There is a real trend at the moment for pale furniture, upholstered in natural linen. But some of these pieces come with an astronomical price tag. And it also means that all those darker, heavier pieces are left, unloved, out in the cold. Or out by the road side… And really, it’s just a case of cosmetics. Much of the darker wood furniture has beautiful bones and just needs a fresh look in order to be desirable again.
These two baronial chairs were two such pieces.
The wood is dark and carved, and the dark tapestry upholstery is very dated. however, they are very well-made, expensive (originally) piece of furniture and have lots of life left in them.
I stripped back the upholstery and recovered them in a natural linen, with a stone colour trim. Then I stripped back the varnished wood and painted it chalk white, picking out some of the detailing in the carving in a deeper colour.
The look of these chairs can be changed quite dramatically with a different cushion and a new setting. For winter they look sumptuous with a silk velvet cushion and full dark curtains behind. Whereas they work equally well in a summery-look room, with a white painted floor and a beaded linen cushion.
These gorgeous chairs could have had a range of treatments: black gloss paint with red leather upholstery would have created an exotic oriental look; stripped back wood with a chintz and you’ve got a lovely English country look. For the time being, they can live in a Scandinavian costume…. until next time.