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deconstructed chair


There is a small furniture trend that you may or may not have tuned into – deconstructed upholstery.

Personally, I’m a fan.  Not in every single case and definitely not for every room, but for just the right old piece, it’s a way to honor the makers of it – to put the hand-tied springs, basted burlap, and wood frame on full display, in all of its half-dressed glory.


photo via

I’ve been wanting to create this deconstructed look on a piece, but hadn’t met the right one, yet.

Well, that changed on Monday, when Kriste was stripping this pretty chair.  I looked at the muslin and burlap and realized I really liked it.  I said something to the effect of, “Stop right there!”


The muslin is a little too far gone on this piece, sadly, but I am planning to clean up the back and the frame and reupholster the front in antique hemp sheets.  It’ll provide a comfortable place to sit, but retain that deconstructed look.


I’m really excited about the cushion on this chair.  It’s a full down cushion, so it’s super soft and I love the relaxed look.  I will make a cover for it, to protect the old fabric and filling.


I will most likely stain the frame, but I’m going to wait to see how it looks when it’s cleaned up.

mms-9363 mms-9355 mms-9359

So, we’ll see how it goes!  The nice part is that I have to upholster the inside of a chair first, anyway, so if I get to that stage and it’s a big fail, I can just finish upholstering it properly.


I’ll be sure to share details along the way.

How about you?  Are you a fan of the deconstructed look?

PS – Another batch of antique hemp sheets are for sale in the online shop.

PPS – Your comments on this post are cracking me up!

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  1. Not a fan, but sure does make for great photo opportunity. I think I like the idea of it, don’t want it for me, fun to look at as long as it’s not my house. Again, superior photo opportunity on that piece, as always, great job. Truly great eye for all the picky details that make all of your finds wonderful to stare at in photos.

  2. Naomi S. says:

    Well, I have to say, the appeal of this trend is lost on me. I love patina and all, but I just don’t think I can get with a ripped up chair in my living room! Of course, I wouldn’t have to worry about the grandsons wrecking it! Oh, my, the ideas and trends that come and go–fascinating!

    I’ll be along for the ride, though. Interested in seeing how your project works out. You do keep my attention!

  3. Kathie says:

    I love it since it tells a unique story. Looking forward to seeing the outcome.

  4. I am looking forward to seeing the unfinished-finished product! I like the deconstructed look :-) I have wondered about the “cleanliness” of second hand pieces… I have several second hand chairs in my home. Most of them sat out in the cold for a few months in my shed until I could get around to working on them- so -30 C. I then either recover or clean them… but someone recently said they never buy used upholstered anything- and I wondered your thoughts on this, and if you have a certain process for prepping or cleaning items. I usually do the sniff test…. and that about does it for me!

  5. Margaret says:

    I love this look, I have been toying with this idea myself. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  6. Seriously?

  7. B Folk says:

    As a piece of art, yes. As an actual piece of furniture to be used in the home, no. Kinda reminds me of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations for some reason…will withhold final judgement until after the unveiling.

    • Patricia says:

      That is so hilarious! Every time I see dead schrivled up dried flowers I think of Miss Havisham. Yep, I can see the correlation !

  8. I was about to say absolutely not, then I remembered I recently deconstructed my drawer divan. I read a feng shui book whilst awake with insomnia and decided to ditch the 4 drawers and their contents. Then I looked at the aging damask and 2 hours later the bed was down to 6 rough wood legs and the unplaned frame. But it’s all covered up with a bed skirt! Have been sleeping really well since … Love this blog ♥

  9. I like looking at it. THe process in intriguing. I had an upholsterer in TX who told me she started to rip a chair apart for a client and found a one# bag of marijuana in the depths!

  10. What exactly IS it? What does it MEAN??

  11. Oh I want to be a fan but I have issues with beige towels! I’m always trying to get them “clean” aka- white! Is it okay not to be a fan but still love what you do and show us? Good! I’ll keep liking what you do!

  12. Sue Pagels says:

    I too like the look and photo ops, but don’t think I could have it in my house or even y work shop or chicken coop!! I would look at it as an unfinished project and think, hmmm…I really need to finish that! But as always, I love to watch your work and I’m sure it will turn out amazing as all your other projects have. Enjoy your weekend!

  13. Kathryn says:

    I mean…like…do you actually sit on that? Ha ha…just messing with ya. But truthfully…not for me. Nope. Never. But it’s interesting to learn what sparks one’s joy , isn’t it?

  14. A grey washed or pickled stain on the wood. Fresh new white linen material on the front side and seat. New burlap exposed on the sides and back and all held together with brand new cut tacks. MMMHMMM, I see it, I get it and I LOVE it!

  15. I don’t know what’s funnier, these comments or a Saturday Night Live skit!

  16. Debbie Delosreyes says:

    I love love this look. I have been drooling over some of the $$$ deconstructed furniture from Restoration Hardware and I thought, I hope MMS will create some pieces! It is furniture and art at the same time. Rustic but elegant in my book.

  17. Claudia Gutierrez says:

    I love those from RH but too expensive. I have not found the appropriate piece for DIY. ?

  18. Crystal Brown says:

    I’m a huge fan of the deconstructed look! Maybe because I personally sport a “deconstructed look” since I’m showing all my 68 years of life. I’ve been a fan since first seeing this look in Paris a few years ago. It just caught my heart.

  19. I think I’ve been living with some partially deconstructed furniture for a while . . .

    We had them recovered earlier this year, after waiting to have them done for years. I am SO glad. Ours are batting over foam, and it hurt to sit on them with foam gone and wood showing on the arms.

    I’m now ready to tackle two chairs that also are tearing at the seams for that deconstructed look :) They’ve got batting coming out of the seats.

    I am looking to restain them; they’re pecan colored and I have dark woods. I’ve been looking at stains and I’m not sure what to use. Do you have a preferred brand?

  20. Yuck!!!!

  21. Amy Darling says:

    I’m starting to work on my own deconstructed wingback! I love this look! I find it to be such a conversation piece (atleast I think it will be!) please do a tutorial video on your chair we would love to watch!

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