Wingback Chair Transformation


Wingback Chair Before and After
Can you believe this before and after?! It is still unreal to me, I am so inlove with this chair now and I have my dear friend Cindy to thank.

My husband has had this chair for at least the last 15 years, probably longer. I have always felt very attached to it despite its dizzying array of plaids. I lived with it for 8 years in Chicago and purposely plunked it in our main living room, thinking that would drive me to get it recovered. Then 3 kids happened and I lost my gusto for caring what it looked like anymore so settled for its comfort.

We moved to Toronto and it was placed in a new high traffic location. Again with the intent of forcing myself to figure out how to get it recovered. Procrastinate much? Two years less 3 weeks, it sat in our front hallway. At one point my father in law questioned why I still had this chair that he used to have in their family room. I told him my plan and he laughed. As he should, it had been nearly 10 years for crying out loud.

Wingback Chair Before
My lovely little chair before it got its makeover

Three weeks before we are scheduled to move back to Chicago, I am at my amazing interior designer friend, Cindy’s house and ask her if she knows someone who recovers chairs (you can check out some of her work for inspiration here). Cindy, whom I see at least 2 times a day every day, I decide to ask her this now. She fires me a quick text with the contact info of a woman that she works with and says, don’t know if she could meet your deadline but you can always ask. With that she goes and grabs a basket of fabric samples and picks out a few and asks if any of them jump out at me? I swear we spend all of 5 minutes talking about it, she knows my house and my taste and has really great style. I leave her house with 6 samples in my purse.

Here I am making the story longer than the actual process. By the next day I had finalized my fabric, Charlene, the chair recoverer can meet my deadline of having it recovered and back at my house for the pack day, has given me a quote and scheduled a time to come and pick it up. I’m telling you, there is NO WAY without the help of Cindy that I ever would have been able to accomplish all of that in a few months, let alone 1 day!

Wingback Chair After
Back from the recoverer all set to make the move to Chicago.
Wingback Chair After
After the makeover and in its new home.  A fresh look to last the next 30 years.

So even better, when it is all complete, I send a note to my inlaws saying, “Surprise! Look at your pretty chair!” It is only then that my mother-in-law says that she actually bought the chair with her first commission check. She lived in a house of boys so at some point got it recovered in the plaid, which at the time was probably pretty swanky because she also has amazing taste and style.

And voila my pretty chair now has a sweet backstory.

Recovering a chair might not be the most cost effective method of updating furniture compared to buying new, but for those unique pieces I can totally see the value of holding on and if you can find the right team to work with then it’s easy breezy.

I love my wingback chair. And one day I’ll let people sit in it.

To find more design inspiration you can follow Cindy McKay Interiors on Facebook, Instagram or follow her blog via email by signing up on her site. I just love all of her ideas. 



Disclaimer: Cindy McKay Interiors did not sponsor this post. But she is awesome so you should know about her :)



  1. says

    YOU have amazing taste for choosing to go with such a great, bold, large scale print for your amazing chair. The transformation is fantastic! Charlene @ really does tremendous work.
    I just wish this beautiful chair was still sitting in your living room 3 blocks away…. sniff sniff! Will just have to come for a visit to see it in it’s new Chicago home.


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