This might be the book you've been looking for. Because maybe you're overcome with compassion when strolling through thrift stores. Ugly chairs in antique malls cry out to you, "Help me, help me!" But you avert your eyes and hurry past. Sure, that chair has a gorgeous shape and could be a knockout in the right fabric. But you don't have a clue how to rehabilitate something so complicated. With a longing glance over your shoulder, you shove aside your feelings and move on. Maybe someone else will rescue it.
Or maybe you could do it yourself with the help of Amanda Brown's new book: Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design. Amanda runs Spruce, an upholstery shop in Austin, Texas, and has written posts for the Upholstery Basics column on Design*Sponge. Her new book is a hefty 392 pages and teaches how to reupholster virtually any piece of furniture.
The book opens with a color-coded guide so you can focus on the area of your furniture you need to work on. Let's say your chair has a channel back. If, like me, you've never heard that term in your life, no sweat. Look for it in the picture and turn to the corresponding page.
There you'll find step-by-step instructions for how to execute it. (Bookmarks are included!)
My favorite spreads show an array of completed projects. They get the gears turning and make me want to reupholster everything in my house.
The manual shows how to replace the guts of furniture, not just how to change the fabric. See how to replace springs, webbing, padding, and all sorts of innards and giblets.
Learn how to sew welt cord and cushions.
Projects teach how start from a bare, stripped-down frame...
and arrive at a completed piece of furniture (extra points for orange).
Watch the book's video trailer to learn more. If it sounds like it's up your alley, you can get a copy of the book here from Spruce or at other retailers.
Spruce Ugliest Chair Contest
Share your ugly chair photo on Facebook right here and win upholstery supplies, design recommendations from Amanda, and a signed copy of the book. Even if you don't have a hideous chair to share, it's fun browsing the contenders.
Follow the blog tour for more peeks inside this manual and chances to win copies:
Monday, 11/4 -- Bromeliad
Wednesday, 11/6 -- Our Humble Abode
Thursday, 11/7 -- Inside Storey
Friday, 11/8 -- HGTV's Design Happens
Monday, 11/11 -- Seventh House on the Left
Tuesday, 11/12 -- Making It Lovely
Wednesday, 11/13 -- Our Style Stories
Tomorrow I'll share photos of my newly reupholstered Craigslist chairs. I did it, I did it!