Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

July 31, 2013

Velvet Volition: Teal + Aqua Velvet Chairs

Hubs and I went to our favorite upholsterer on Monday (the same folks who did the mint chair - Kessels, for Ottawa readers) and short-listed some fabrics for the mid-century chair we found curbside.


We debated fixing it up but we finally decided to go for it, for four simple reasons:
  1. It has such a sweet and funny memory attached to it.
  2. I figured out it will work with our new living room floor plan (details Friday)!
  3. It was free!  We're already ahead of the game cost-wise.
  4. Hubs and I both love the lines of the piece.
I decided I wanted a turquoise tweed, like the turquoise Papa I mooned over.

Midcenturia
I brought in a snippet of the turquoise and mint fabric from our other mid-century chair as a guide for the shade of aqua I was after.

Turquoise and mint green upholstery fabric

Together with the gals at Kessels, we rounded up a healthy selection of tweeds, but also a few velvets.  I never would have considered velvet because I thought it was too traditional and hard to care for.

Velvet chair in bedroom
BHG - Velvet too traditional??
Turns out some velvet can be 100,000+ Wyzenbeek double rubs and lots of upholstery fabric is only 15,000-20,000 (basically, the higher the number, the more durable the fabric).  As soon as we got home with the samples I axed quite a few for being far too blue, too blah, too bold, to printy.

Choosing aqua upholstery fabric

In the end, one tweed remained but because it was shot with navy, it was a smidge too blue.

Teal tweed

The velvets won our hearts!  Surprise, surprise.  I just love the sheen, the way the fabric catches the light, and the gloriously saturated hues of my two favorites.  We're still going to sleep on it some more, but it looks like I might be adding a little velvet to my plans.  Unfortunately, my favorite pick is impossible to photograph.  Can you believe the two photos below are of the same fabric?!? And neither is accurate!

teal velvet

In real life, it's similar to this one but a tiny smidge more blue:

BHG
To be sure I'll like the look (it's easy to love a swatch, after all, but a whole chair is another story), I rounded up some inspiration.  Why have I never considered velvet before?

Green velvet dining chairs
Nate Berkus (via Love on Sunday)
Aqua velvet dining chairs
Nate Berkus
Aqua velvet chair
via Dust Jacket
Aqua velvet chair
Emily Henderson
Teal velvet chairs
via Song of Style - also very similar, but a smidge bluer than mine.
Aqua velvet chair
The Design Files
Aqua velvet chair
Bjork Studio

What was the runner up you ask?  In the store I fell in love with a pale turquoise, almost robin's egg blue that reminded me of this chair . . .

Pale blue mid-century modern chair
Apartment Therapy
. . . but once home, it really dominated the space and made our artwork look dull!  It's also a lot bluer than the turquoise art and accessories we have, and so it clashes a bit.  It also has such a crazy sheen that it almost looks bridal.  It photographs really nicely though.  I kind of want it more as I type this . . .

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20 comments

  1. HUGE velvet fan here!! Especially on a MCM piece! That chair is going to look amazing!!

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    1. When I went searching for inspiration, I realized a ton of MCM chairs ans sofas have velvet - even in their original state! I've always associated it with more traditional pieces but boy, was I wrong!!

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  2. Oh it's going to look fantastic! I am obsessed with velvet right now and really want a velvet couch. I see that Ikea has an emerald one coming out for 2014, so I am seriously hoping that it's in our price range.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement!

      I spotted the green velvet Ikea sofa on some preview and thought, "that is a sexy sofa!". There were some more subdued velvet samples we pondered and I kept thinking they'd be nice on a sofa but then Hubby said maybe I'm going a bit overboard.

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  3. How lucky is that? I love the lines if your chair and I'm looking forward to seeing how the velvet turns out. Could add a lovely texture that I never considered before either!
    {lamourcheznous.com}

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    1. I think the chair is my best score yet! Because I'm going for more watery hues in the lakehouse, I think this texture will look so perfect. Then maybe a couple velvet and silk pillows for our leather sofa?? Ooo lala!

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  4. velvet is gorgeous, but be warned, sitting on it may "draw pictures" in the nap - nothing that can't be rubbed out, but I remember a friend's reaction when I got up from her just covered green velvet sofa and I had left an imprint of all the stitching on my jeans on the seat!

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    1. That is good to know!! We noticed the other velvet samples could be "brushed" a certain way so the fibres were smooth or ruffled. I wondered if people leave butt-prints in those. The one we picked doesn't do that, it's fibres seem to be denser and more upright. Hopefully it will stay smoother. At the very least, it's industrial strength durable, so I know it will wear well. Once it's upholstered, I'll definitely do a review of the fabric and share my experiences.

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  5. I still can't get past the fact that you found that chair discarded on the curb. Such a great find and it will look amazing after it's makeover!

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    1. I got it in the nick of time, too! Another woman wanted it but she didn't have a car so she had left to find someone to help. When she got back I was loading it into my car, but she wished me well. She said she didn't have room for it anyway, she just couldn't bear the thought of it being thrown away! Sometimes Hubby terrorizes me by hypothesizing there was actually a pair, but someone nabbed one already. Lol.

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  6. um yes, I will take a free chair like that any day! I've never had one prof reupholstered, although I have one I always sayyy I'm going to take in. I should get on that already!

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    1. It's so worth it! I was hesitant at first, with the mint chair, because of the cost. But in the end it's still my favorite piece of furniture because it's exactly how I wanted it. In fact, I'm now designing the new living room around it! I hope yours turns out beautifully.

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  7. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

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    1. There's some gratifying about an avid DIYers having professionals do something - it's a surprise for me too!! I have to order the fabric first so it might take a few weeks but hopefully I'll be able to show it off before we move.

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  8. LOVE the velvet! I'm not sure I would've looked at it in the beginning, but after seeing your examples, I'm all over it. Can't wait to see the finished chair.

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    1. Isn't that funny how something that isn't even on a person's radar one minute can cause a total obsession the next? I am spotting velvet everywhere now!!

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  9. We had a 1930s couch professionally upholstered in pinkish/terra cotta-ish velvet (hey, it was the 1980s). It held up well to daily use, including kids clambering on it to look out the window. We did brush the nap back and forth on the cushions. I confess that it's now hiding under a simple ivory afghan, awaiting a new look...and we've been thinking green velvet. Must be in the air.

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    1. Pink velvet is still cute! I've seen it mixed with modern black and white graphic prints for a fun, contrasting look. It's nice to hear that you are still in love with velvet and that it wore well. Happy to hear!

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  10. Hello Tanya...
    It was great fun seeing you both again and helping look for fabrics for your latest project.
    I love helping people that love fabrics as much as I do.
    So is the black and white chair the one you want a price on?
    If so we can get back to you right away.
    Can we list you on our website your site is wonderful? :)
    Ria


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    1. Hi Ria! I don't know what I would do without your help!! You always find me the perfect fabric that I never would have found on my own. This is the chair I need a quote for, I'll email a photo and the other details (like what needs repairs) right now.

      I'd be flattered if you'd link to me! Thanks so much for your kind words :)

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