French chair makeover

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, upholstery45 Comments

I have a lot on my plate for the next couple of months and my mind has been churning trying to sort and prioritize.  When I hit these busy seasons, it helps me to get things checked off the to-do list, so I decided to get going right away on things this morning.  Before heading to the studio, I worked some more on the wallpaper mural in the upstairs bath.  Hanging wallpaper is tedious work, so I can only take it in doses.  I just have a few more rows to hang and then it will be all done.  I’m loving how it’s looking, though!


I was a bit scattered when I arrived at the studio.  I wanted to work on about ten things at a time, so I sort of scurried from one thing to the next.  Kriste is great at helping me settle down.  She organized the furniture that was strewn about the studio and set to work.  I decided to focus on reupholstering this chair…


Kriste had already stripped it down for me last week, so it was ready to go and I knew I could get it completed.  I upholstered the front in remnants of a blue-striped grain sack…


The wood was really beautiful with a warm patina, so I didn’t paint it.  I also love how the wood frames out the fabric.


I added a little surprise of a blue & white toile to the back…

mms-5541 mms-5543 mms-5545

I made a video tutorial showing how I reinforced the back, so I’ll share it as soon as I can get it edited.


Towards the end of the day, I was digging through my fabric stash to see what I might want to use on the pair of bergere chairs and I found two of these monogram grain sacks…


All I could think of when I saw the monogram was a “BM” monogram pillow I had for sale at Lucketts a couple of years ago.  My friend and fellow blogger, Breida, was there and jokingly referred to it as the “poop pillow”.  I was telling Kriste about this and asked her opinion on using the grain sacks monogrammed with “BM” on the chairs.  She shook her head, indicating that it wouldn’t be the best thing.  I knew she was right.  While a part of me thinks I just need to grow up and get past the potty humor, another part of me knew I would always think of those chairs as the “poop chairs”.  Thanks for that, Breida.

So, we came up with a solution…

mms-5533 mms-5530

We turned the B’s into Ps.


So, now they’ll be the “goodnight chairs”, which is much better than the “poop chairs”.  Don’t you think?

French chair makeover

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45 Comments on “French chair makeover”

  1. Good call on the monogram… though for some reason BM makes me think of Benjamin Moore 😉 Wanted to comment on your hair! I don’t think I have noticed the reds before- and the cut is looking very cute 🙂 I wasn’t sure if it was new or not, but just wanted to say I like it!

  2. Love these chairs and thought it a good idea to change the B to a P. How about finding some matching thread and add a “bottom” to one of the changed “P’s” to make it an A. Then you would have AM and PM. Goodnight and good morning. (or guten morgen if you accept my hack-job phonetic spelling of the German verson)
    Anyway you do it would be fabulous.

    Hoping that when you are done with the next blitz you would consider a video tutorial on how to shop for these Bergere chairs. I’d love to jump in and try my hand, but I just need a little more info on what to look for and especially the general price range for a Craigslist or used furniture store “find”. I’d love to “accompany” you on a shopping venture and I’m sure the other readers would as well.
    Good luck as you get ready for market.

  3. I love how you changed the “B’s” into “P’s” when I first saw the picture of Kristie with those scissors I thought she was going to cut half the grain sack off! I wasn’t sure how that was going to end up! Love the chairs… especially the back! But what I really need is a tutorial on how to fix these kinds of chairs when they have arms… and your husband sits on the arms and breaks them off… lol!

  4. My grandmother’s initials were BM and she never liked the fact for the same reason. LOL What a perfect solution!

  5. I believe you made a good choice on changing the monogram. I don’t think we ever grow up on things like that……were always kids at heart. The surprise blue & white toile was a great call, LOVE IT. I am definitely checking out the tutorial.

  6. That chair is my favorite one that you have done.So french.I love it that you call your place a studio.You really are a designer.You have a wonderful eye for things.Have a marvelous day!!

  7. That latest chair is beautiful – I love surprise textiles on the back. I love that you have Kriste (and what a great idea on the monogram). I love your hair – the style and color look amazing right now. If that’s not new, it must just be the light that I never noticed the red in it before. You girls really rock.

  8. Ha! That sounds like Breida. I wonder what she’ll have to say? Is she coming down for Lucketts again this year?

    I love those two fabrics on the chair together. I actually gasped. So well done. And I agree. Night chairs are better than poop chairs. Way to save the day.

    The Other Marian

      1. If I go, it will be Saturday. We gave up our booth with the doubling of the booth fees. So if I’m there, it will be to shop and hang out. How weird will that be? Would love to see you.
        The Other Marian

  9. I enjoy reading your blog sooooo much, but only rarely leave a comment. For some reason this one tickled my funny bone in a major way and I am STILL chuckling … what am I, five years old? LOL.

  10. I love the two contrasting fabrics on the chair…they are gorgeous. I am happy you don’t always paint the wood when it has such a beautiful patina such as this chair.

    BTW..I had to laugh about taking the time to change the fabric initials from BM to PM to avoid the “poop” references. In a flash, it went from poop to pee!

