So, in the blogging world, is it fashionable to come late to a party, or is it rude? Because I am doing it every time! But you know I hate to miss a good party, so I dash over for a little bit, anyway!

Today (it’s today for 20 more minutes!), Southern Hospitality is hosting a “Before and After” Project party, so I wanted to share two big makeovers that we did in 2008 during Miracle Worker Week. That is the week (er, almost two) that my parents came to help us out with a ridiculous amount of projects. Enough projects that I haven’t even gotten to blog about most of them, yet! If you like these, I can only take credit for the vision, but most of the skill and labor was provided by my dear parents/miracle workers.
Project #1–The Ugly Green Chairs

I was on the hunt for inexpensive folding chairs before my Gourmet Group meal in August. I found some on Craigslist at a church that was going out of business (is that what churches do?). The folding chairs were ugly and cumbersome, but the price was right, so I brought them home anyway, but I was much more excited about these green chairs, that I negotiated to buy for $15/each. My husband wasn’t so thrilled when he saw them. They smelled a little funny and were clearly from the 70’s. I loved the shape, and must admit that I might have considered keeping the bright green fabric if it weren’t so scratchy, uncomfortable and dirty.
So I hit Craigslist again and actually found an interior decorator selling her fabric remnants. I found a lovely chenille piece that she said was gracing the dining room chairs of a $3 million home, and brought that home at a bargain, along with several other trims and a few cans of paint that she threw in for good measure.
Then Miracle Worker Week begins:
Mom and Dad carefully pulled apart the chairs, making sure to keep the original pieces intact.
This is when we discovered the chairs had a bit more history (and nicer legs) than we had originally realized. There was a certificate stating that they had been professionally and commercially reupholstered in the 1970s–hence the green impenetrable fabric. Judging from the fabric underneath, I think they were more likely from the 1930s or 1940s (maybe even older). My dad stained the wood while my mom worked on the new cover.
See how she uses the old pieces as her pattern. She is a sewing genius!
And here is the after:
I had envisioned them skirted all along, but we were lucky that the legs were so nice, because I really didn’t have enough fabric to do skirts, even with miracle worker mom at the sewing machine!
Now would you guess those were $15 chairs? (Plus about $50 for fabric and materials, so more like $35-40 chairs. See the value of cheap labor? :-))

Project #2–Children’s Desk/Project area

My FIL is a physician and had this beauty in the waiting room of his office for many years. Well, this year they decided the office was long overdue for a makeover and thought this bulky piece of wood had to go. When I saw it, it was just sitting in their garage waiting for a trip to the thrift store and sitting right next to a couple of gallons of red paint that my MIL just could not bring herself to use (I have been working with her on white wall therapy. “It is OK to put color on walls. It will not make them look too small. Sometimes deep or bold colors look the best.” Baby steps.).
So the kids helped my dad give it a fresh coat of paint (can you see their brushstrokes?) And now it has a new home in the playroom/loft (which I am working on and hope to have all put together soon!)
(Sorry about the funny angle) Add some books and a fun stool from IKEA and this thing has life again!
Childrens desk makeover
(Yes. There are already marker marks on the desk. That is why you shouldn’t spend the big bucks on kids furniture, even if it is soooooo cute!)
This is the back side. My dad decided that the back should be reinforced a little, so we bought some beadboard and trim, and that side now functions as the wall for the play kitchen. I might paint some fun design on them, or leave them white, but I have a colorful miniature Cuckoo clock from Germany, that will be decorating the play kitchen, soon. Total cost for this project is around $20 for the beadboard and trim. Paint and furniture were Free! And we used the paint for our mudroom, put that is a post for another day.
So there you have it! I hope all of you creative people visiting from Southern Hospitality will consider coming back next week for my Blogoversary Party Party. What’s that you say? Go here for more info!
And thanks for letting me crash the party…late, as usual! For more furniture makeovers, go here!
(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Laura Ingalls Gunn says

    Great project transformations~I love the children’s desk.

  2. Love the chairs! What a great find underneath the scratch 70’s fabric!!

  3. Your chairs look terrific!

  4. I love the chairs and the children’s desk – Very clever!

    O.K. so I have to know…did you make that play kitchen? Too cute!

