Wingback Beauties Get a Botanical Refresh

Revitaliste | Wingback chairs reupholstered in Abigail Borg "Laburnum" upholstery fabric in teal

There is a reason the wingback chair has endured the ever-changing trends in furniture design. It commands a presence in a room, whether solo or as a pair. It’s sturdy yet elegant, formal yet inviting. And its winged sides offer the perfect cozy corner to settle in for a good read or a rich conversation. This is exactly how our client and her parents used their wingback chairs for decades. In these vintage chairs, they spent innumerable hours relaxing in their comfort, engaged in meaningful conversations—about work, family, life. With both her parents gone, our client wanted to bring the wingback chairs into her own home to honor their memory and keep alive the tradition of rich conversation. However, the years of constant use had taken their toll on the fabric so an upholstery refresh was in order.

Vintage wingback chairs ready to be reupholstered by Revitaliste

Revitalization Checklist

  • Super sturdy and structurally sound
  • Finish on wood legs in great condition
  • Reupholster in conversation-worthy fabric
  • Replace the foam cushion inserts for a slightly plumper look and firmer seat

Design Decisions

Our client wanted her wingback chairs to be a welcoming respite for friends and family alike—she looked forward to making new memories in these chairs. Residing in a recently remodeled home, the wingback chairs had to hold their own in the room. Our client knew she wanted a patterned upholstery fabric that was fresh, elegant and inviting. She landed on a beautiful botanical print, “Laburnum in Teal” from U.K.-based textile designer, Abigail Borg. Printed on a cotton/linen blend with a soothing teal ground color and large-scale rhododendrons and dahlias, this upholstery fabric strikes the perfect balance—equal parts charming and chic. 

Abigail Borg Laburnum upholstery fabric in teal
Revitaliste | Vintage wingback chairs upholstered in Abigail Borg Laburnum fabric

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Botanical prints on very traditional frames can run the risk of feeling staid or grandmotherly. Look for modern botanicals with fresh color palettes, interesting illustrations, or larger scale florals. 
  • When seating has not been reupholstered in more than a decade, it’s a good investment to upgrade the cushion inserts during the reupholstery process even if they don’t look/feel in bad shape. Today’s high resiliency foams are designed to last decades and are not treated with fire-retardant chemicals. 

Have a pair of classic wingback chairs in your life? Get in touch for design guidance on transforming them to fit into your home.