michelle lefebvre

Striped Wing Chair – Light Blue

Here is another wing chair. This one was done in a lovely and fun light blue, with a bit of shine to it. Sorry, I have no before photos for this one. If I find them, I’ll add them.

Completed Chair:

P9090974

P9090975

P9090976

P9090977

P9090978

Eastlake / Victorian Platform Rocker – Floral Striped Fabric

This was a beautiful antique walnut rocking chair, done in the Eastlake style, but with some Victorian details. I especially like the fine reeded rails.

The fabric on the chair was worn, and the seat was starting to come apart, but the client wanted to keep the chair looking as close as possible to the same as what she had. I think we were able to find a very good match to her old fabric, and the finished chair looks great.

Before: (note that the platform had already been removed at this point)

P9030906

P9030908

P9030910

P9030911

P9030915

P9030917

While taking the chair apart, we found this:

P9030927

The general style and quality seemed to say “Made in Europe” but the above photo confirmed this quite clearly.

The seat had been “repaired” or reinforced with an additional layer of later burlap.

P9030929

Under this was the original edge roll, and the original (wonderfully striped) burlap.

P9030933

Springs and the very tired/stretched webbing.

P9030935

New:

P9130993

And the finished chair. The fabric isn’t the same as the original, but it’s the same colours, with similar florals.

P9201012

P9201013

P9201014

P9201015

P9201016

P9201011

Beautiful Wing Chair – Red Shell / Diamond Print

This was quite a beautiful and exceptionally well made chair. It’s not terribly old (maybe 30 years old?), but it’s made in the style of old wing chairs from the late 1700s, and early 1800s. Old wing chairs typically have tall backs, rolled (cone/barrel/scroll) front arms, and thin bottoms (no springs, just stretched webbing, a bit of padding, and a feather pillow). In the style of older (and better quality) chairs, this wing has carved rear legs. The vast majority of chairs (of any style) will only have fancy front legs, since the back legs rarely show.

This chair was so nice that Pierre and I took down detailed notes, measurements, and construction information on the chair.

Before:

This was a chair that Pierre was working on while I was away, so I don’t have proper before photos. The webbing on the chair was the plastic kind (suggesting it may be a European piece). I can’t recall what the previous fabric looked like.

P9010869

Look at the tight, precise joinery (notched and angled wing board).

P9010875

Rear leg.

P9010889

Finished chair.

P9080964

P9080965

P9080966

P9080969

P9080970

P9080971

P9080973

Headboard & Room Divider – White

Here are two small projects, both of which were for the same client. One is a simple upholstered headboard, and the other is a 3 panel room divider.

Headboard

Before:

P8050679

P8050680

P8050681

After:

P8060710

P8060711

P8060713

Room Divider

Before. This was covered in some kind of greenish gold burlap, with gold tacks oddly spaced around the edges (so they wouldn’t hit each other). I didn’t take proper “before” photos, so these are what I have.

P8050700

Since light passes through burlap too easily, the inside was lined with old newspapers.

P8050696

P8050698

After:

P8060714

P8060715

Custom Made Lefebvre Upholstery Ottoman – Black Patterned Vinyl

We welcome custom projects here at Lefebvre’s Upholstery. We can build for you a large selection of upholstered items, including benches, ottomans, headboards, etc. This is a very large (3 feet by 4 feet) storage ottoman that we designed and built for a client. The main box is made from maple veneered plywood, and the exterior is upholstered with black vinyl with a woven texture.

Main pieces before finishing.

P7290590

Interior portions stained and lacquered. We did this before assembling the box, because it gives a nicer, smoother finish.

P7290593

P7300600

Vinyl pieces being cut to size.

P7300602

And here’s the final product. This bench has a centre divider (to help carry the weight), and 2 hinged and upholstered top lids. The bottom feet are solid maple, stained in a dark walnut colour.

P8050683

P8050684

P8050685

P8050688

P8050690

P8050692

The tops are gently dimpled (no buttons) for a tufted look that is easy to keep clean.

