Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Caning Conundrum

I've used caned chairs in a bunch of client projects and every time I find the perfect pair at a thrift store and restore them with paint and fabric I'm always so sad to see them go.

Last week the itch for caning would not let up and I needed to get my hands on some caned chairs for myself. Searches on craigslist came up empty so I penciled in a day last week to hit all of my favorite thrift stores and was lucky enough to find the perfect pair in the first one.

Learning my lesson from previous thrifting experiences I snagged them right away:

Now here is my caning conundrum do I leave the wood as is or paint it?

Normally I would paint, but the wood is in good condition and my first feeling was to leave it as is. 

2nd conundrum what do I cover the chairs in? 

My first thought was a Pierre Fery renment that I recently won on ebay.

Or this Large Polka Dot Ikat:

Kinda leaning towards a pink velvet (Hope Jon's not reading this post. When I try to get approval on bright pink we will have to think of a deceiving code name for pink)

Something like this:

{Room designed by Massucco Warner Miller}

The other main fabric in the room is:

With pops of this:

And this:

Plus this:

Ah what's a girl to do?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my latest e-decorating give-away!

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Blogger Lindsay said...

It's too funny that you're leaning towards pink velvet because I have a pair of caned chairs exactly like yours and have been searching for the perfect shade of pink velvet for them! Great minds think alike! xo

November 17, 2010 at 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd leave the wood! It's absolutely gorgeous ( I can't tell the condition, but the color is beautiful) I wish I could have left the wood, but the pair I bought were two different shades. One was sitting in front of a window for 30 years and had faded :( I don't know about the fabric. I'd go with the pink velvet!

November 17, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger heather s. said...

Normally I'm a fan of painting but I love the wood as-is. Pink velvet would look divine with the wood - go for it!

November 17, 2010 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Cathy W. said...

I'm with Heather - leave would has is and add pink velvet. How beautiful!

November 17, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Amy R. said...

Pink ikat with the original wood or be more dramatic with black. Nice find.

Amy R.

November 17, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger meach61 said...

Leave the wood, looks perfect in your room. I found the velvet and am doing a sofa in it. Lee Industries Rayina Raspberry. Take a look at it.

November 17, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Clare said...

I would go with a velvet all the way... no pattern. You can always use a pillow for some pattern. I find that patterns go out of fashion so quickly that I never re-upholster in something that may become dated in a few years. Keep the wood as is. It's beautiful and warm.

November 17, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger A Flair for Vintage Decor said...

I love that wood color as is so I would not paint! Love the pink velvet option the fun and classic! You can always add pillows to add a pattern. Great find!! Caroline

November 17, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I actually like the color as it appears in your photo. Love the bright pink fabric.

November 17, 2010 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I have a chair with caning in good shape I'm about to redo and I'm going to paint mine, but it will be tough - all the wood and caning is in great shape. Love all the fabrics - tough choice!

November 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

I like the wood. Great find. I'm sure what ever you do they will look fabulous.

November 17, 2010 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger alison (semi-fab lane) said...

the wood looks so good, keep it! and i love the idea of pink velvet and not a pattern since you have a number of patterns going on right now. i just purchased cane back chairs for my dining room via ebay.

November 17, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Kate {domestikatedlife} said...

Polka Dot Ikat all the way! I love that print.

I have one of these chairs from my grandmother in my bedroom, it love it!

November 17, 2010 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Belly said...

What about using the other floral fabric you have in the room (second bottom pic)? I love the pink velvet idea too, and please leave the wood as is!

November 17, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...


November 17, 2010 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Kate at Dream To Life said...

Paint! Or not :>) Can't wait to see 'em finished!

November 17, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say leave the wood and do a solid color - pink velvet would be fun! I personally think paint should be left for low quality/poor condition wood, and let the good stuff shine untouched. :)

November 17, 2010 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love those chairs, I am hunting for something similar at the moment.

Ah so many good options! I would leave the wood, if it is in good condition--you can always paint later if you want to change them up but it is hard to go back if you paint them now--and am leaning towards the pink velvet or the pink ikat fabric. I would save that remnant for something where it will be the main focal-piece pattern in the room, it is too beautiful to compete with the other floral and patterns you already have going on. It needs to stand out on its own! But you really can't go wrong here...

November 17, 2010 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Cassie {Hi Sugarplum!} said...

I normally lean towards painting things...but the wood is really pretty on those chairs. And I vote for the pink ikat.

November 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger The Gimlet Eye said...

