Before and After: Danish Chairs

Some projects take awhile to do. And by awhile, I mean months and months if not years. But some don’t take so long—especially if you can talk someone else into doing the work for you. As you may recall, back in July I picked up a pair of beech framed Danish arm chairs with some “colorful” homespun upholstery.


Though the chairs themselves were great, the cushions reeked of a bad 90s makeover. If water-stained silk wasn’t the worst choice someone could have made, I’m pretty sure that getting water-stained silk in what can only be described as “electric mauve” was, in fact, the worst choice anyone has ever made. For such a bright color, it really brings you down. But I knew I could put right what once went wrong with a few yards of fabric.

"Hourglass" by Knoll Textiles in Ricochet Teal

“Hourglass” by Knoll Textiles in Aegean

Initially I thought I’d use a nubby oyster colored wool, but after comparing it with the light wood frames I decided I needed something bolder. I had purchased some Knoll fabric for another project, but the color was too perfect for these chairs. The textile is called Hourglass. It’s one of Knoll’s more affordable fabrics and though it’s made mostly of recycled polyester, it has the appearance and hand of worsted wool. It’s also a commercial grade material and should wear like iron. The tiny pattern gives it a little visual texture without becoming overwhelming. With the fabric chosen, I just had to convince my mom to sew the new cushions for me. I’m not sure how I managed that, but the result speaks for itself.


After seeing these, I can’t imagine any other color that would look half as good with that wood. In all honesty it wouldn’t take much to improve upon the mauve nightmare that previously haunted them, but the difference is really night and day. I’m very happy with their new look.


Fortunately I didn’t have to do much to the chairs, just a once over with some polish and they looked like new. But I did take a moment to polish all of the hardware. Small touches make a big difference.


Of course it hasn’t been discussed what I’ll have to do in return for this little favor (or the many other favors that I call upon my dear mother for), but I’m sure she’ll think of something. In any event, good work mom!


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  1. Tim
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi guys,
    Love the the fabric you picked out for this chair! How much fabric did you use for this type of chair?

    • Austin
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Tim, I’m so sorry for missing your comment! I’m not exactly sure how much fabric these took, but I’m going to say it was around 3 yards per chair. Of course fabrics with larger patterns or stripes require more yardage for matching and cushions without cording require less, just some things to keep in mind.

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