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This weekend,
I started re-doing that fabulous little frenchy chair-
( crazy to call it frenchy because it was made in Italy!)

I thought it would be a fairly easy re-do job and I would have it done in no time.
oh boy...
I haven't gotten past getting even a quarter of those stubborn tacks out!

I think the fabric might actually be suede- it is super thick- so it makes it even harder to pull the tacks from it.
I tried to use a flat head screwdriver...
chipped the frame.
Tried the notched pry on my grandfathers trusty hammer...
chipped the frame.
Good thing I was thinking of distressing a little bit anyway...

Shook my head ... a lot... and then...
Cullan came to the rescue
and pulled out the entire front row on the seat.

In about 5 minutes.

I told him he was hired.

We pulled a few more out and then took a break to make dinner,
but should get the rest off today.

I found out that the reason the seat had fallen in a bit when I took the undercover off.
Two of the straps are needing to be re-tacked or replaced.

I am going to try to re tack them and hope that works first-
otherwise, it is off to Ben Franklin for some new pieces.

I am kind of going back and forth with myself on the fabric choice...
a subtle simple fabric,
a beautiful floral,
an elegant brocade or damask
and even a big check pattern.

Here are some of my inspiration pics...

(3 & 4) Charles Faudree

I actually have fairly similar fabrics for any of those looks- with the check being either a yellow or a red.
I am pretty sure I know just what fabric I am doing, but a little on the fence yet...
I am leaving the frame as is for now- I agree with you all, try the fabric change first and see how I feel about it. I would like to find a crusty chair to paint at some point though!

So, any thoughts on the fabric choice?
I am off to pull some more tacks and fix the seat.
Then new fabric!!
Hope you are all having a great Monday!


  1. Can't wait to see the finished chair, I am sure it will be worth the trouble!

  2. Yeah for Cullan!!! I happen to be partial to floral prints but I'm liking the check too! But hey, I know, whatever you pick will be perfect! Good luck with that project! xox

  3. I like floral too and tapestry, etc. There is nothing more rewarding than getting a piece like that finished! I did eight Duncan Phyfe dining chairs this summer, but I also did an antique chaise that had a million tacks and nails. I cannot wait to see your chair!!

  4. Your post gave me a chuckle. Once I decided to reupholster a wing back chair. To make a long story (and it was long...) it was a most difficult task and caused my hubby and I much disagreement. I was proud of it when it was done...but next time I'll have it professionally done! LOL good luck. I can't wait to see it finished. peggy from pa

  5. I just found your lovely blog & look forward to following you on life's many adventures.

  6. I am sitting on 5 pieces of furniture here that need recovered, but just can't find the energy to start them! Your chair is going to look great! I love the first picture of todays post and the fabric in the last photo. Can't wait to see what you choose! Good Luck.

  7. Oh Courtney! What a workout! It seems like it always when we think something is going to be simple that it ends up being way more complicated. I'm kinda partial to the floral or the check but I also could totally see some kind of tapestry. Whatever you decide will be gorgeous as always and just right! :-)
    P.S. Kinda crazy that we both worked on chairs this weekend, huh?

  8. I can totally relate to a DIY project that takes soooo much more time than you would ever have anticipated. Try to enjoy it though I'm sure it will be worth it in the end...can't wait to see the finished project.

  9. Oh I just love the idea of the check. I think it would be so fresh and wonderful. Can't wait to see what you do. Hugs, Marty

  10. I think a linen fabric with a red stripe down the center would be gorgeous, like an old ticking fabric or grainsack :) You would probably have to paint the chair if you did that though ;) Good luck...can't wait to see how it turns out!

  11. Hi Courtney, I have a very similar chair I am planning on recovering. This will be my first attempt at upholstery. I have already bought a red and white buffalo check fabric and now I have to get up the courage to begin. I can't wait to see what fabric you choose. I know your chair will be fabulous!
    xoxo, Sherry

  12. I'm just impressed that you're tackling this project in the first place. Way to go! Thank you for sharing your vision. Cherry Kay

  13. I just realized that my Dad has some chair frames similar to these in storage...hmmmm..wonder if I can get one from him and see what I could with it...

  14. I love the floral inspiration pic!!

  15. Hi, I thought I might weigh in here, I love the first one, in a nice linen perhaps and the last one, but in a suttle check. Those are my thoughts on the subject! That is a gorgeous chair and I know it will look great whatever you do with it.
    Hugs, Cindy

  16. It's going to be beautiful!!I love the floral, and the check.


  17. Well, my vote would be for a floral or a vintage french grain sack (I guess that would fall under the more 'simple' category!) Looks like it will be beautiful no matter what you decide!

  18. I would love to see a floral on the chair but I know you can tire of a pattern like a floral. A damask is more formal but timeless, as is a geometric like a check, but it is more country style than a I guess it depends where the chair is going to go? How about a floral and a check? One on the front and one on the back?

  19. I am just struck by the fact that it is this project in the first place. Way to go! Thanks for sharing.

    French country furniture

  20. Just love that chair! The floral makes me swoon; but whatever you choose will look great! How can you go wrong with that chair?! Look forward to seeing it finished.
    ~ Julie

  21. wow I love toile and paris! I love your inspirations as well! :)

  22. I just found this site while googling "reupholstering bergere chairs" because I am doing the same thing this weekend! I found 2 lovely chairs at the back of a shop that specializes in mid-century retro furniture. The owner wanted to get them off of his hands since they don't fit the theme of his shop, so now they are sitting here in my kitchen! Also made in Italy, my chairs are similar in color to yours but have a cane insert in the back with upholstered seat and arm pads. I started tearing off the old fabric yesterday and found that someone reupholstered them in the past. The worn pale pink damask fabric on them was put right over the original gold velvet. I am planning to do them in a smaller scale of the check you show above, ala Charles Faudree. I like a geometric, solid, or toile with bergere chairs because I think it brings out the lovely carving and details of the chairs without overpowering them. The check is nice since it coordinates with the toiles and florals throughout my house and I can move the chairs to different rooms, as needed. I have reupholstered before but never with decorative nailheads, which I may try my hand at, this time. Good luck with your project! This is a lovely blog - I'll be back!