French Provincial Furniture

Fabulous Silk Scarf Furniture Makeovers

Doing quick furniture makeovers is one of the most rewarding hobbies a person can have.  After all, who doesn’t love looking at furniture before and after pictures.  I am always amazed at what a couple of coats of paint can do.  Painted furniture can really add that “wow factor” to a room.  Not only is it fun to see a dramatic transformation, but in many cases what was once a throw-away piece can become one of the most unique pieces in your home if you give it a different color scheme. 

Painting is the quickest ways to transform a room or a piece of furniture, BUT just as quick and highly underestimated is upholstery.  One of the best tools a designer can use to transform a room from an amateur design to a professionally designed room is fabric.  The combination of carefully thought out fabrics will give you a high impact professionally designed appearance.  

One easy upholstery project that any person can undertake with minimal upholstery experience is dining room chairs.  Upholstering your dining room chairs is one of the simplest ways a home owner can give a room a whole new vibe.   At first, I didn’t know anything about upholstery, and I started by simply recovering dining room chairs, which got me going with upholstery.  Over time, I got better with practice.  

If you plan on upholstering chairs which may be used quite frequently, be sure to use heavyweight upholstery fabric.  The key to upholstery is to have your fabric as firm (tight, not loose) when stapling your fabric down.  Sometimes it takes a bit of muscle to pull the fabric tight, but it is well worth it in the end.  

In my post  Making Over Your French Headboard I list some great upholstery supplies.  Nail head trim can be found for affordable prices on eBay.   

A simple accent chair at the end of a hallway or in the corner of a room can be one of the prettiest pieces in your home.  A simple chair can become a statement piece in your home.   When I am all out of ideas to paint furniture, I look to silk scarves for inspiration because they often feature geometrical designs which can transfer to furniture.  Silk scarves feature carefully designed geometrical patterns or like-minded shapes which can give you ideas for painted furniture.  

Whether you have a ranch home with contemporary-neutral colors, or have a rococo inspired home with pastels and high impact colors, there is a silk scarf for you.  In fact there are hundreds of silk scarves all with different scenes and interests. 

{Ralph Lauren Silk Scarf Plaid}

Silk scarves are generally quite small, but large enough (depending on the scarf) to upholster a small accent chair.  Designers like Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Coach or Burberry are designers who have mass produced a pattern that can be fairly simple to find duplicates of on ebay. 

Draw your inspiration from the scarf you choose to figure out what you want to do with the chair frame.  If you choose a contemporary equestrian silk scarf, a natural wood chair frame  may work best with the colors in the scarf.   

Gilt metal chair frames work elegantly with virtually any color.  Contrasting colors against gold have high impact.  Colors such as purple, mango,and apple green look outstanding with gold.  Adding some sort of metal touch to your chair will create a higher-end looking chair.  Adding ormolo hardware will go a long way to creating a statement chair. 

If you do plan on working with silver or gold consider gold leafing.  Working with gold leaf can be tricky, but there are simpler methods of getting the finish to replicate real gold.  Gold leaf accents dark and bright silk colors beautifully.     

Silk is not recommended for upholstery, so in order to make your scarf durable to use on a chair, you will need to purchase iron-on interfacing.  Interfacing is a durable fabric with glue on one side which when heated will fuse together this durable fabric permanently with your scarf making your fabric much tougher.  Be sure to try it on an extra “throw away scarf”  before trying it with the fabric you intend to use.  I use interfacing on all my upholstery projects.  Below are examples of interfacing. 

Fusible Non-Woven Interfacing- 15 Inch W x 3yds

Medium Weight Iron-On Fusible Interfacing- 20 Inch W x 1yd

If you enjoy french furniture as much as I do, and love the vibrant colors of silk scarves, why not give one chair in your home a spectacular make over?  Below I have collected some spectacular silk scarves  that would look dynamite on any fabulous accent chair.    

Coach Legacy Neckerchief Silk Scarf

This chest is one of the most spectacular painted chests I have seen.  The designer Delphine Groult is known for her life size pop art and her brightly colored wooden furniture.  Delphine Groult was selected to represent France at the world fair in Aichi in Japan. Her beautiful furniture can be found here.  Delphine Groult Coporation

Here are some additional patterns which would look outstanding painted on furniture…….

Burberry Plaid Spring Handbag

Coach Silk Scarf

Astor Place

COACH Stripe Muli Legacy Colors Silk Scarf Ebay Seller Sassyamcouture

HERMES SIlK SCARF ‘Raconte-moi le Cheval’ Rare Signed

Ralph Lauren Pink and White Scarf

TRUSSARDI Made in Italy Silk Scarf Ebay Seller Vividgemz

GianFranco Ferre Designer Pure Silk Square Scarf Ebay Seller Izdihabroutique

Echo Silk Scarf  Paisley

Gorgeous Vintage Gucci Silk Scarf with Flowers

Gucci Bamboo Silk Scarf

Vintage Gucci authentic silk scarf horses stirrups Silk Scarf



Here is antique Gossip Telelphone bench which was painted and covered with a nautical silk scarf.  Below are pictures of a before and after.  The original photo was not mine, but the exact same bench.  With mine, I just sawed off the telphone part of the bench, painted it white, and recovered the seat.

2 comments to Fabulous Silk Scarf Furniture Makeovers

  • Grace

    Hi Meranda,
    What a great idea, using scarves to upholster. You did a great job with the chair. It makes it look so chic and the pictures of the scarves are more interesting than the fabric that you buy by the yard. Thanks for sharing!

  • admin

    Thanks Grace…. It is certainly an idea worth exploring. Silk scarves have so many different patterns that there is a pattern for everyone’s home. Silk is so beautiful, it can really make a chair look special, unique and one of a kind

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