I discussed a similar caning conundrum on my blog today! Trying to decide whether to paint a Thonet rocker or not! Glad to hear I am not alone!

November 17, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say paint the wood and use the pink fabric

November 17, 2010 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger The Matters of Style Girls said...

Leave! The wood is pretty. Save painting for fuggo wood! On a side note, my great uncle was completely blind and did the most beautiful canework you have ever seen. I still have a couple of stools he did. It's so special.

November 17, 2010 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

I like using different patterns that work together. And I love leaving the cane exposed!! However, in my case, when I painted it, it began to flake off on one side. So, I came up with a custom solution:

Let me know what you think!

November 17, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger kelleyp said...

love all your choices but you have no solids in your room. maybe go with less pattern? those would be great chairs and if you pick solid it would allow your eye to rest. just a thought.

November 17, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger LindsB said...

I'm thinking a yummy green velvet with hot pink piping- and just dont mention the pink part to Jon. I think doing a hot pick velet might be too much with that striped chair in there- but then again, what do I know? :)

November 17, 2010 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Katie @ Noodle and Boof said...

i love them!! i wouldn't paint!

November 17, 2010 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Mindy said...

I'd leave them wood and cover the cushion with The hot pink & white fabric! Awesome find.

November 17, 2010 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also leave the wood...but for sure the pink gorge!!

November 17, 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

The chairs are gorgeous! I'm all for the pink velvet :)

November 17, 2010 at 3:31 PM  
Anonymous B.Tigress said...

I love the pink velvet! It is so lux and unique! I think you should go for it and paint the wood too! It is beautiful as is, but think of how much it would POP when you really made the chairs your own!!!

P.S. I am a new follower to your blog and I absolutely L-O-V-E your aesthetic!

Sending you a smile!

November 17, 2010 at 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Ooooo! Pink velvet, pink velvet, pink velvet!

Congrats on your fun find

November 17, 2010 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Great chairs! I love the pink velvet -- I think it would go so well with the other fabrics in the room.

November 17, 2010 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Camila- You can't go wrong here with any of those choices. I'd pair the brown wood with the pink velvet and it would be a supporting player, or paint the wood gloss black and use the ikat and make the chair a dramatic highlight of the room.

Does that chair want to vie for the spotlight or lie low?

Can't WAIT to see what you do with it! You just know how to pull a room together.


November 17, 2010 at 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Living Livelier said...

I'm going to go rogue and say paint the wood! Lacquer it girl!
Deb :)

November 17, 2010 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Just Like Any Other Girl, Only More So said...

gorgeous chairs! such a great find! leave the wood and pink velvet would be sooo pretty!

November 17, 2010 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thx to shared, hmm but if you won to see another wallpaper please come to

November 18, 2010 at 5:52 AM  
Blogger Oonafey said...

I love the pink ikat, but I think it would be too much with everything else going on. Unless your going for a Miles Redd type of look.

I think pink velvet would be fun though! Especially if your keep them the original wood tone.

November 18, 2010 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Evie said...

I definitely just had the same conundrum about the caning on some wood chairs. Part of me says to leave any wood that is 30+ years old, but there is always the other part of me that wants to paint EVERYTHING. Good luck with your choice, the good news is that whichever way you go it will be lovely. Oh and for my two cents, I'm partial for putting a brightly colored velvet fabric on chairs like that!

November 18, 2010 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Danielle@Fresh Quince said...

Awesome find...I recently scored a pair for $6 a piece and now I am in the same dilemma. What fabric to choose and oddly enough I am thinking of not painting the chairs and adding you guessed rich pink velvet, but I have a bright orange velvet sofa...would it be too much? We'll see! Can't wait to see what you do too!!

November 18, 2010 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

Totally go with your gut and leave them! You can always change your mind later. Plus, the pink on white would be really girly, which can be great, but maybe not so much for a guy.

November 18, 2010 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Hello Lover... said...

I love the idea of leaving the chair's wood as is and going with that first floral fabric!

I love that striped chair!

November 18, 2010 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

WIll you share your favorite thrift stores in your area? I think I like pretty close and am always looking for great new places! Love your blog.

November 18, 2010 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger diane@onlinefabricstore said...

With all your other patterns, I would choose a luscious solid velvet and maybe pipe it in the pink as a fun contrast that wont upset hubby too much. Leave the wood as is...I am personally getting a little tired of painted furniture and wood is so warm. Looking forward to seeing the finished project.

November 19, 2010 at 1:19 AM  

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