P8050695

Pair of Easy Chairs – Chinoiserie Navy Toile

Here are two simple chairs that Pierre had done years ago. The client wanted something new, and since these are now being used in a Travel business, she thought the Chinoiserie (oriental) toile was both beautiful, and appropriate. This project was done in August 2014.

Before:

P7230521

P7230522

P7230523

P7230524

After!

To better match the new fabric, Pierre decided that we should lacquer the legs in an almond colour, which turned out beautifully.

P8060701

P8060702

P8060703

P8060704

P8060706

P8060708

Cooper Arm Chair / Wing Chair – Red & White Floral

Here is another chair from one of our favourite clients. This one is a chair made by Cooper Bros. from Toronto. I would say this chair is from around the 60s or 70s. Very well made, but in need of some help. This chair was done near the end of July 2014.

Before:

P7070339

P7070340

Please note how this wing was upholstered, and keep this image in mind when seeing the “after” photos below.

P7070341

The current upholstery is not original. There are two easy ways to spot this. One is that the label was still visible through the thin white fabric which was upholstered right over the original, and the other is by the vertical seam down the centre back panel of the chair (you would not see this on an original piece unless it were upholstered in real leather).

P7070342

P7070344

Black tacks are also not a great way to attach the back. On old pieces, tacks are sometimes used, but they are painted to match the fabric. Otherwise, the back panel is usually hand-stitched in place on antiques.

P7070345

The bottom webbing was completely collapsed.

P7070347

P7070348

We weren’t completely sure what happened with the wings. It looks like the chair never had a “filler piece” in between, and the last upholsterer made some really terrible ones.

P7070351

The original label.

P7090407

Chair completely stripped down. New webbing, and springs re-tied.

P7140442

Bottom fabric installed. Note that we were able to save the original label and reattach it. We don’t do this often, but this client loves antiques, and we knew he would appreciate this.

P7140444

P7140445

We made new wing “filler blocks” and they were hand carved to fit in the frame.

P7230516

P7230519

Here’s how the wings fit AFTER! What a huge difference. We had to stitch them with an angled sewing line because of how the frame is made, but the effect is wonderful.

P7230520

Here is the finished chair. We opted to go without the skirts for this chair, since it already had nice decorative tapered legs. It’s also not evident in the photos, but the chair has a custom made feather pillow, rather than foam.

P7280569

P7280573

It’s very hard to see in the photos, but the back is stitched with the original diamond pattern on the back of the chair that we found on the original foam (which was deteriorated – and replaced). There are also small buttons in the intersections of the design. This is a very shallow tufted design.

P7280574

P7280577

P7280578

P7280583

Antique Arm Chair – Light Blue (Project of the Month July 2014)

I am far behind on updates to the blog, but I will be making several “backdated” additions today.

This is the Project of the Month from this past July. This chair was an exceptional amount of work to put back together, because of the numerous layers, multiple steps, hand stitching, and repairs that were needed.

I’ve condensed this project down to a manageable 24 photos, but I had dozens more that were taken during the process.

This was a HEAVY chair. For the average person, it’s nearly unmovable. I’d say it weighs at least 40-60Lbs. Part of the reason for this (as you will see below) is that the chair has a massive wooden frame. Most of the wooden pieces are over an inch and a half thick, with the bottom rails being nearly 5 inches tall, and several inches thick. The hair also had a lot of heavy springs, and traditional horsehair stuffing (which is also quite heavy). The chair had been modified several times, and during our re-upholstery, we conferred with our client, and decided to return the chair as much as possible to the way it was originally.

Before:

P7050290

P7050291

P7050292

P7050293

The deep-tufted back was a later (foam) addition. This photo shows the majority of the original upholstery.

P7050309

P7060322

The front of both arms were originally round at the front, and someone cut them to be square.

P7060325

The entire chair frame had been “repaired” by adding a large number of metal plates with lots of old wood screws. Despite all these added metal plates, the frame was loose and rickety, and we had to disassemble it and completely reglue it. It’s hard to tell the size/weight of the frame, but just compare the size of the springs to the wood. The springs are around 4″ wide on the ends.

