before and after :: glam up our dining chairs
Friday, September 27, 2013 by {darlene}

A few weeks ago, I posted about my ugly duckling table and chairs, and how you can learn to work with the “ugly ducklings” in your home while they must remain there.

Working with your ugly ducks? A super important skill, I might add! Most of us don’t have the cash flow to change every “ugly duckling” over night; and who wants to live in decorating misery? All a part of overcoming decorating paralysis with success.

Well, we finally saved up enough money to have our chairs reupholstered {oh, how I wish I had any desire to DIY. Reupholstering is so pricey!}. And it was a good thing. Small children were regularly falling out of the back of my brilliant Craigslist scores:

glam up chairs

glam up chairs

glam up chairs

 I knew I wanted to head more toward this sort of look:

  glam up chairs


So picking out a fabric…

I would have LOVED to use the real-deal leather. Leather is actually a super practical choice, especially if you go with a leather that has a bit of gloss like in the pic of Brooke Shield’s NYC apartment, above.

But for me, it was still too cost prohibitive. Mostly because if my kiddo’s got a pen-mark, or something devastating on them, I could not afford to reupholster. I needed to pick something that will survive a nuclear holocaust – or kids. Also, this is our only dining table/kitchen table, so I needed practical AND glam. Back to my old love of Farmhouse Simplicity vs. High Gloss Glamour. Knowing that someday I WILL get my dream farmhouse table, a la Little House on the Prairie style, I knew I needed to contrast it with some fun and intentional GLAM!!

So I went with pleather. Oh, yeah, baby. {by the way, what is up with calling things “Vegan Leather?”  lately?? I hope none of you are being duped by this!! The stuff is plastic-leather, affectionately known by the masses as PLEATHER. Please do not purchase a super expensive bag that is marketed as Vegan Leather. Don’t they know that is an Oxymoron??}

Back to my pleather. I chose a gold faux leather with a supple feel and a bit of sheen from here. Love this site because they allow you to get some free samples to get you started. I may or may not have made my husband get an account so I could order even more free samples. I picked out this Antique Gold:

Kovi antique gold

So, here are the finished chairs. Which I ADORE!

{They wipe clean, my friends. They wipe clean.}

glam up chair glam up chair2

It was so nice to get these done before baby {ah. the miraculous motivation of nesting}.  Now for the albatross that is my dining table. Someday! And in the meantime, I am THRILLED that my kiddos can still color, and get crafty with their food products… all at the family table.





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Labeled: before and after


  • i let out a gasp! love!

  • I love them!

    We have an old table, from the early 1900’s, and I love that the kids use it for acrylic painting and modpodge and melted crayon art, with no fears. The day will come when I have a pristine table…for the grand kids to mess up!

  • That gold is amazing!

  • Those are GORGEOUS! Love the material you picked and the nailheads – all of it! You made me chuckle with the pleather/vegan leather discussion. You’re right! People will try any slant to sell anything to anyone. Ha!
    I remember when I found your Decorating Paralysis series because that’s when I started following you. I like it when you link back to some of those older posts. They are so helpful and I like to re-read them as inspiration – heading over there right now! Have a great weekend, Darlene and family. :) Sharon

  • I love them!!!! They look beautiful and the fact that you used Pleather is amazing! Great for all the spills and crayon markings by the kiddos!!!


  • Darlene–these are so lovely! I love the gold color you chose. Also…your table looks identical to the one we just painted and made farmhouse-y. Same grain, color, and leaves. Anyhow…just keep it in mind if you are interested in painting! My post today shows the before and afters. :)

  • So I am so glad you brought up this whole vegan leather issue and now I know I am not alone! Seriously, I saw that term and!?!?!!?!?

    Love your chairs! I gave half of my kitchen chairs to my housekeeper in Ukraine because I was going to quickly (bwahahahahaha!) refinish the table and buy some new chairs since how hard could that be in the US? Riiiiiiiiight. Still have the same old finish and two of us are on wooden folding chairs. {sigh…life…}

  • Love them! And my brother-in-law had a funny joke about vegan jackets years ago… too funny!

  • They’re wonderful! You’re so inspirational :)

  • Beautiful!! I think the gold sheen is so pretty. Looks great against that exposed brick, seriously. I like the freedom to take daily, small bites toward the home I dream of. Perfect.
    Take care Momma! xoxo
    p.s. I am sorta surprised you want a farmhouse, how funny! LOL

  • gorgeous, love how you work within budget but don’t give up on beauty and your dreams. Also, very happy to see you posting again.

  • I must tell you that you said ‘gold toned pleather’ and my eyes did an auto-roll! Main thought was EEK! Seriously? Love it! I think it’s gorgeous! Would be gorgeous on a pearlized white frame and with a lightly distressed farmhouse table? oooo…..lightheaded! Yeah baby! Gorgeous!

    So glad that you shared baby pics! She is just as pretty as her Mama. I do feel sorry for her with Daddy and three older brothers she won’t date til she’s 30!!!

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