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French Chair Makeover

I’m a procrastinator of the worst kind. Sometimes that gets me into trouble, and sometimes it works out okay. This was one of the okay times.

neutral living room sideview

Months ago I bought three yards of this buffalo check fabric to recover my dining room chairs and then never got around to doing it.

When I found these French-style chairs at an estate sale in January, I started to look for a fabric to have them recovered in. (Several people mentioned that they liked the blue and white fabric that was on them, and I did too, but it was too stained and faded to keep.)

French Bergere chairs and ottoman

I thought I would go with a simple, solid fabric. Maybe a linen. But some of those I asked for advice (my mom and my friends Mary and Kathleen) encouraged me to think about a pattern. After looking and not finding just the right fabric, I realized I already had it in the buffalo check.

I ordered some more yardage and Chuck, my reupholsterer, did the heavy lifting.

vintage bergere buffalo check chair detail

Chuck guesses that these chairs are probably from the 1960s. I like knowing that kind of stuff.

vintage bergere chair reupholstered in buffalo check fabric

I knew I wanted to use the chairs in front of the living room fireplace, but I was unsure what to do with the ottoman. There wasn’t room for it in front of the chairs, because of the coffee table (which I wanted to keep). Eventually I decided to use it as an end table.

ottoman used as side table

Some estate sale coffee table books and a silver tray provide flat surfaces on top and turn it into a table of sorts. And they can easily be moved if we need the ottoman for extra seating.

ottoman as side table

And the silver tray? It was the result of more procrastinating, that I blogged about here.

silver tray on ottoman

Procrastination comes full circle in the living room.

neutral living room


This post is part of Metamorphosis MondayNifty Thrifty Tuesday, Tablescape Thursday, Feathered Nest Friday, Weekend Bloggy Reading, and The Scoop.

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  1. Your chairs look great Julie. I have always been a fan of buffalo check fabric. The color is perfect in your room. What a cozy place to sit by the fireplace. Great idea to use the ottaman as a side table.

    1. Thank you, Yarlette. Isn’t buffalo check great? I love it everywhere I see it.

  2. Esther Washburn Booth says:

    I love the new look. I am also a fan of buffalo check. Please let me know where you purchased the fabric. Thanks

    1. Esther, I got it from the Country Curtains catalog/website.

  3. Jennifer Moorhead says:

    Gorgeous! I’m a huge fan of buffalo check. I love how you styled your vintage books by opening a page and turning it over before tying with ribbon. I’m going to steal that idea! May I ask for Chuck’s information? I’m looking for an upholsterer, and he did a great job on the chairs. Thanks! Really enjoy your posts.

  4. LOVE the fabric! What a fantastic job! Like the ottoman as table idea, but did you try it between the chairs, in front of fireplace? Just a thought. Might have to move table a bit closer to sofa if you did that placement. Enjoy your blog.

    1. Sherri, I did try that placement, and move it there at times in the future. It just blocked more of the fireplace than I was hoping. Thanks for your suggestion!

  5. G´day Julie,
    I am pretty sure this is my first time to visit your blog. Wow! What a great inspiration!

    I love french-y touches here and there in the house. These chairs are gorgeous and it was well transform.

    Have a great day.

    Greetings from Stockholm,
    /CC girl

    1. Thank you, Lynda. 🙂

  6. Everything in your room is crisp and clean and perfectly together. The new fabric is a great choice.

  7. Love the chairs Julie….the check fabric is wonderful! I saw chairs similar to those except they were armless and not such good quality but the price was way too high for my budget so I passed…..hopefully I’ll find some good ones at an estate sale so I can do the same thing.

  8. Love the chairs Julie. I buy a lot from country curtains. I have been a customer of theirs for over 20 years and I am never disappointed. All of my curtains are from there. Their newest catalog is great, they are keeping up with the trends very well.


  9. Robin Frank ..VISION INTERIORS says:

    Girls …. We have a bunch of buffalo check fabrics in many colors and sizes at CLOSE OUT prices !! We love them too . Julie , your blog is terrific as I’ve told you before . What a talent you have !!!! Back to fabrics …. Tons of in stock fabrics for drapes and upholstery and such super buys !!! If you mention this blog we will honor a 2.00 off discount a yard . And that’s means you too JULIE ..!We are in Leavenworth ,KS …… Come visit

  10. I adore that buffalo check fabric. So I went right to Country Curtains and I do not see it available under their fabrics by the yard. Is it no longer carried, I wonder. I have been wanting to do my chair in that type of fabric in that color! I hope you can help. Love your home and style. I used to live in Kansas City and Overland Park…born and raised there.

    1. Hi Nanci, I think you’re right that the fabric has been discontinued. Such a bummer. I know IKEA has a buffalo check fabric in similar colors, although I’m not sure if it’s durable enough to upholster with. If I run across any somewhere else I’ll try to post about it here. Very neat that you have an OP/KC background. Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. Thanks Julie. I would love to know what you find out as I love that check and that color! Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely!

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