Upholstery for dining chairs

Today I purchased a dining table and chairs I've been looking for for a long time. The chairs need to be reupholstered, but I can't figure out what fabric design to get. Any ideas? This table was built back in the 30's or so they tell me. Please look at the pictures and let me know what you think. Thank you!
q upholstery ideas for dining chairs, home decor, painted furniture, reupholster, I m leasing the Table stained as is
I'm leasing the Table stained as is.
q upholstery ideas for dining chairs, home decor, painted furniture, reupholster, The upholstery is very stained and doesn t go with the blues in my decor
The upholstery is very stained and doesn't go with the blues in my decor.
  14 answers
  • MBLori MBLori on Jan 21, 2015
    For some reason the chairs look 70's to me. I don't think this was originally a set. Maybe it's just the picture. I would definitely go with a light colored fabric. And I would cover the back of the chair back too. It will give a little more visual interest.
  • Karin From B'ham Karin From B'ham on Jan 22, 2015
    This looks very similar to a set owned by my ex's grandparents, most definitely bought in the 30s. Their table legs had lost the original casters, causing the table to sit so low that the heavy, ornate skirt made for a tight fit and impossible to cross one's legs under! With the heavy wood (oak, right?) and ornate carving, fussy fabric would look silly, IMO. (See how silly the toile looks on that chair?) One idea I had was to use several colors of a substantial fabric--jewel tones would be lovely--drawing from whatever color scheme you choose. Perhaps 2 chairs each in 3 colors. Thanks for sharing, as this photo brought back memories of happy holidays with people I loved dearly!
    • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on Jan 22, 2015
      @Karin From B'ham We have a Table with the same problem so my husband just stuck pieces of 2 x 4 under the caster area... and that raises the table up enough. I always wondered how my tall uncle was able to sit at the Table. ?
  • Bonnie Paterson Bonnie Paterson on Jan 22, 2015
    chevron for fun!
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jan 22, 2015
    Gorgeous! The fabric choice really depends on where the set is going and the color scheme for that room. Also, if you want to stay with a vintage vibe, you want to go with a velvet or satin brocade or something along that line. If you want to funk it up to make it more modern, then I would go with a bold two-color geometric pattern. Have fun!
  • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on Jan 22, 2015
    Maybe you can find larger Taller Casters.. Depending on your Style you could use Denim or stripes ? in your Blues
  • Karla Sanchez Karla Sanchez on Jan 22, 2015
    Thank you all for your input. I love color and if painting it didn't feel so wrong that would be my way to go. I definitely want some color on the chairs which is the reason for colorful upholstery :-). @MBLori I love the idea of upholstering the back as well. I think that would look amazing!
  • Pam Longville Pam Longville on Jan 22, 2015
    I have refinished many sets like this over my 40 years in the business. This set is original and dates to the late 1920s. It's original, and always a well built set. Not an upholsterer, whatever you do it will look great.
  • Teri Hansen Teri Hansen on Jan 22, 2015
    @Karla Sanchez, very lovely dining set, I can see why you like it so much. First question I have for fabric selection is what else is going on in the room where it will live; other fabrics, color schemes, other furniture, etc. If the room in this picture is the home for this set then what I see is light and airy anchored by a large dark mass of furniture, which adds for great interest. I see a window with white or light vertical blinds but do you have a fabric valance? If so make sure the piece coordinates and flows. If there is no other fabric then you have a clean slate which to start. Then I see a another large mass of furniture, a beautiful china cabinet in blue. Both pieces are large so I would encourage something in keeping with the style of furniture. I'm not sure I would see a 'funky' piece in this particular room [although I love a super fun pattern] but for this room I would encourage to stay in keeping with your furniture. There are lots of carved details going on in each piece and you don't want to overshadow or fight against that. Plus keep in mind the lines already dominating the room, square tiles on the floor and straight lines at the window. What my eye wants to see is a light, airy, open classic pattern and the toile pictured above I feel works well. A toile pattern is fresh enough to fit almost any decor, doesn't go out of style, can easily be coordinated with a large selection of other patterns, as well as the updated color selections available today has a large enough variety that you should be able to find a color combo that would fit your color scheme in your room. I hope this was a bit helpful. I encourage you to take your time, fabric and labor is an investment and one you will probably be living with for a while. One last little tip that I suggest to my clients when selecting fabrics, if you find a piece of fabric that you think you may like to use but aren't quite sure, buy a yard and live with it in your room for a while. Better to invest a small amount and find you won't like it vs. investing a great amount and deciding later it is all wrong and are unhappy with your selection. Sorry so long winded, be sure to enjoy the process, savor it like a fine wine, it's a decision you will be living with for some time. Please be sure to share photos once you have completed your project I would like to see what you end up doing.
    • Karla Sanchez Karla Sanchez on Jan 22, 2015
      @Teri Hansen That picture is the home of the dining table. I don't have curtains yet, I will be getting rid of the blinds, they came with the house and I DO NOT like them one bit. I grew up with curtains and valances and so that's what I want for my own house :-) I keep reading toile pattern and while looking online I see that there is several different color combinations, so I may just do that and stay with the pattern just a switch of color ;-) Thank you for your advise!
  • Millie Sheehy Millie Sheehy on Jan 22, 2015
    Depending on your taste and if you want to stay within the period or not. If it were me, I would find an upholstery fabric with yellow and blue to go with the room, and show off the dark wood in the table and chairs. It's a beautiful set, and you want to make it stunning.
  • Carole Carole on Jan 23, 2015
    A stripe would also suit them I think but you have to be very careful that your stripes are straight and in line or it looks very noticeable.
  • Sandy Sandy on Mar 26, 2015
    Beautiful set! I would not go with anything "funky" but something more classic. BTW did you paint your hutch? Looks nice.
  • Rudy Rudy on Jul 13, 2016
    I I would like a tapestry type of fabric or a Stripe for more formal look. It is very Pretty furniture. Lynne
  • Karin From B'ham Karin From B'ham on Jul 14, 2016
    My ex husbsnd'so grandparents had a similar suite. It always seemed thar leg room was so tight, with the apron around the edge sitting in one'sitting lap. We later learned that these heavy tables were typically on casters-casters that were small relative to the mass of the table, often broke and we're lost. Just in case the table sits low-could be a reason. Good luck!
    • See 1 previous
    • Karin From B'ham Karin From B'ham on Jul 14, 2016
      You are quite welcome. It doesn'the matter if the table is tall enough....but if it seems short, that might be your answer. The casters that were used were far too delicate for such heavy tables, probably snapped soon after purchase. Probably easy to Google and reseach, and there are probably sturdy feet extenders available now should you need them. Enjoy your new suite!
  • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Sep 11, 2016
    Hey, Karla, you posted this thread back in early 2015. How'd the chairs turn out? Pictures please.