Thrifted Thursday: My Louis Chair Makeover

louis chair makeover Happy Thursday everyone!  I can't believe I FINALLY get to share this with you all, it's been a long time coming!

My favourite thrifted item:

Do I even  have to say it?  haha. It all started when I saw these gorgeous french chairs from Restoration Hardware.  But $250.00 PER chair was definitely not within my budget (since I needed 3) so I decided to hold off and see if I could find some at a thrift store.

Where I bought the piece:

My boss found some Louis chairs at a Consignment Shop called Chicaboom. That same week I rushed over and picked up the chairs. They worked out to $50 per chair and I got not 3 but 4 of them!  The grand total for 4 chairs worked out to less than 1 chair at Restoration Hardware. Booyah!  But they looked something like THIS:

louis chair makeover, before photo

What drew me to the piece:

What I really love about the louis chair is it's versatility. It goes with every decor style and it's such a classic shape. I love the fluted legs, carved detail and round back.  I also wasn't happy with my Ikea parson chairs because the backs were so high.  The height of the Louis backs were just perfect.  Also, because our dining table is rectangular with white glass and chrome legs, I wanted to introduce more of an organic shape and the Louis chairs create a nice contrast against the hard edges of our modern table. I also wanted to infuse some old world charm, something with a little more character since the space was looking a little bland. Here is what it looked like before:

dining area makeover, before photo

The hard part:

This became a huge labour of love that definitely took much longer than I thought it would.  I even took an upholstery class in January to help me learn the basics. I stripped, ripped, removed staples (which was the worst part), hammered, spray painted and so much more. Instead of boring you guys with a long and wordy explanation, I decided to put together a little collage in chronological order of all the work (a.k.a. blood, sweat, tears and A LOT of cursing) that went into this project:

louis chair makeover progress

And with the help of some incredible people like David (shown above removing staples and spray painting), my girlfriends Mom (who sewed the piping for me. Thanks Mrs. Pham), as well as my amazing parents who helped SO much (Dad smiling above) we were able to restore my 4 Louis chairs!

How I use it:

I have 3 Louis chairs on one side of my dining table and a rustic wooden bench on the other. They are so lightweight and can be moved around the condo easily should we need extra seating when friends are over.  As you can see, I opted for a grey fabric which is extremely durable (I chose to forget about the velvet since any little spill would freak me out) and I love throwing my colourful pillows on them!  For my home, I prefer to go with neutral colours on my major furniture pieces and introduce more colour and pattern with accessories and art.

And here are the After photos:

louis chair makeover, before and after

louis chair makeover

Louis chair makeover

louis chair makeover

Louis chair makeover

louis chair makeover


louis chair makeover

louis chair makeover

We're still planning on changing a few things in the dining area but we're so happy to finally have our Louis chairs finished and ready to use.  It was definitely a valuable learning experience for me as well as my parents who also love to re-upholster furniture.  Would I do it again?  Hell no.  I say that now but I have 2 other chairs waiting in line!

I actually have about 12 posts documenting my entire process.  It's not very pretty but if you want to see more, you can click this link:  Project Louis.

Do you also have love for the Louis chair?  Or had a really hard time with one of your upholstery projects?  I'd love to know!