the French twins

by | May 12, 2014 | Before and Afters, upholstery | 48 comments

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I told you there were lots of furniture makeovers on the way!  Here’s another one…

Remember this pair of French chairs?  I found them on Craig’s List for a good price and they were in really nice condition.  A reader asked why I don’t just leave them alone.  It’s true, I could probably sell them as is, but they aren’t really “me.”  Why does that matter if I’m selling them?  It matters because people aren’t just buying a French chair or a dresser from me.  They can buy those from any vendor at Lucketts.  What they can buy from me is something with my style stamp on it.  Plus, I want my booth to be full of things I love and would use in my own home, not things that are just nice.

So, Cari stripped them and pulled out the thousands of decorative tacks to get them ready for me.  The foam was in fine condition, but it was a little hard, so I added some more batting.  The nail head trim was also in grooves around the arms and I didn’t really like how that looked, so I filled those in to make the chair seat look fuller…if that makes sense.  I upholstered them in antique grain sacks with a French General blue & white fabric on the backs.  I like adding that little surprise in the style of chair.  They are trimmed out in ivory gimp from, which is just hot-glued on.

The wood frames were a little worn, but still in beautiful condition, so I left them alone.  I really like how the wood plays against the cream grain sack and contrasts the painted pieces in my booth.

As a recap – before…

…and after…

If you’re interested to see my process, you can check out all of my upholstery-related posts HERE.

Off to do more…

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    1. Jamie

      Another wonderful transformation of something into your “style”.

      I really love what you said about putting your style stamp on what you are selling, and your desire to sell things that you would use in your own home……It is something that I am trying to remember more and more as I sell my own furniture and antiques. You do an amazing job of staying true to yourself and it is really an inspiration.

    2. Marsha Kern

      So much better, you are amazing!!!

    3. Rita C. (Panoply)

      Marian, these are beautiful. I liked the chairs as they were, but I love them more now. I do love how you put your stamp on the items you find. Just beautiful. Best wishes for a hugely successful weekend.

    4. Tammy Gilleland

      Marian, these chairs are gorgeous! I just absolutely love them. Simply stunning!

    5. Cora

      LOVE how these turned out! They went from stuffy old grandma chairs to cool, chic and classic superstars! Nice job…they will fly out of your tent!

    6. kristin

      These will be gone in an instant! They speak to your style and are gorgeous.

    7. brittanyMakes

      they’re absolutely perfect! love the original wood against the cream and blue grain sack 🙂

    8. Carole Stone

      Love them!

    9. Jennifer Hesse

      Count down to lucketts! The twins are an excellent addition to your offerings – especially with your makeover touch!

    10. Jelena

      Oh, the French twins are tres jolies!
      I think the gimp trim looks better with that style of chair than nailhead trim.

    11. Cynthia

      I love these chairs. I loved the dresser. I live in Arizona and I’m going to start saving my money and come to Lucketts to see your stuff in person!

    12. Christine

      I wish I could buy them!

    13. Laura

      Marian- would you be able to address purchasing chairs in your blog sometime soon. I would appreciate tips on reconditioning wood, and tightening them up before recovering. AGAIN, Love what you did with these as I do all your visions. Hoping someone enjoys them soon.

    14. Cindy

      Oh, I like them a thousand times better now. I think it’s cool how you make them “Miss Mustard Seed” style. That’s what makes them special. I like that sort of trim way better than nailhead trim too. You are a whirlwind of activity right now! I’m in awe of the amount of stuff you’re getting done in time for Lucketts! By the time i get settled and organized enough to catch up on your posts, you’ve remade like 3 dressers, covered chairs… and i don’t even know what else!


    15. Desi

      I like them so much better now. They’re so fresh and clean looking. I’ve never been a fan of tapestry it reminds me of heavy, dark, Victorian furniture.

    16. Amber

      WOW, Love them ! I prefer your style over the old ones any day!

    17. Linda

      These are so sharp looking, Marian.
      Gorgeous job!
      Wishing you a beautiful day,
      Linda at Beautiful Ideas

    18. Sue

      I totally agree about putting your personal style in it , that’s what makes it “MMS” . They look a million bucks , gorgeous and are to die for !

    19. Eliza

      Really lovely chairs! Isn’t it wonderful that all of these pieces with your special MMS stamp will be treasured in so many other homes? 🙂

    20. Sharon Chisholm

      Absolutely stunning and I completely agree with what you said about selling things that you would have in your own home – my philosophy entirely. I love your work.

    21. Cassie Thompson

      I LOVE the contrasting fabric on the backs! That is that extra little something that makes it all you! You have made a blue lover out of me, something I never thought would happen!

