First off, thank you so much for all your gorgeously lovely comments on my 2011 year in review!  Oh, my sweets, there is much more to come in 2012 so let’s get on with it, shall we?

We’ll start with a bit of a confession… Despite having my chairs painted and finished for over two weeks now, I’m only just getting around to blogging about it now!  I do hope you can forgive me for not sharing them sooner with you.  However, I think it’s a great first proper post of the new year because ‘Before and After’s’ rock my world.

As you may remember from my original post about finding faux bamboo chairs, I scored these rather sad looking specimens from eBay back in November.  I had been looking for this style of Chippendale dining chairs for ages but goodness me, they are rather hard to come by in the UK as I discovered.

The original eBay listing image

When I saw the above set of 8 up for auction (listed as ‘Shabby Chic’ no less – what? why?), I emailed the woman cheekily asking if she’d consider splitting the set as I only really had enough space for 4 chairs.  She responded apologising saying she’d prefer not to but if she had another offer from someone else wanting a set of 4, she would let me know.

About a month went by when I heard back again – she’d found another buyer for the other 4 chairs and was I still interested?  Well, of course I was!!  Want to hear the craziest thing?  Since then, I actually heard from the person who purchased the other 4 chairs via my blog post – a fellow American blogger living in the UK!  Small world no?  So, I’m eagerly awaiting DecorAlly‘s makeover of the other 4 chairs (in lilac no less!).  And just as a testament to how rare they are, the poor girl travelled around 8 hours round trip (from London in the South to Chester in the North West) to get her chairs!

As much as I love seeing these chairs in other settings in gorgeous, bright, fun colours, I decided – after much internal debate – that for my own dining room, they really needed to be white.  We’ve got a dark grey paint colour going on the walls and a dark espresso wood table and eventually the floors will go to a similar colour… and I already loved the way the white of the console table pops against the dark colours so I thought it might work…

Sneak peak!

And then the decision became all about the fabric.  The foam in the cushions was in perfect condition and very comfortable but the ugly green and cream fabric had to go.  So, I tried to find my perfect fabric from the UK.  I really, truly did.  But I simply could not find geometric patterns (which I had my heart set on) in my budget at all. I kid you not.  More on that subject another time.

So I decided to order the fabric from the United States and had it shipped to me.  And then I took the fabric and the cushions to the lovely Norma at Heaton’s Upholstery in Stockport (this woman has 25 years of experience so I knew that I’d get a fantastic result) and she promised to create my lovely dining chair cushions with matching piping and ties.  And that indeed is what she did.

Yay for Norma!

In the meantime, W brought the chairs to work with him and blasted these babies in his paint shop (which used a LOT of paint as they are a bit of a bitch to spray paint, just as a warning if you are considering doing the same).  They are a gorgeously glossy bright white with a super smooth professional finish and I loved them as soon as he brought them home.

When I received the chair cushions back, I then took the leftover fabric and recovered the plywood chair bases in the same fabric.

A closeup of the fabric! I love it!!

They were finally completed 2 days before Christmas!  Nothing like cutting it fine, eh? Ahh well, I couldn’t be more happy with them!

Here again is the before…

And the after…

And now for a million pictures of my dining room in their final setting!

As I said before, the floor in here really lets the room down but try and pretend that it’s nice.  And that there’s a gorgeous rug under the table.  You may have to squint a bit.  Or maybe close your eyes completely and just imagine.

Ok, erm… now open your eyes because the post isn’t quite finished yet, cheers.

See how the white chairs go nicely with the white console above and the mantle below?

The full total for all four chairs including the fabric, the covers and the paint came out to less than £300.  Considering they go for £550 per chair on Jonathan Adler’s site, I don’t think I’ve done too bad.

And I just love how they seem to take up less visual space than the high back leather chairs.  The whole room seems to just breathe better (does that make sense?).

So what do you think?  Was white and grey the right choice or have I been way too cautious?  Have you scored any bargains lately?  Been chair painting?  Tired of looking for nice geometric patterns in the UK and failing miserably?  If so, tell me all about it because I’m feeling your pain…

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