DIY Designer Chairs

High-end designers are taking classic chair shapes and updating them with splashes of unexpected color, like this twist on the classic Windsor chair:



Fabulous, no?  The price of these designer Windsor chairs from Ola is a whopping $1250 each. Ouch.  How hard would it be to paint your own for a similar, even completely custom look?  Not hard at all.   Just look on Craigslist or  garage sales for outcasts in orange wood tones, popular in the 1970’s.

This could be fabulous painted! 



Check out this designer take on the old-time ice cream parlor chair:

Dayka Robinson Designs via The Queen of Craigslist



Here’s a less expensive option from K Peterson if you want to create your own statement in your breakfast room for only $99 a piece.




Blue-painted chairs coordinate with the blue in the back of this hutch.

Martha Stewart



These simple Windsor chairs come in a pair from for $69.00 and would give you a similar effect as Martha’s version above. Wouldn’t these be gorgeous in turquoise?




What a glamorous dining room!  The white chairs steal the show.



These patio dining chairs from could have the same effect – leave them black or go any color you like.  They are currently on clearance for a bit more than $60 each!




 These fun lacquered babies were once dated colonial breakfast room chairs:



It’s amazing what a little color (and paint) can do!  I’m hoping by the time this weekend is over, my crappy cedar closet interior will be completely painted out in Annie Sloan’s Emile – a lovely grayed purple.  I’ll keep you updated!



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13 thoughts on “DIY Designer Chairs

  1. Elissa Cain says:

    Love, love, love these painted chairs! Windsor and Thonet chairs are so classic on their own, but when you punch ’em up with color they somehow transform into very contemporary pieces.

  2. joy says:

    I noticed this trend too was thinking about exactly the same as you.

    The success of Target attributes to its super capable of being a copy cat of high end designs 🙂 , at least that’s what I observed, hehe.

  3. Lisa says:

    I’m not into the Windsor chairs, but I am loving the painted chair look. I’m thinking about painting my espresso dining room chairs a fun color (or even white) and leaving the table espresso brown.

  4. Sheila Zeller says:

    I had that last set of chairs when I was first married (the first time around) many years ago! And I painted them out a fab green. My then husband was NOT happy, but I thought they were so much better, way more fun… Hmmm, I wonder if it was the chairs 😉 Have an awesome weekend, Kristie – I CAN’T WAIT to see that closet!!!

  5. Pam says:

    I like the idea of reusing old furniture. I read an article (I don’t remember where) that calculated the amount of old furniture that would end up in landfills and it was a staggering amount. Thanks for suggesting we paint orange toned 70s furniture to updated colors. A little color makes a world of difference and could maybe save family pieces. I know I have lots of wonderful memories of the family kitchen table from my childhood —and those old chairs would look great in a greenish-blue color.

  6. Holly says:

    I bought a Windsor Bench off of Craig’s List last year and I’ve been going back and forth about whether to paint it or not. I’m leaving it as is for now but those brights really have my wheels turning.

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