P7060334

Frame after repairs/re-assembly.

P7080365

New webbing and spring ties.

P7080379

Burlap, hand stitched to the springs.

P7090382

Webbing on the back.

P7090385

All the back springs were originally individually wrapped, and we redid this on the new upholstery. This takes more time than simply tying the springs to each other.

P7090389

Because all the springs are basically “loose” from each other, they also need to be carefully hand tied to the base layer of burlap. Also note 3 large (very heavy gauge) lower lumbar springs. These were part of the reason that the client liked this chair.

P7090391

First layer of stuffing (hair) and edge roll, hand stitched in place.

P7090394

Second layer (horse hair/mixed hair).

P7090401

With added cotton and muslin “rough cover”.

P7090404

Arms repaired, and ready with rough covers, seat fabric installed (all painstakingly hand stitched under the piping band).

P7120423

Arms upholstered, and base layer (edge roll) installed on the back (see white muslin) followed by main horsehair stuffing.

P7130437

Cotton layer added, followed by rough cover.

P7130439

And finally, after more careful stitching, positioning, buttons, panels, skirts, and a bottom fabric, we have the completed chair.

P7210508

P7210510

P7210511

P7210512

Centrac Wing Chair – Green & Teal Paisley

Here we have a really wonderful wing chair made by Centrac. This was a particularly fun chair to work on, because of the story that came with it. The client saw it by the curb, and decided to take it home. Her husband thought she was crazy, but when she brought it here for Pierre to have a look at it, she was overjoyed to hear that Centrac is a top quality manufacturer. They are apparently still in business today, but only make furniture/chairs for hotels (commercial grade).

This particular chair was a bit dirty, and had a torn-up arm, but it was in otherwise great shape.

P5310105

P5310106

You can see how this particular chair is “layered”. One layer of cotton, a foam, and another layer of cotton.

P5310107

The original label:
It’s hard to make out, but it reads: Meuble de distinction Centrac Fine Furniture, Toronto, Ontario.

P5310108

P5310110

Here is a typical “straight back” on an otherwise nice and curvy back frame. Scroll down to see how we treat the backs on this style of chair.

P5310112

The original plan for this chair was much different. Originally our client wanted a large print black and white houndstooth, with the legs refinished in black. Something along the lines of this:

Houndstooth Chair

We weren’t able to find any prints large enough from any of our suppliers, except for ONE, but it was 307$ per yard (YIKES!) and it was also discontinued. Instead, she looked at some other sample books, and decided on a nice green and teal paisley, and to go blonde with the legs.

As I was taking the panels off the chair, one of the original pull-straps had a selvage stamped with 1980, which gives us an approximate date for the chair.

P6010114

Since one arm was shredded, both would need to be redone so that they match (feel/firmness, etc). Here is the new cotton and foam.

P7160457

Followed by more cotton, and then a thin layer of Terylene.

P7160459

Deck, inside arms, and inside wings done.

P7160462

Outside wings, and inside back done.

P7190490

And here’s the finished chair. It turned out really well. I love the combination of blue-green with the blonde (refinished) legs. The seat foam was also replaced.

P7190492

P7190493

P7190494

P7190496

Here’s the beautiful back, which now follows the curved edges of the frame. A little bit more work, but a lot nicer.

P7190497

P7190498

P7190500

Repaired Eastlake Victorian Side Chair

This is a beautiful antique chair (Eastlake style) made of solid walnut with decorative veneer bands. It had been damaged, and the frame was coming apart. The seat vinyl was also badly cracked.

Before:

 P6300217

P6300218

P6300219

When Pierre was removing the torn vinyl cover, he found an identical cover underneath, which was in perfect shape, and matched the current cover on the back rest. Since there wasn’t anything wrong with this cover, and we didn’t need to find/match/order a matching vinyl, we left this one in place. We have NO IDEA why there was a doubled-up cover on this.

P6300222

The chair was knocked-apart, cleaned/scraped, and reassembled.

P7010245

After:

P7190501

P7190503

P7190504