Metamorphosis of the “Papillon” Chair

We sent our newest baby off into the world… a little verklempt, but excited for what comes next! Wondering what we’re talking about?? Take a peek at our latest endeavor…the transformation of a couple of cast-offs into a fabulous piece of art!


The challenge: up-cycle or craft a one-of-kind chair using a variety of materials for the IFDA’s Take a Seat fundraiser that benefits the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development, a national affordable housing organization.

What’s not to love about that? Re-use, rejuvenate, and help out? We got right to work! We were thrilled to receive the worn but classic bergere armchair from our buddies at Partners in Design. I found the oh-so-fabulous 1980s purple fur coat in a thrift shop. Check out Rihanna in a very similar look!


Alas, the purple fur was too skimpy for the whole chair. Another phone call provided us with a stunning butterfly Rubelli silk from our friends at Donghia. Thus the “Papillon” chair was born! Jens Thoresen Painting updated the chair with a few coats of glossy black paint.


Then, on to Partners in Design for reupholstering to complete the metamorphosis. Don’t these two fabrics play well together? The high-low only looks high to me!


Back to our studio for the finishing touches. Look, our baby has a brilliant bottom! Although it resembles a starry night in the photo, when “Papillon” is sitting upright, there’s just a lovely subtle glow from the base.


For the pièce de resistance, we scattered small fabric butterflies just as if they had alighted on the chair. Believe it or not, the black and pink one that looks like it’s on the arm of the chair is actually part of the fabric!

And the back side is equally pretty!


Last stop, “Papillon” is auctioned off at the IFDA’s “Take a Seat” Gala!
We were delighted to be a part of this fantastic fundraiser, and hope you enjoyed the story of the “Papillon” journey.

Stay tuned for tales of our travels in August!

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