Updating an Antique: Before and After

Sometimes inherited furniture gives us pause. The item may come with emotion; memories of sitting with your cousin on your grandmother’s divan or the smell of your grandfather’s pipe in his leather chair. You want to honor your relative’s memory, yet fit the older piece into your current world. What’s a girl to do?

Today Feather & Nest will take you through the stages with an antique Chippendale claw foot sofa.

We're young (at least compared to the sofa ; ) and want to freshen it up with a cool, current vibe. The wood is beautiful, so a slip cover wouldn't be the answer. And reupholstering can cost a fortune.

So we called in Stephanie O'Brien, pillow designer extraordinaire, of She's Happy, to help us with the sofa makeover. We picked the white vintage matelasse for its fresh whiteness. And we selected a small leopard print trim to keep with the classic, timeless feel of the sofa.

Next we chose Joel Dewberry's graphic "Deer Valley" Antler Damask fabric for pillows; modern, fresh and the white ties in with the matelasse. For the backs of the pillows: a larger leopard print to coordinate with, but not match, the leopard trim.

Stephanie perfectly placed the deer on two identical pillows. You can use someone local to help with your project. Or see Stephanie here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1193275839 She ships.

a modern ceramic lamp with a classic white modern drum shade

a watercolor of a Western Kingbird keeps our eclectic modern nature idea intact

Upon a Flokati rug sits a black table, also from Grandmama, with an African violet, Donna Hay magazine and antler.

So are you ready? This was before...

And voila! Family history mixed with current cool.

The character and integrity of the piece remains, beautiful wood and all.

One of our company dogs, Oscar, feels right at home on our updated sofa.

This is in Feather & Nest's Oregon office. Perhaps your sofa belongs at the foot of your bed or in your living room? You decide. But whatever you do, celebrate those special pieces in style.

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3 Responses to Updating an Antique: Before and After

  1. Robin Clement says:

    Okay, This is a fave. I have pillow love! Love the before and after. It’s sooo relatable. I could totally do this. And…that Oscar is so cute, I want to scoop him up!

  2. holly nelson says:

    Can you say where you found the smaller animal print fabric?

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