  5. fourlittleloves says

    Wow, you are good! Love what you did! So fun to have a new friend! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! Your blog is sooo fun!! Thanks again!
    Tiffany at the Childrens Nest

  6. Misadventurous Mommy says

    Love, love, love the desk! I so need a new one for my kiddos.

  7. Insanely cool re-do. Those chairs are beautiful and I like them without the skirts. You can see their cute little legs…so it’s great that you DIDN’T have anough fabric, anyway. AND, hooray for CHEAP LABOR!

  8. Way to go mom! Those chairs look fabulous – I love discovering new info on furniture when reupholstering…makes it like a little visit to the past! Great job to all.

  9. Meredith–The play kitchen was a great find at a few years ago. It was kind of their version of the Pottery Barn kitchen. I got it on clearance and cheap shipping. It was a bit girly, though and we wanted it to work for all of our children, so we took everything that was pink, and spray painted it that Cranberry red. I like it that way better, and it goes with my color scheme in the loft (my office area) too!

  10. Susan-I think you are right. At first I was hoping for the skirt because I thought the fabric would hang so nicely. Then when I realized how nice the legs were, I was trying to figure out how to do a short skirt to show them off. But being skirtless, probably ended up looking the best.

    Gee. If you didn’t know what I was talking about, that might not sound so polite.

  11. Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving me some love! I hope you’ll come back again!

    Yes. My parents are amazing. I’m supposed to get them back in April, and already have a full list of projects for when they come!

  12. the pleasures homemaking says

    What great parents – you can’t beat $0 for labor! Those chairs came out so pretty! Great before and afters!


  13. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says

    Kendra, you're not late! Love your chair makeover, those are just gorgeous. I actually liked the lime green too & could see those working in the right space, but you did great taking the skirts off. Great job & thanks for playing!

  14. Amy @ Living Locurto says

    Better late than never:-) Those chairs are awesome! Great job with them.

  15. abigail @ Piece of Cake says

    i know this is completely off topic kendra… but thanks so much for the Nancy Drew tips! im just finishing up the invite right now and your experience was SUPER helpful!

  16. Judy @ In His Grip says

    The chairs are great. I am a real sucker for chairs. I pick them up out of dumpsters, off the curbs waiting for trash pickup, etc. With a little fabric and stuffing they end up looking great.

  17. beth at aunties says

    I loved the chair make overs! What a classy change:)
    The book desk is a charming addition to any play area for kids. Red just makes me happy! I am glad you came to the party!

  18. Just wanted to let you know I talked about you on my blog today. Love your blog!

  19. Blondie's Journal says

    Kendra- The chairs are beautiful. I’ve never tried Craig’slist but definately will. You and your parents are quite talented!! I will visit again soon 🙂

  20. Everything you did is awesome! I love, love, love the little desk area that you made. That is so cute!

    Thanks for letting me drop by!


  21. The Masked Mommy says

    I love this and I love your bright colors! I’m so glad I found you this morning 🙂

  22. Man, those chairs were a shocker! I thought I dozed off and drifted to another blog! Great job! The labor might have been cheap the the chair don’t look cheap. The look awesome!

    The Texas Woman

  23. Great before and afters! the chairs look like they were never even old! Thanks so much for joining in on the party! 🙂 Jen

  24. thedomesticfringe says

    Ok, I’m amazed with your chairs. What a great job! The kid’s desk is really cute too. Love it.


  25. Lovely chairs and the childs desk is cheery. I love it, great work

  26. Love that red! Jen

  27. Procrastinator Crafter says

    I just love the chairs and you should SO take your mom out for a nice dinner for that!! Great job mom. The kids desk is great!

  28. Jennifer DeDonato says

    that desk is so cute…what a great job you did

  29. Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating says

    I love the activity center! It turned out so cute. I need to make one for my son. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys says

    I love the childs desk!! Is that what they used it for in the waiting room? Red's my favorite color so I love it!


  1. […] mantle that I decorate seasonally is also in this room, currently flanked by the chairs my mom reupholstered. (You can also see that I am in the midst of Halloween decorating–Those are spiders hanging […]

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