Early last fall, during a spin through the Salvation Army around the corner from our old city diggs, I picked up four of these 1970s modern chrome chairs. I loved the lines, but the padding was like dry rot and the fabric a filthy microsuede that just screamed Office Park.


So to spruce them up, I headed over to Calico Corners in Mamaroneck, New York. As a magainze editor, I loved using Calico fabrics, especially when I was on a deadline. They're quick, reasonably priced, and their selection of patterns and colors is fantastic! My old friend Jan Jessup in particular was always so helpful. 


Now the way I see it, these chairs could have gone the way of Office Park once again had I chosen a gray flannel or something similar, so to keep that from happening, this mod makeover was all about color! Within minutes of walking in, I found this trellis pattern in a parrot green I loved! There was something great, too, about the play of geometry between chair and fabric: both are rectilinear in a cool, complementary way.


But why stop there? Bring on the color—and pattern! Even though it was a set of four, I was pretty sure I wanted to split them up. So whatever fabric I chose for the second two could definitely be different, but they should still all work together. After a couple of spins around the showroom, I spotted this summery floral.  


It's a traditional pattern updated with fun, vivid colors. And for $17.99/yard, I have to say—that's a lot of bang for your buck!


The greens I thought looked great. Plus, there was something nice about the motifs of the two patterns together: birds, flowers, and trellis. How cool would all four chairs look gathered around, say, a white Saarinen table with a big drum shade?


And so with that, my work was done!! A big thank you to Natalie Ferrara and all the super helpful staff over at Calico Corners in Mamaroneck.


Flash forward a few weeks and voilà! How fresh, young, and hip are these? They're stylish side chairs flanking a console and the perfect perch for all those thank you's. And while the fabric is a traditional pattern, the colors make it feel modern and chic!


Speaking of chic, check out the trellis chair! I love the play of pattern between wallpaper and fabric. It's a little counterintuitive, but I like it! And who doesn't need a chair in the bathroom for all those pretty pedicures?


So the next time you find hidden treasure at the flea market, the Salvation Army, or even your own attic, cover it in something fantastic from Calico Corners. It's a great way of making a piece truly your own. And aren't those the best kind anyway?