Catherine Cleare: Classic Chairs with a Twist

October 16, 2012

Two weeks ago, I talked about blending antiques with more modern decor styles. Today, I’m going to expand on that, by discussing a trend in the same vain, and one that I love: taking antique and traditional chairs and revamping them in fresh, modern and creative ways. There is nothing more pleasing to me then combining design styles; it is the most interesting and successful way to create your own look. I have selected a few of my favorite pieces where designers have used colors, textiles and finishes to update their traditional pieces. I hope you are inspired! Here is an example of how you can transform an antique wing chair, into a current and fresh look. Bunny Williams has created a new identity for this chair by upholstering it with a clean and unexpected jumbo patterned print.

Photo courtesy of Bunny Williams

I love the choice of a bright and crisp detailed fabric; it adds perfectly to the overall composition and uniqueness of the chair. The frame has been finished in a clean white glaze; a perfect way to offset and simplify the ornate and intricate moldings. These touches have not only been able to create a current look out of a classic, but also a one of a kind piece. What more could you ask for!?

Photo courtesy of Bunny Williams

Here is a bold gesture! Jonathan Adler has taken so many iconic design motifs to create this funky and one of a kind modern look. The delicate moldings and detailing in the antique chair, are offset perfectly with the bright geometric upholstery, and in addition paired with the sleek mirrored side table. The attention to detail in this space is just impeccable. He has done a marvelous job of combining all of these styles in a way that not only reads as a whole, but complements one another.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

These traditional chairs by Amanda Nisbet have been left in an antique wood finish, however reupholstered in patent Peacock blue leather. Another attention to detail, are the round silver nail heads which are featured on the seat of each chair. Just through the bright color and additions of the nail heads, these chairs have been given a complexly updated and unique look.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Nisbet

This antique arm chair and foot stool was reinvented with contemporary patterns and colors. I love the chocolate brown and white small scaled dotted print, paired with the decorative purple and plum pillow. Also to give it a cleaner look, the frame has been painted in a bright white which complements the upholstery perfectly.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Nisbet

I am in love with the shapes and lines of this chair, paired with the colors and finishes. The wood frame has been given the appearance of shiny gold, and to complement that, is the bright blue patent leather upholstery. This chair is a perfect example of how you can bring in that modern sleek shine, while still using a traditional piece.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

I selected a light glaze finish on the frame of this chair, to complement the contemporary cut velvet fabric. The rope trim defines the exquisite shape of the chair.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Cleare

I hope that these chairs have sparked some fun and exciting ideas! The next time that you are selecting furniture, make it your own! And remember, like always it’s all in the details. -Catherine Cleare Catherine Cleare is an interior designer in Westport, Connecticut. She understands the importance of your space and the degree to which it should reflect exactly who you are, down to the very last detail. She has spent her career turning people’s ideas and dreams in to design reality. Years of study and practice allow her to move comfortably from contemporary to classic styles, while considering everything in between. Revamping old furniture is a topic we can’t get enough of. For more ideas, check out: Seating with Soul Upholstery: The Value Proposition

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