  11. HA! I’m not really sure how I feel about you outing my potty humor….
    I do think it was a brilliant idea to change the monogram though – it took a looong time for anyone to buy that pillow didn’t it?
    Smooth move!

  12. I was thinking the very same thing, but thought the loos threads would probably unravel without a know to secure them! How did you get past that problem? Or maybe you should have just removed other the entire P or the entire M and then recenter the fabric- that way it might even appeal to someone whose name starts with either a P or an M!

  13. Marian, you are so talented to be able to hung wall paper. I tried once and I ended up calling a pro, I couldn’t do it!!
    I’m madly in love with that chair. The upholstery is just stunning!!!
    Great job!!!

  14. Excuse me… I have been kidded about this my whole life. My nickname is Billie last name Meyer. Thus BM so I always add my middle initial to throw it off, thus BJM. LOL Good thing there isn’t a M on the fabric too…thus PMS. LOL More potty humor. Love your blog and ramblings!

  15. Loving the chair. I am especially fond of toile and have it in my main bathroom and master bedroom.

  16. Ok, you guys can really bring a smile to my face, even if it is a little juvenile. Also, I might be enjoying it a little bit more since my four year old grandson suddenly thinks saying the word poopy in about every other sentence is down right hilarious. Anyway, the chair is beautiful and I’m glad you ladies have so much fun doing what you do.

  17. Haha!

    I LOVE that chair ohmyword. That thing will last 1.2 nano seconds at Lucketts. If you EVER EVER come across dark brown toile…I will beg you for a chair like that.

    Have a nice B-er PM.


  18. Haha! The poop chairs! Anyway, where did you find the toile for the back? Joann’s is the fabric chain store here in Pittsburgh. I know they have toile, its just not always in the store. Also, you have quite a knack for finding amazing pieces on Craigslist! Do you have specific word searches you use or categories you search under? It may just be your area too.The difference between Pittsburgh and Phili. Ha!

  19. I will DEFINITELY think of this when I look at monogram linens. I wouldn’t of thought of just clipping a few of the cross stitches would make such a great makeover…

  20. I really love how you upholstered this chair. I love that the fabric on the back has a relationship through color to the fabric on the front. I admit, I’m not a huge fan of the surprise fabric usually, but I really like this because of the color tie in. As always, wonderful job!

  21. You just know that if a married woman bought a chair covered with BM initials, her husband or any sons would be all over the BM thing. I have four boys and avoid anything that might inspire potty humor (although that could be just about anything). I’ve had certain fabric and yarn color referred to as “baby poop.”

    I was thinking that if you had added a few more cross stitches to the curves of the B to make it straight, it would have changed the B into an A

  22. Marian, I love this chair and I’m not a blue and white girl. But, I would buy this chair. It’s so beautiful. I’m new at this grain sack fabric. Would you be willing to share with me how to go about finding antique grain sack fabric? I would love to make some pillows for my bedding.

    I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you a little thru blog-land and I’m one of your fellow “Whole 30” originals. Still hanging in there, most of the time.

    Blessings to you always – Donna

  23. Oh, gosh, I love the frame of that chair. The wood is so beautiful and the carving is gorgeous. However, maybe I am just too out of touch with what’s “in” but I don’t really care for the grain sack upholstery, partially because the stripe isn’t quite straight, but more because it just seems to me it doesn’t match the elegance of the frame. Sorry to be an “old poop”, but I would have liked the whole chair done in the blue toile much better, I think. So, there you have it—my negative opinion–for what it’s worth. Don’t be insulted, just chalk it up to ” we all have different tastes”, yes? I do still love your blog and seeing all the ways you express your creativity. (Do you ever sleep, Marian?)

  24. Yes, it’s totally a taste thing and I’m not offended at all. 🙂 Yes, I’m about to head to bed right now!

  25. HI Marian, I was so happy to hear you have many t hings on the go and get rattled at times. Ive been like this now for thew four years in my new home but it is slowly getting organised. Your work has been an inspiration Many thanks

  26. a wonderful chair and a great makeover! i bet you could sell these from your blog or website and that people would even pay the shipping charges.

  27. I purchased a red stripe grain sack pillow with a BM monogram from you at Luckett’s last year. I didn’t think much about the BM. It matches perfect with my red and white quilt in the guest bedroom.

  28. I didn’t get why the “BM” was associated with poop. I mean its a stretch to “bum” or ‘bathroom” so I wasn’t understanding why this was a common knowledge thing. I thought it might be a regional thing (I am in the midwest), then I googled it and realized it was an acronym used for a certain situation. Definitely never heard it referenced that way myself.

    I am thinking, you could leave it in the future, I mean unless you use that abbreviation often, it wouldn’t phase me.

    Terri- You’re not alone!!

    1. thanks! Being in the Uk it is another language sometimes! Not an expression I’ve ever heard used, even the family doctor says “poo”.
      I associate BM with the British Museum… Bob Marley, Bette Midlar,

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