Tuft-Backed Suede Bench

The closer we get to the big day this weekend {June 7th}, the more I feel like we are no longer prepping for a garage sale.  It feels more like we are getting ready for a Furniture Debutante Ball.  For 2 months we have been coaching our thrift store finds into high-class, respectable pieces.  We've been taking their raw potential and honing them into something special.  And this Saturday, ladies and gentlemen, will be their BIG DEBUT to the public - and you're all invited!

When I found this bench, {my final sneak-peek installment until the sale!}, it looked more like adud than a debutante. The seat was crudely recovered in some sort of vinyl indicative of a 1950's motor home or a run-down diner and didn't quite match the bench back's fabric.  Now I love hole-in-the-wall places to eat, but the one thing I do not like is peeling my legs off the vinyl seat at the end of my greasy meal.  So, I had another re-upholstery project on my hands.

The lines of the piece are what caught my eye: mid-century modern with handsome tufted buttons.  But a closer look revealed that someone had tried to hold on to this piece for as long as they could. I removed the vinyl seat fabric to discover that the previous owner had tried to bandage it, literally bandage it {with gauze}, when the original tweed-patterned cloth ripped.  When the wound wasn't healing, they must have realized duct tape was a better plan and added that over top.  And when that plan went awry, they found a fabric that almost matched the original and used it to crudely recover the seat cushion.

But now... after weeks of repeating wear the crown, be the crown, you are the crown... we had ourselves a budding socialite!

If you didn't know this already, Chelsea and I love herringbone.  Check it out here,  here, and most recently here.  I chose a herringbone suede to recover the bench.  

Snuggly tucked-in corners.

And get this: it has brass feet!  {My Fave}

I dropped off my pieces for sale set-up at Chelsea's yesterday and I defy you to find me a cuter garage! Chelsea and Matt have once again expertly transformed the space into the classiest little showroom.  Get ready folks: we are getting ALLLLLL dressed up for this one!

This piece and many many other fabulous re-made finds are available for sale THIS weekend! 

Hope to see you there!


This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.

Tufted Mid-Century Modern Bench

What?!  That's right readers, my first piece is available for sale on Chelsea's Garage!  The hope that I would start offering merchandise has been a long time coming - since I first started guest blogging in October.  Now the day has finally come and what could be more worthy of an inaugural sale than this table-to-bench transformation?

 This bench started out as an odd little table in a thrift store.  I almost passed it up because it had all sorts of problems - had it not been for the brass feet and price tag.  

1} It was really short for a coffee table.  An awkward dwarf of a table. Way too low to the ground.  Look how it makes our petite puppy mutt look like a full-size purebred.   


2} It had an AWFUL paint job.  Whoever was trying to TLC this before I got my hands on it, did not bother to tape off the gorgeous brass feet before shellacking it.  What a crime!

So I had no choice but to start by stripping the paint off the table legs.  Based on the lines there's a good chance that in a past life, this table was once a handsome warm-toned wood mid century modern piece.  I wonder what would have possessed someone to paint it an oily black...  Stripping it was a grueling process involving a lot of chemicals with intense smells.  If you find yourself in a similar paint-job pinch, I followed the instructions on Liz Marie and was pleased with the results.  

While the legs were undergoing their chemical peel, I went about making the cushion.  I bought 4" high density foam and grey linen fabric from JoAnn's and had the foam cut to the table top's dimensions.  I secured the fabric around the foam by stapling it to the underside of the table top.

When the covering was done and the corners were tucked, it was time to add the buttons. I prepped the button-hole placement following these guidelines from Salvage Love.  Before I covered the cushion,  I mapped and measured where I wanted to drill holes for the button thread.  Using some left-over fabric and a button-cover kit, I made buttons to match, making sure to staple down the knots to the side of each pre-drilled hole.

Now it was time to check in again on my table legs.  While I was working on the re-upholstery, the stripping chemicals were loosing the oily paint's grip.  I was then able to scrape off the old paint and give them a couple coats of fresh stain.  The picture on the left is post-strip and on the right is 3 coats of Cherry Maple Stain.  They've gone from winter pale to summer tan!

Finally it was time to accessorize: with nail head trim!

I chose what I thought was a brass finish that matched the brass feet.  However, when I opened the package I found that the nail head strip had two different finishes.  But I embraced the happy accident and decided I liked the combo because it played on the silvery fabric too.

The last touch before re-attaching the legs was to staple on a dust cover to protect the button holes and and loose strings from the fabric's edges.

Just for kicks, here some pics of it styled in our apartment.  {Consider this a sneak peak tour of our living room.}

46"L x 17"H x 19"D

Available for pick-up in Northern Virginia.  If you are interested in this piece or have a coffee table you'd love to repurpose as a bench, feel free to contact me directly at cate@stylemutthome.com.


This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.