Friday, February 27, 2009

Re-Upholstering a Shabby Chair with Vintage Embroidered Linens

Sentimental Baby Boomer

Like many sentimental baby boomers, I have drawers filled with older linens passed down from mom and grandma. Grandma Sophie (who I warmly discuss in my first book Hot Kitchen Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s) is very special to me. She embroidered everything, from challah covers to pillow cases. Almost everything grandma owned had her personal stitchery added.
So when I walked into one of my favorite little Shabby style antique shops this week and found two whimsical vintage chairs with hand embroidered linens that reminded me of grandma, my cottage-y heart went boom boom boom.
Getting Rid of the "Stuff"

I really wanted to buy these chairs, but there is one big dilemma, my house has just been through a MAJOR make-over. At this very moment in time, there is nothing cottage-y about my home at all. All the collections and tag sale finds are gone. ( O.K. almost all gone...still work in progress). I just finished a two year (felt like two decades) renovation, re-do and purge, dumping years of "stuff" and selling the rest.

So now that I am starting from scratch again....there is actually room in my home for some wonderful one- of- a- kind funky, shabby, chairs. Boy do I wish I had found these chairs before I painted my bedroom walls over three times (Nobody's perfect!). So let me tell you more about these chairs that I have my heart set on.
“Shabby-tized Chairs”
The chairs have been “shabby-tized” (my way of saying, they took dark old wood furniture and painted them white) and then there is a mixture of different older hand embroidered textiles forming a lovely unified look. Never, I repeat never throw out soiled, tattered or torn vintage linens, especially ones with hand embroidered detail. You can always work these charming textiles into new projects such as throw pillows, dust ruffles, chair coverings and more.

You will find lots of ways to create a cottage style feeling in my book Hot Cottage Collectibls for Vintage Stytle Homes.

The chairs shown here are from the collection at The Bleu Willow in Simsbury, CT

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

Email me at

Visit my website,

Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment