Every few decades, changing the look of a piece of well-made furniture is necessary. Such is the case of this petite wing chair illustrated here; its modest proportions makes it an easy fit for many places in the home. When it came to our home, it was a faded lime green, which was hardly my choice, but the budget dictated that it would remain as it was for a number of years.
When I could finally have it recovered, I chose a sedate navy, which gave it a decidedly more masculine look and suited its place in the family room. Years later, when I began divesting my house of furniture, my daughter’s home was a great option for both of us. I have always liked this chair; and it is quite comfortable, a size that suits the feminine form very nicely. Once it moved into my daughter’s home, it traveled from one bedroom to another and finally settled in the master bedroom; but its drab covering was showing its age, and the fabric had faded considerably.
I searched for fabric and found one, both my daughter and I agreed was perfect. However, delays of one sort or another had a disastrous effect; when it came time to order, the fabric had been discontinued. Facing the thought of another search for the second, “perfect” fabric was not high on my list, nor was telling my daughter we would have to reselect.
Reselecting was the only choice. I brought bags and bags of sample fabrics home from the design center, with a few favorites, but one in particular. The process of deciding which piece will make the cut, is a bit of a game with us. I place all the fabrics over the chair, like patchwork; and we stand back and begin picking off the ones we immediately do not like. With every few samples, she would ask me if my favorite was discarded or still standing. It may seem like a silly game, but I really like her to make these decisions based on her likes, not mine— although our tastes are very similar. After nearly all the samples had been discarded, there were only two left; she asked the inevitable question, was my favorite still standing; the answer was: yes!
We were down to the last two and liked them both, but for different reasons. One was the “safe” choice, the other was a bit more bold. The colors were similar— that was the easy part! The patterns, were also similar, but the scale is what made them so different.
The favorite pattern was a large-scale houndstooth, while the other was a more traditional scale of the same classic pattern, but the color was a bit brighter. I am always proud of my daughter’s ability to step outside of the comfortable and go a bit bolder. Mind you, this bolder fabric is a very calm color; it is the scale that makes it bold. For such a petite sized chair, it might be considered too large, but that is what makes it interesting. I think if the colors had been bright and bold, the pattern would have been too much for the scale of the chair, but subdued coloring allows it to work well.
Besides changing the fabric covering on this chair, the wood trim needed to be lightened up as well. I chose a silvery gray to compliment the fabric’s background color. It makes the chair much more feminine, even with the classic, bold houndstooth fabric.