armchair before & after

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It’s finished! After months of finding the right armchair, finding the right fabric, saving for the reupholstery, and actually getting it recovered and painted, the coral armchair is now finally in the living room.

It all started last year, when I went super neutral in the living room.


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Very, very neutral.

As you can see from the text on that image, I figured out that there was enough room in the back corner to fit an armchair.

After scouring Craigslist, I bought this guy for $75.


The wood was in decent shape, but not great. And the upholstery was pretty worn, though not in such bad shape that we couldn’t live with the chair in its original condition for a few months while we saved for the makeover.

Then, I asked you what color you thought it should be (neutral, navy, or coral). The resounding majority confirmed the idea to go coral.

Here was the coral inspiration.



And here’s how it turned out.


Finding the right shade of coral fabric was a little tricky. After doing a lot of searching online and at Fishman’s in Chicago, I found that there aren’t that many shades of coral upholstery fabric in the perfect shade. Many were too rusty, red, pink, orange, or expensive.

Eventually, I spotted a Sunbrella fabric that was the Goldilocks of corals – not too pink, not too orange, not too pricey. Juuust right.

The fact that the fabric is designed for outdoor use is kind of a nice surprise. The quality is great (it doesn’t feel too stiff or outdoorsy) and I don’t have to be super stressed out about wear and tear.

For the painting and upholstery, I called on my friend Meg of Meg Made (her boutique just opened, by the way).

I’m also loving the new cream and grey striped throw from Nine Space. The neutral pattern ties in really well with the rest of the living room.

NineSpaceStripedBlanketMeg loved the blanket so much that she practically stole it from me when she dropped off the chair.

(Joe, if you are looking for any Christmas present ideas… hint, hint.)

CoralArmchair2Overall, I’m super happy with how it turned out. It was totally worth the 5-6 month process.

I’m also quite thankful that I am married to a Mister who doesn’t mind the color coral.


This post is sponsored by Nine Space (c/o the super comfy striped throw). 

This Post Has 0 Comments

    1. Jess Lively

      That rocking chair is so cute! I love how you kept it and also made it yours at the same time. Thank you for sharing!

  1. Leslie

    I love what you did with the chair! It’s a great color.
    I also love the brown “neutral” chair. I’ve been looking for something similar. Where di you find it?

    1. Jess Lively

      Thanks, Maureen! I personally think coral is definitely the way to go for your wedding color (but I bet you probably already knew that ; ) ).

      Have a great weekend, hun!

  2. Carrie Waller

    Gorgeous!! It IS juuuust right =)

  3. Ashley Laabs

    Hey Jess, I’m looking at some armchairs on Craigslist and would probably want to reupholster. Was it expensive? Not sure if I should just save up for a new chair. Most of the ones I like are about $400-600. Interested in your opinion!

    1. Jess Lively

      It was. But that totally depends on where you go. I’d expect, depending on the size of the chair and everything, to pay $200-700 per chair. Again, depending on the quality of the person doing it, their experience, and the difficulty of the job/fabric.

      1. Jess Lively

        We got our’s redone – just the labor for the upholstery (not painting, or fabric) for $389 and it was a good deal. I was also quoted closer to $500 somewhere else.

  4. Lauren

    Hi, I’m looking to upholster a chair that looks almost identical to this one, but I was wondering how many yards of fabric I would need to buy. Do you remember how many this one took? Thanks! (Your chair looks great by the way 🙂 )

    1. I believe this took either 6 or 7 yards, but I don’t quite remember exactly. I hope that helps!! : )

      Good luck with your “new” chair, too!

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