqua, because it has that golden color to tie in with the apricot fluff walls. :)

    i am also madly in love with ikea textiles, although i have never had a chance to use them. the frederikia line has a lovely colorful flower option:

    there is also warehouse fabrics, inc., which i have never ordered from but have ogled. geometric option:

    i am entirely too enchanted with fabric. i am gonna stop now.

  5. I'm ordering a yard of each fabric that got a vote. I'll photograph them in the room, and then we'll have another round of votes. Yahooeee!

  6. i've never seen this post...thanks for the call out!