What a difference a fabric makes….

I’m close to finishing my small, Adam style armchair which has been hanging around in the background now for some time. Picked up at auction, it was presentable but covered with an odd, blue corduroy and filled with a mix of foam and masking tape!


Thing is, I’ve hit a problem. My original vision for this chair just hasn’t worked out, I wanted a plain, vibrant yellow or mustard fabric with a slightly felt-like feel that would give it a gentle contemporary edge allowing the chair back to take centre stage. So I found the fabric, ordered a meter and set to work….and then stopped. I hate it. I have somehow managed to take a beautiful piece of furniture with so much potential and make it look like it should be in the reception seating section of the Viking Direct office catalogue. Bum.


I did consider persevering with it to see if I liked it any more once it was finished, but I trust my judgement on this. If I don’t like it now, I’m never going to like it.

So it’s over to you – I’ve trawled my fabric stash, come up with some alternatives (pictured below) and thought we could play ‘fabric idol’! It’s a kind of interactive blog thing that I’m sure is going to take off in a big way and before we know it all the cool kids will be playing along. So, which is your favourite? I’m planning on going with the consensus – answers on a postcard……

Option 1 – a lovely tall ships print from Ikea, it’s not ideal for upholstery as it’s not particularly heavy, but I see this as more of a display chair anyway!


Option 2 – a roses motif on a grey background, fairly traditional but I thought I might set the pattern off centre to play with the symmetry a bit


Option 3 – a St Jude’s fabric as used in my first ever project, I have enough left to do this chair too


Happy voting – the winner will be announced this time next week!


11 thoughts on “What a difference a fabric makes….

  1. Hi Jon, you will realise from my super speedy response that I am working from home today so any distraction from the day job immediately gets my full attention. I think I’m going to plump for the tall ships. I’m wondering if the colour of the wood needs something pale or zingy and that the only reason the mustard didn’t work was because it was too close to the wood? However, I could be persuaded by the more artistic than me coming up with far better suggestions! Is there a prize for the winner!!! And glad to see you are putting your first upholstery Friday to upholstery uses – hope you’ve got a fall back project for this afternoon. Have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks Jill, I think the tall ships is a contender!

      This has taught me to be a little more cautious in my fabric selection, thankfully it wasn’t an expensive mistake and I’m sure the mustard will work brilliantly on another project.

      Really good to hear from you – I hope Retrobox is going well?

  2. Definately tall ships, what a lovely fabric! Shame the mustard didn’t work might have if the chair was painted black? X

    1. Thanks Sian, yes it was a shame that the fabric didn’t work, and you’re right that it was probably the colour of the wood. This chair though was just too nice to paint, so I think the better option is to change the fabric. Tall ships seem to have been a popular choice – watch this space!

  3. I actually really love the St. Jude’s fabric best it is a little pale for the wood, so it might have the same problem as the mustard once you get going. So I guess I will go with the herd and agree to the ships fabric.

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