A Textile Designer's Transformed Heirlooms

 
Chair reupholstery and refinishing San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles

We’ve long admired Elworthy Studio founder Kate Miller - we’ve even featured the fabric studio previously on the Revitaliste blog! From unique, organic patterns to rich colorways, each upholstery fabric released by Elworthy Studio is fresh and inspiring. So when Kate came to us with two pieces of her own to refinish and reupholster, we were more than excited to collaborate on the revitalization process with the designer and help bring her creative vision to life! See the restoration of her dresser and accent chair below.

Elworthy Studio | Upholstery fabric San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles

Tell us the backstory. Where did you find these pieces, and why did you choose to restore your furniture?

These were my very first antique purchases! I was fresh out of college, moving into my first apartment in NYC and I needed furniture. I didn’t want big box style, so my mom took me to a local antique store. I fell in love with this dresser and chair and got them both for around $200! My style has evolved since my early 20’s, and while the french boudoir look was fun back then, I now prefer something more modern.  

BEFORE: vintage dresser before refinishing

BEFORE: vintage dresser before refinishing

BEFORE: vintage chair before reupholstery

BEFORE: vintage chair before reupholstery

What were some of your considerations for restoring these vintage pieces?

I knew they were going to be in our guest bedroom, which I was totally redecorating. I envisioned dramatic, dark walls paired with gray, neutrals and lots of texture - and also planned to hang one of my paintings in the space. Everything needed to work together and within that palette. The team at Revitaliste were actually instrumental in the process, presenting me with an array of options.

For the curvaceous, boudoir-style dresser, our goal was to give it a sophisticated and serene upgrade. We decided to paint the dresser in a Farrow & Ball paint with a satin sheen for a low VOC option. Revitaliste replaced the dated drawer pulls with tessellated bone knobs. For the chair, we decided to remove the channeling on the back, and Revitaliste did a double self welt then stained the wood jet black and seal with a water-based protective coat. Again, we wanted to see the pretty lines of the chair but make it feel modern and totally unique.

AFTER: Vintage dresser refinished in pale grey paint from  Farrow & Ball

AFTER: Vintage dresser refinished in pale grey paint from Farrow & Ball

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You have so many great patterns in your textile collection. How did you decide on this upholstery fabric?

I brought lots of my fabric samples into the guest room and laid them out next to the painting and paint samples! ‘Miramar’ fabric in the Jet colorway is my favorite fabric from the new collection, and I’ve been dying to use it in my home! Turns out it looked amazing with the painting, and I knew it would also tie in nicely with the neutrals I planned to use elsewhere.

Vintage chair reupholstered in Elworthy Studio’s ‘Miramar’ upholstery fabric.

Vintage chair reupholstered in Elworthy Studio’s ‘Miramar’ upholstery fabric.

Vintage chair refinished with black wood stain

Vintage chair refinished with black wood stain

Why restore vintage furniture instead of buying new?

I considered selling these items, but it felt wasteful to do so, plus they have sentimental value! Both pieces are well made and have uniquely beautiful lines, so I saw potential in revitalizing them for a totally new look.

What was it like working with Revitaliste?

It was such an easy, enjoyable, and relatively quick process! I am not the most tech savvy, but the online questionnaire was so user friendly. The team was great with communication, always responding to my questions and updating me along the way. I was also impressed by the beautiful documents outlining the various design options. Revitaliste really does make the revitalization process easy for their clients!

Feeling inspired to restore your vintage chair or vintage dresser? Revitaliste makes the process super simple.

Get the process started by requesting a furniture restoration quote here.

Photography by Gina DeMarco