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Before you ditch that old piece of furniture, read this

When you need a piece of furniture, you would head to a furniture or home accessories store, right? Well, this tattered, old chair was found in a ditch. Yes! This designer’s client found it in a ditch and brought it home to be redesigned to perfection. Terry Edward Briceland walks us through the process of how this chair went from ripped and worn to fabulous and practically brand new.

As much as I loathe clichés and the old saying ‘One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure,’ you can’t help but see their point when you check out this ‘Ditch Chair’. Why is it called the ‘Ditch Chair’ you ask? Because our client literally found it in a ditch.

What was Melanie doing in a ditch? We didn’t ask and we don’t want to know. What we do know however is how to take something tattered, torn and left for dead and reincarnate it with a new soul so it’s worthy of any regal palace, or even just your very own living room.

From old to new – be prepared to spend $$$

This chair was pretty much DOA when it arrived on our doorstep. The fabric was  rotted and crusty that it actually crackled and crumbled into pieces in our hands when we touched it. The structure was about as sturdy as a baby giraffe learning to take its very first steps.

If you are ever lucky enough to find a chair in the ditch or even at a garage sale for peanuts, you need to remember that bringing it back to life is an investment that can be costly.  So be sure that your ‘Ditch Chair’ is super cool and that you are prepared to spend some bucks. This is especially true if the structure needs to be repaired. Details like tufting and nail heads will also add to the cost. But hey, you found the chair in a ditch, so at least that part of the expense is already taken care of!

Side note: If the thought of shopping around for furniture in a ditch doesn’t sound too pleasing, why not visit one of our furniture or home accessories stores? Find one in your local area and head on over to see their wide selections!

Want to see a really neat before and after? This expert shows us how she reupholstered a dining room chair:

And before we show you the big reveal, take a look at these before and afters:


Fabric Selection

When selecting your fabric, you need to think about the usability of the chair:

  • Are you actually going to sit in it and use it on a daily basis?
  • Is it just for show and meant to accent your décor?

If it is meant to be sat on regularly, or if you have kids that just can’t keep their dirty little kid fingers off of your nice things, then you need to put some thought and investigation behind your fabric choice. Faux leather and outdoor fabrics are a great option when fears of smeared peanut butter and SpaghettiOs are high.

But, if your Ditch Chair is just to look at and be a pretty little focal point in your room (our most favourite option, of course) then the world is your oyster my friend. Let the creativity flow and set sail to oceans of fabric options abound. Found a great silk you adore? No problem. You want to keep it natural with that amazing, lightweight linen you saw? Absolutely.

Toss that dusty old rule book in the garbage, throw caution to the wind and don’t look back.

The average chair reupholster project requires 7 yards of fabric. Using this logic, we break down the different types of fabric you could purchase and how much the project would cost you.

Don’t forget: this is just an estimate and only represents material cost. To have a chair (or other piece of furniture found in a ditch!) reupholstered costs extra!

Ta-Da! The chair makeover:

the reveal

So next time you find yourself in a ditch for whatever reason, firstly, call your best friend to come and find you. While you wait for your ride to arrive, have a look around for some abandoned furniture pieces left behind to rot. You never know – your very own ‘Ditch Chair’ may be staring you right in the face.

And if searching through ditches isn’t your forte, we’ve got you covered. The design experts at our furniture and home accessory stores are waiting to help you find that perfect piece of furniture to complement your space.

About the Author: Terry Edward Briceland is the creative dictator of teb Interiors, offering complete interior design services with a specialty in custom sewing and upholstery.

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