Lisa Leonard Designs


December 23rd | blog friends, decorating

matthias woke up this morning {at 5am} and whispered “is it christmas today?”. nope, but so close! and we are slowing down around here and getting ready for family. so excited!

i thought i would share a couple before/after projects with you, just for fun!

oh this chair. it was $30 at my fave thrift store and had great lines. but when i got it home i definitely had second thoughts since it was so grubby. it’s from the 40’s and the seat cushion actually has springs in it! everything was still solid, so i bought some amy butler fabric {jade, heavy weight} online and found a women who does re-upholstery on craigslist. the project took about 4x longer than planned but the result is so fun.

it really brightens up our living room! the total project cost about $250. not super cheap, but reasonable. and a new chair would have been twice that, i guess!

this is a buffet i found on craigslist for $60. $60? i freaked out. it has great basic lines, it’s in great shape, and i love buffets. so fun!

i painted it black and sanded it a lot around the edges of each drawer. i changed out the hardware to a basic black pull from martha stewart’s line at home depot. this project cost about $100. that’s an insanely good deal with a little bit of elbow grease!


check out this kitchen before and after from lindsey {better after} HERE. how inspiring!

and i seriously love this yellow dresser makeover HERE.

and have you met the talented miss holly? you can see her magic HERE.

jenny from little green notebook made over THIS crazy cute chair.

and how easy and darling is this idea from the nesting place HERE?

hope you got inspired! happy two-days-before-christmas!

17 Responses

  1. Lisa – that chair is GORGEOUS! Serious coveting (in an Oh, so Godly way) going on from the East Coast. :)

    Have a blessed week with the family celebrating our Savior, my friend.

    Can’t wait to see you this next month.
    Jen :)

  2. I have a buffet and china cabinet that were my grandmothers. I think they were mass-produced furniture and one is already finished slightly darker than the other. I’ve been considering painting them and finishing them like you did with this piece but I have family that think I’m crazy for changing the finish. We have a combination of wood-tones and black pieces in our home already and I think this would be great. What would you do? These particular pieces have a queen-anne style with legs and arches.

  3. Hey, Lisa, I love, love your chair! Those old vintage chairs are so fun to recover. Wish I had room for more in my house. These are great before & afters. Merry Christmas, my friend!

    I’ll be at Blissdom, looking forward to seeing you.

  4. Krystina says:

    you are amazing! when i see the before i have a hard time coming up with the after – all i see is yard sale junk. then you take it and make it look like you just ordered it from restoration hardware or anthropologie!

  5. ramona says:

    up here finding an upholsterer is extremely difficult. and they charge so much that it is often not cost effective to recover furniture. I am very envious of your chair. We have a red on that needs some love. Now, having said that we just found somebody who is willing to give it a try – we just supply the fabric… I think we are going to say yes.

  6. Lisa Leonard says:

    hi tammy! i am a fan of having what you love and altering things to make them work for you now. so that said, i say paint it. unless it’s a priceless piece-go for it!! i think your family would be shocked at how updated and amazing the pieces looked. and queen anne’s style can be great painted. black is a great color and really grounds the furniture. make sure to take before and after pics!! good luck sweet girl!

  7. They both turned out so great Lisa! You have a such a great eye!

  8. Kelly H-Y says:

    You have such an amazing vision!!

  9. Alli says:

    Beautiful work Lisa! Those pieces are amazing! Have a Merry Christmas!

  10. Dania says:

    Amazing transformations! The chair is so inviting. Just lovely.

    I also loved the yellow dresser/changing table you included a link to. Such a happy piece of furniture :-)

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Tina says:

    I think I have that exact chair! Covered in the same colored fabric! Is it super heavy and solid? Mine was a gift from my aunt. It had been in her family and everyone who sits in it is in love with it.


  12. kelly says:

    Love the chair! It was worth it. :)

  13. Becky K. says:

    It IS a happy 2-days-before-Christmas because this morning my husband surprised me with your Dewdrops necklace!

    I totally cried when I saw my toddler running toward me with the little brown box tied with aqua ribbon because I knew what must be hidden inside.

    I had put several of your designs on my Christmas list for my family gift exchange, but didn’t even show it to my husband because we had decided weeks ago not to buy each other gifts.

    Thanks to my amazing husband and your incredibly beautiful and meaningful jewelry, this will be a Christmas I won’t soon forget.

  14. Margaret Scott says:

    Merry Christmas Lisa, wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday time and peace and love in 2011.

  15. Tracy says:

    I love both of these. You have such a great sense of style.

  16. abby says:

    Lisa, I love how your chair turned out! Even with the fabric and the labor costs it seems like such a good deal. I just found an old chair at a local thrift store and will have to have the seat cushion redone. The springs are about to pop through the existing fabric. Your makeover made me so excited to move forward with my chair!!

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