    22. Fiona, Lilyfield Life

      such a beautiful job Marian, and they definitely have the Miss Mustard Seed stamp on them. Possibly my favourite chairs you have done.
      Fiona x

    23. Sarah Lahrman


    24. Sheila

      Marion, a gorgeous job as usual !!! Love how you gave the chairs personality with changing the material in the back of the chairs,too. Very chic girl !!!


    25. Teresa

      Marian, those identical French twins are gorgeous! In fact, I think they are probably one of my favorite makeovers you have done so far. Besides, loving how you mixed up the beautiful fabric, I also love that you left the wood on the chairs natural. It totally works for these chairs.

    26. Kate

      I like the makeover. The nail heads were kind of busy and competed with the wood carving for attention. The understated gimp suits it much better and shows off the wood. I am such a sucker for fabric and I love that French General blue. More than your painted furniture, it’s your fabric and color choices that spell “Miss Mustard Style” to me.

    27. Katy

      Those are amazing! The backs are a nice designer touch. I feel sorry for the helper who removed the tacks, that is a job and a half.

    28. Susan B.

      These are now exquisite! I love your MMS style & your philosophy about it. Lucky Lucketts buyers! Wish I could be one of them! Some year. . . !

    29. Sue Schneider

      I was just wondering if you had even contemplated painting them. Just curiosity! Hope to stop by and see you this weekend. Saw you last year, but didn’t say hi. Such a great event!

    30. Peggy

      …not to mention – so fresh and clean 🙂

    31. Jill

      Once again, fabulous! These are pretty up there with the recent chippy blue dresser on my list! Ooh la la!

    32. Dream Mom

      They turned out great! Love your “style stamp” on them. You are doing that because you are a “brand” and not just a vendor. You are correct, you can purchase those chairs from another vendor but when they purchase them from you, it’s part of a brand.

      For whatever it’s worth, I love the name “Miss Mustard Seed” however I am not as fond of “Mustard Seed Interiors”…that sounds too stuffy and too formal for your style of furniture, etc. …I really like the brand name of “Miss Mustard Seed” so I thought I’d put in my 2 cents, lol. I know you’ve mentioned the MSI a few times but it just doesn’t seem to fit your style as well as Miss Mustard Seed does.

    33. Dixie

      Absolutely perfect! I love the contrasting chair backs. I also like that you left the wood natural. So, what did you do with the old fabric? I could make a pillow out of that!

    34. Talitha

      Love love love the front of these chairs!!! The back is a good match and a fun detail, but I wouldn’t buy them, because of it: the front is so peaceful, the back is not. But who cares!! These chairs are going to sell in a heart beat, many people will love them!!!

    35. Courtney jones

      Would you consider selling these chairs before Lucketts? I have been looking for chairs like this for a year now and they are perfect for my new house! Best, Courtney Jones

    36. linda

      Like Courtney, I have been looking for this stye of chairs to buy. Would you consider selling them prioe to Luckett’s? If so I am most definitely interested.

      • Miss Mustard Seed

        I actually had a buyer before I even finished them!

    37. Kellene

      Nothing wrong with a little update to keep things fresh and current!

    38. Birgitta

      Of course you did the right thing! These twins are so goodlooking now that if I were you I wouldn’ t be able to sell them at all!!

    39. Heidi

      I just saw very similar chairs at the Brimfield antique show today in Mass.
      I have a pic and would post if I could,, I bought some stuff from the dealer today and they had two of those chairs in the grain-sack fabric the stripe was an olive green. They didn’t have a card to give me but she said they have a Facebook page I THINK their name is La Casita Home Decor.
      Good luck!

    40. Jeanine C

      They came out great! Would love a tutorial. After Lucketts of course 😉

      Have a wonderful weekend!

    41. Mayra

      I love the way these chairs turned out. Did you use one grain sack to upholster both? I personally like that grain sack fabric matches.

      • Allison

        Marian, I just love these chairs and want to do mine just like them. We’re doing a couple pieces in MMS grain sack, and have the chairs that need to be stripped and restained. Can you recommend a stain that would give us this look? My lady prefers General Finishes Gel Stain but I’m at a loss as to what color to choose!

    42. Ellen Pandey

      Love the blue and white floral print. Can you share where I can purchase it? Thanks!

    43. Laura Roussel

      Marian these chairs are beautiful. I have a similar pair and I am trying to find the grain sack fabric. Most that I have found have a darker background. Do you sell this fabric if not where did you find it please?

    44. kate

      Marian, These chairs are stunning. Do you sell the grain sack and the floral fabric? I would love to try and recreate this look on my dated dining room chairs! Love your blog!

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