Chinese Chippendale Chair Upholstery Options

With my multiple dining room schemes still up in the air, one thing is clear to me: my black Chinese Chippendale chairs will no longer be used around a table.  This frees the pair up to be used as accent chairs in the living room.  Ever since I found these chairs, I’ve wanted to recover the chair cushions, and now I’m finally motivated.  My instinct was to reupholster the chairs in a black and white pattern because I’m so fickle when it comes to color and I love the flexibility and layering ability with neutrals.  I prefer a small scale black and white pattern as I’ve already used a larger scale zebra on my wood chairs  in the same room.

Here are three fabrics I’m considering as well as a colorful wild card.  (Just can’t help myself!)

chinese chippendale upholstery orangerie black white

#1 Highland Court “Leopold” in charcoal:  My initial favorite.  It’s a thick weave with a really nice hand to it.  I like the loose spots… it reminds me a bit of Les Touches.  I also think it would hold up well.  (Look at me being all practical in my own home.)

#2 John Robshaw for Duralee “Bindi” in indigo:  An easy pattern to pair with ANYTHING.  It’s simple. clean and also a weave (read more depth and texture.)  It’s also technically deep blue, but I treat that as a neutral.

#3 Stone Textile “Signature Print”:  I’m in love with this design by Elizabeth Mollen!  It’s whimsical, modern and traditional at the same time.  While its a printed cotton, it has a nice hand-drawn quality to it.  I’m using it for a project elsewhere in my house and MAY have enough leftover to do the chairs.  If not, the fabric is really well priced!

#4 Designers Guild “Orangerie” in rose:  I love this fabric.  Yes, its neither small scale, nor black and white.  But its gorgeous, with nearly a hand painted quality and has so many colors in it that it could be paired with many different schemes.  I probably wouldn’t have thought of it, but I have two scraps that MAY be enough cover the chairs.

Here are all of the fabrics on the chairs to give you a sense of scale and depth.

upholstery fabric options orangerie bindi signature print highland court leopold

Right now I am testing out the chairs in front of the fireplace.  I like the little change up.

white brick fireplace chinese chippedale chairs and  ornate gold mirror in design manifest living room

The color slut in me is just dying to use the Orangerie as it goes surprisingly well with my current coral, red and black scheme…

Design Manifest neutral living room with coral black and red accents

But what happens in 6 months when I decide I hate red and banish it from my home?  It’s inevitable.  The good news is Orangerie also has blue, green, yellow and lilac in the pattern.  Or do I keep it clean and classic?  I can always do black and white upholstery and two floral lumbar pillows.

Decisions, decisions.

Stay tuned Wednesday, there is a biggie post coming.  I have a new project and its going to be a lot of fun.

  1. Cathy

    Go with your initial gut, that first fabric is to die for! Have an appropriately sized lumbar pillow(s) made of the Orangerie and pop it/them on the chair. Easy to change when the mood strikes!

    • Kat

      Cathy, you are reading my mind. Leopold for the seat with slender lumbar pillows in Orangerie. Perfect!

  2. I’m a rather big color slut too so I say go with #4. It is a color neutral – it will go with everything and really makes those chairs sing. Go for it!

  3. My initial instinct is the Leopold all the way. But Orangerie does look smashing and pulls in the colors from your bookcases as well as the other accents. I am a fickle commitment phobe and change my whims upon a moment’s notice so if they were my chairs I would go with Leopold on the seats and have some lumbars made from the Orangerie which can then rotate thru the house when I am over *said* color of the moment. My 2 cents for whatever it’s worth.

  4. Rosie

    I love Leopold and Orangerie in that order. Don’t think you could go wrong with either one.

  5. Tiffany

    I like the first one the best, and maybe make a throw pillow for the chairs in orangerie?

  6. Hallie

    First one, then second one for my vote.

  7. Brittany

    I love color and think that 4th fabric would be awesome!

  8. Have to say I think the Orangerie is gorgeous!!! Especially against the white walls and with your neutral sofa. I like the leopold, but I feel like it’s kind of overdone. My second favorite is the Signature print. Neutral with a twist (no pun intended). :-)

  9. Elisa

    The practical side of my says #3. It’s such a classic you love it for a while. But I am drooling over #4 DG gets me every time with their vivid colors. I say upholster in #3 and make some kick ass pillows in #4, even if they are one-sided.

  10. As ever I’m a dissenter amongst the bunch… in a small way. I prefer the Bindi print since the chair has so much negative space, and therefore has a pretty heavy visual texture already. The small scale dots read as a texture rather than a true pattern, and lets the chairs’ architecture take center stage. That small print supports the chairs’ innate structure, making it a more economical option (longer staying power). I love the idea of the lumbar pillows in your Orangerie fabric – plus, you can have the option of rotating the pillows onto other furniture as your whim takes you. Whatever you choose, I know it’ll be elegant and welcoming – that’s you! xoxo

    • Naomi

      I love the way you think about design, Kati! Thanks for your input.

  11. Meg

    I don’t care for the Orangerie with the black. To me it seems incongruent. The fabric looks to summery and the black to severe. I’d go with #3. Love the scale. Not too delicate.

  12. My favorites are #2 and #4 but I know that whatever you decide it’s going to end up looking amazing ;)

  13. I love the Orangerie in the photo of just the fireplace – the small print (though lovely!) seems a little busy against the brick and the books… I guess I’d like to see something a little heavier and a place for the eye to pause. Plus the colors are delicious. BUT then when I consider the sofa area, I can see why you wanted to incorporate a smaller pattern to balance the other pieces. So…. I guess that puts me in the Orangerie lumbar camp with Stone Textile seats! Best of both worlds.

  14. I like #1… I agree that the black feels a little severe for the orangerie.

    Now if you were to paint those chairs navy or jade and put them upstairs then I would say orangerie all the way :)

    • Naomi

      paint??! Arggg… I agree that would be lovely, but the paint job is pretty nice now and I feel like I’d lower the quality if I attempted to alter them.

  15. I love your creativity, #3 I like this most. You are doing great job, thanks for sharing this post with us. I love it!

  16. Kimberleigh

    Yup Orangerie is the bomb – but the leopard with an orangerie lumbar pillow would ROCK BEST !!

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