Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dining Rooms Chairs with an Opinion

I finally started looking for fabrics to re-upholster my dining chairs.

In the last two weeks, I've brought home many samples of quiet neutrals but I've been utterly bored with all the choices.

On a whim yesterday, we decided to try this:

I think the black is très chic, and the look, along with my traditional china, reminds me of an old French hotel.

A while ago, I replaced the two head-of-table armchairs with upholstered linen chairs, so naturally I started looking for fabrics to coordinate with the natural linen, in both colour and texture.  But nothing has made my heart race.


The black works beautifully with both cream and the white china (apologies for my hasty styling and unironed tablecloth!)

But I wonder if I might tire of the black?

 I also vowed never to do a pattern on anything "big" after my living room rug experience (a single prominent pattern can trap you in a decorating style and preclude using certain other colours or patterns).  

But I think the black pattern works superbly with my typical palette of whites, grayed out browns, slate and gray blues and bright foliage greens.  I also have a lot of neoclassical elements (white and black art) that it relates to beautifully.

As an option, however, it occurred to me that I could upholster only four of the eight side chairs in the black, and upholster the four remaining side chairs (and the two armchairs I'm not currently using) in something neutral and coordinating, like this chenille (though not quite the right colour) or a simple linen:

Generally the table is only set for six, so I only use four side chairs at any time (in addition to the new linen chairs).  Thus, I could use all 4 black chairs on the sides for a while, and if I got bored, I could swap in the neutral side chairs.

I could also use all neutral chairs at the table and then let the black chairs flank the sideboard as shown above, for a little drama.

And if we need to set the table for 8 or 10, I can just alternate the black and the neutral-patterned chairs for an unexpected, certain je ne sais quoi look.

What think ye?

Should I just hold out for an elegant fabric that's a bit more neutral?

39 comments:

  1. I like the black and the bolder pattern. It is elegant and goes well with everything else you are doing. And, if you do go with your idea to do some in one and some in the other...well, then they are tucked beneath the table. I don't think they'll be tucked beneath the table too much, though.

    Drat! I am so trying not to be the first to comment anywhere. This is proving nearly impossible.

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  2. I think the black patterned fabric is gorgeous. It's the thread that ties all the other elements in the room together perfectly. It makes it look like you hired a designer!

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  3. Love the black fabric! Graphic and gorgeous!! I like it on the pair of chairs flanking the sideboard. Great find, Terri!
    x Loi

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  4. jeanne5:36 pm

    good choice, would look fabulous. jeanne

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  5. PattyM5:54 pm

    The black fabric is very pretty and I think it is neutral enough that you won't tire of it. Even if you do, changing out chair seats is not like changing a rug. The amount of fabric needed is minimal and it is not a difficult job to do yourself. I would go for it. If you want your cake and eat it too, you could always upholster the seats in the black print and make slipcovers in a neutral linen. Good luck.

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  6. Anonymous6:45 pm

    I like the black background color, but think the white print is too big. It could work maybe if the pattern was centered on the seat of the chair, but overall, I still think the pattern is overwhelming in size.

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    Replies
    1. I will center it.

      I think the large pattern is what makes it a little more modern. A small demure pattern would look old lady.
      If you have any suggestions for a different fabric, I'd love to see them! Email me.

      Terri

      Delete
  7. Every room needs a little black just to give reference to the other colors. I think the pattern really updates the room too. I love it.

    And it gets so Loi seal of approval so what else do you need?

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    Replies
    1. I tend to agree. But Loi would choose something much more sedate and probably much higher quality for his house. :)

      Delete
  8. trust your gut, you chose very very well
    debra

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  9. Anonymous4:00 am

    I think your choice is right on. Since you use much of tone on tone, subdued colours, this beautiful patterned black would "anchor" the room. I agree that smaller pattern would just be lost. And mixing patterned and solid is a clever move. It has this balanced, particular european touch, going just a little bit out of the expected.
    Loulou Ste-Adele

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  10. I LOVE the black but think mixing in some neutrals works too if you're worried about it being too much. I would say just go with it though - in a few years you can always change them out again!

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  11. I love the black pattern too - it's a classic. Why not do them all?

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  12. I have always thought of black as a neutral so I love this idea. I think a small amount of drama in the form of covered seats is not terribly risky. The amount of yardage is small enough that if hate next year it wouldn't be crazy to recover them.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think I need about 4 yards because of the repeat, but this fabric isn't cheap, so I intend to stick with them for at least a couple of years!!! :)
      And you are right - I was surprised to see that the black really seems to ground the space and act more neutral than I thought.
      xo Terri

      Delete
  13. I like the fabric and think it would work well in your decorating scheme. The pattern adds visual texture to the calm palette without being overwhelming. Your idea to upholster half in this fabric and half in a more subdued fabric sounds like an ideal solution to me.

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  14. I like the graphic pattern and love anything with contrast of light and dark. I think these work beautifully in the room. Maybe a solid black for the chairs that don't get the patterned fabric. I agree with Steve: every room needs some black.
    Claudia

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  15. Anonymous7:46 pm

    Hi Terri:
    I really like the black one--- Is it white and black or is it cream and black ??? in the last photo where you show the plain linen sample on the chair up close--- the black sample in the background appears to be white, not cream ??? It could be just how it looks in the light of the photo??? Who made the fabric? Price usually determines how long you feel you would have to use it before you could reasonably justify changing it out to something else later. I really like your taste and all of your house. You do have a great eye for the proper look in design--- that is why it is always fun to see what you are going to do next.
    Susan in Charlotte N.C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan, the pattern is a slight off-white - perhaps cream. In some light it appears cream (yellow) but in other light it seems to look cream or taupe. It is about $100/yard and will take about 4 yards for all the chairs...

      Terri

      Delete
  16. Ooh, I'm lovin' it! I'm wondering if you've thought of possibly reversing the fabric for a dual look! Of course, it would depend on how well the underside of the fabric looks. You've made a super choice.

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  17. These chairs really look fabulous. The fabric looks great and comfortable too.

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