Recently, I was hired to repaint some counter stool-style chairs. They accompany a kitchen island in a beautiful Rochester, NY home near Lake Ontario. This project was really fun, and I think they turned out cute. There were a couple of initial challenges, as with any custom project. I am really pleased with how some careful initial planning helped create a smooth end result that the customer loves.

Here is what the chairs looked like before I started:

Kitchen Chair Makeover – Before pic #1
Kitchen Chair Makeover – Before Pic # 2

And this is what they look like now!

Kitchen Chair Makeover – After Pic # 1 – The Back
Kitchen Chair Makeover – After Pic # 2 – The Front
Kitchen Chair Makeover – The end result!

1. There are several hand-painted decor elements in this kitchen – that someone else painted. So, as much as I wanted my particular painting style to come through, I wanted to be sure it coordinated with what was already on the walls. The paintings on the walls were really beautifully done!! There are a few vignettes of flowers scattered on the walls under the cabinets, and on the stove backsplash. There is also a hand-painted design on the walls.Solution: I took inspiration from the color tones in the existing murals, but designed something unique, with my personal flavor. I took several photos of the wall murals, so I could use them later while I painted, as color reference.

Here is an example of one of the sample boards I presented to the client to show the colors and designs that I was proposing.

2. The kitchen is very white; there is not a lot of color used in proportion to the size of the space. The client wanted to introduce color, but was a little worried that whatever I painted on the chairs would be “too much”. I assured her that the room could handle a good amount of color. Actually, the large amount of white makes for a great backdrop for accessories – and chairs can usually fall into that category! Furthermore, I kept most of the chairs white, and kept the part that was most colorful at the top, where it would be seen.Solution: I provided the client with a full-color rendering (“sketch”) of the exact chair design so that she could better visualize the final product. I typically do this with most projects. It helps tremendously!

Kitchen Chair Makeover – After, showing both chairs at the island

3. The client wanted to carry the MacKenzie-Childs’ pattern called Parchment Check into the chairs. She has several pieces in this pattern in her kitchen. Solution: The client purchased curtain panels in the Parchment Check pattern from their catalog, with which I recovered the seats of the chairs!

You can see in this photo that the homeowner really loves the MacKenzie-Childs’ Parchment Check ceramic accessories! Now her chairs match!

I also took inspiration from other elements in the room, as well as the client’s personal taste & style. Whenever I try to custom design pieces to fit into an existing decor, I am met with challenges. However, with careful planning and attention to detail, the project turns out great!