I inherited two chairs and a matching three-seater from my maternal grandmother. It has been featured before in this post about decorating with vintage finds.
I had them reupholstered many years ago—the two chairs in pink and off-white stripes and the three-seater in a silvery grey.
They were in different rooms at the time, hence the different fabric choices.
In our living room where they are currently together, the grey is ok, but the pink, not so much. I could reupholster them again, but do I really want to? There are a lot of factors to consider here:
- They hold a lot of sentimental value
- I love the carved detail of the wood
- Anything vintage has my heart
- I love furniture with a story. Even better if it’s part of MY story!
- I moved them halfway around the world to get them here. I kind of made a big commitment there!
And then, on the other hand:
- They are as uncomfortable as can be!
- I would love to redecorate the living room and include something more comfortable.
- The pink goes with nothing at this stage.
- I think I might confuse the love I have for them with the love I had for my grandmother!
And then the reality:
- We have no other space to move them to
- I would never get it over my heart to get rid of them
- We don’t have the budget for new comfy couches, so why are we even talking about this?
I digress! That was all about MY upholstery but let me get back to the original story.
My Grandmother’s Upholstery
My earliest memory of this furniture is green upholstery. It might have been the original fabric, but I’m not 100% sure.
This is three-month-old me on my grandma’s three-seater. This is the only photo I have of this furniture while it was my gran’s.
The Weird And Random Things We Sometimes Remember
My gran had the whole set reupholstered in 1987, and I remember it VIVIDLY. Weird, I know. My love for fabric must be a thing I was born with.
I loved the new upholstery SO much! It was heavy damask velvet in garnet red.
That fabric never aged. It became very old-fashioned, but it stood the test of time as far as durability goes. It withstood many, many family gatherings, a few pets, and six busy little cousins.
Does This Story Even Have A Point?
It sure does! That fabric kept up so well that it still looked new the day I inherited it 21 years later! Don’t believe me? Let me show you!
When I had it reupholstered about ten years ago, I asked that the original upholstery be kept intact underneath.
Since the pink stripes did not match the decor, I decided to take it off and reminisce over the red velvet. I’m not crazy about the red in this space, but we might as well keep it around for Christmas, right? We’ll make a feature of it!
I also took the grey covers off, but it is A LOT! They are already back on.
I really can’t believe how well preserved it stayed over the years. And believe me, it was well-used! If you thought it might have been protected by some or other cover, nope, nothing! We used it as is, and it doesn’t show.
These carvings kept me busy for hours as a child, trying to fit all five fingers in them all at once. Small things…
Moral of the story?
I am amazed by the durability of this fabric!
Do I love the red in this space?
As much as I would like to pretend that I’m embracing granny chic or grandmillennial style, this is just granny style. In other words, old-fashioned. If by now you are as confused as my husband was when first hearing these terms, let me quote an expert.
Taking fringe, trim, chinoiserie, drapery, skirts on furniture, slipcovers, wallpaper—all of that–and updating them to be convenient for today’s 30-year-old is what grandmillennial style is all about. One step too far and you can end up with a room that’s more granny than grandmillennial. – interior designer Becky Boyle
I love grandmillennial style, but what I’ve got going now is not it. The fact that I’m too old to qualify as a millennial has nothing to do with it!
I love the whole trend, and I am definitely moving towards incorporating the above-mentioned chinoiserie, drapery, and wallpaper. Will the red velvet, my grandmother’s upholstery, be part of it? To be continued…
Here’s one more grainy photo of my beloved grandma and me. Living on in memory.