Before and After: Modern & Contemporary Furniture Remodels

Before and After: Modern & Contemporary Furniture Remodels

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One of my passions is finding old, well-maintained pieces of furniture that still has tons of character and turning it into a more contemporary or modern piece. While maintaining the integrity – original wood and beautiful lines – I usually set out to find an updated fabric that matches the era the chair was made in but also give it a great, new look.

Here are some of the latest pieces I completed:

Grey Ikat Chair

I found this chair at a consignment store in Charleston and loved the tufting and size. I did a little haggling and got it for another steal!

Original traditional tuft chair in a beige color.

 I took some time figuring out what to do with this one by visiting a local furniture store and checking out their fabrics. I saw a chair that I loved so I wanted to mimic the style. I went to their fabric section and did not find this color in stock, so I went to my favorite source online – – and searched for ikat.

Voila! There it was for an AMAZING price! I purchased the amount I needed, called the upholsterer once I received it and got it back. It was fabulous! I asked him to remove the tufting from the seat to give it a little more updated feel and probably make it a little more comfortable. I sent it up to the shop and came back next week to find it sold! Some lucky person snagged it quickly; sure hope they’re enjoying it!

Updated grey Ikat pattern really modernized this chair.

Black & White Chair

I found this chair at an estate sale. I loved the size, and I loved the curves of it; I got it for a steal! It stayed in my garage for a very long time because I was not sure what I wanted to do to it. Since my last chair was recovered in a Gray Ikat (above), this time I wanted to have a little more fun. So, I literally brought home about 100 different fabric samples for 2 months and nothing jumped out at me. I wanted to paint the legs; I kept thinking I was going to do gray or white wash but I wasn’t sold on it. I’ve been doing so many beach/cottage-colored furniture and again wanted something more “showy.”

Then I stumbled across this photo while viewing Sarah Richardson of Sarah 101’s portfolio and fell in love. I loved the dark legs and I loved the white, but I didn’t want to do just black and white.

Crisp white chair with black and green decor color pops.

As I stared at the photo, the pillow kept my attention so I went out to find black and white fabric locally. I narrowed it down to two patterns that I loved and let Ryan (my hubby) make the choice. I bought one pattern here locally for a steal at Hobby Lobby and the other one on the web. I painted the legs, rushed it off to my upholsterer and begged him to turn it around in literally days because I needed to get it into the shop before the weekend.

Here’s the final piece! What do you think?


This side table has been with us for several years. Unfortunately, in this home, it just did not fit the bill. So, I decided to give it a face lift!

Traditional dark wood side table before I refinished it.

I started off by lightly sanding it, then I used my favorite furniture paint, Annie Sloan Chalk paint. I flipped the table over and painted the bottom and underneath, let it dry, then flipped it and finished the top. I used a palm sander to smooth out any imperfections, giving it a distressed look. Finally, I finished it with Annie Sloan soft wax to keep it smooth and to preserve the paint job.

Here’s my son having a good time with the paint roller.

Your children can help with these fun furniture projects!

Do you have a piece of furniture that you’re dying to update? Let me know about it. Upload your pics here or on my Facebook page and I’ll give you my opinion!

I love helping people successfully find and perfect their dream homes in Charleston. This is why I'm dedicated to home selling, buying, decorating, designing and remodeling.