When it comes to shopping, I've always thought that imagination was more useful than luck. Now don't get me wrong—it's always nice to find that just-right piece by being in the right place at the right time. But more often than not, it's the ability to see the potential in something (remember the secretary?) that really counts. Take this chair that our friend Jordan picked up on a recent trip to the Millerton Antiques Center, just a few miles up the road from our house. Looking past the hideous fabric and outdated finish, we saw a sturdy chair with great proportions and slender lines. Plus, with a little Designer DIY, we also felt certain we could turn it into something worthy of a place in her small, but stylish West Village apartment.


After tearing off all that old, dusty fabric, we lightly sanded the wood, then painted it white. To offset the severe vertical lines of the chair's arms, Jordan wanted to use a thick, horizontal stripe that felt casual and slightly askew, but the patterns she found were either too skinny, too graphic, or too…well…nautical.  So, having run out of luck, we used—what else?—our imagination! First, we covered the chair with a thick, white cotton fabric, using store-bought white piping to finish off the edges. Then, we taped off large sections of the chair with duct tape to create intentionally uneven stripes of different widths for the casual feel she wanted.  After taping off the newly-painted white frame as protection, we used silver spray paint to cover the portions of fabric not covered by duct tape. Once the paint was dry, we peeled off the duct tape, revealing exactly the kind of stripes she'd imagined!


Not only have the stripes held up beautifully, but it's impossible to tell that the fabric is painted at all!  Even Jaithan was fooled—his first question after seeing the finished chair was "Where did you get that fantastic fabric?" Now Jordan is the first to admit she was skeptical about pulling off the look, but now that it's done, it looks even better than she'd imagined. Indeed, a little luck isn't a bad thing at all! And speaking of, wish us luck at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, everyone! We're off to Pasadena for a bit of shopping, rest, and relaxation, California-style! We're also going to be seeing my good friend Andrea Schroder from Top Design while we're out there. Remember her gorgeous guest house in Topanga Canyon? We'll be away for a few days next week, everyone. See you on Thursday!