Affordable Anthropologie Inspired Room No. 1

Jan 12, 2010 by

For 2010, I am excited to introduce an “Affordable Anthropologie” series, wherein we explore more budget-friendly and DIY alternatives for Anthropologie inspired rooms. My goal is to recreate the Anthropologie look at 1/10th of the cost (after all, elbow grease is free).

To welcome the series, I thought we could start with one of the nooks from the January catalog.For the mirror, chair, and dresser pictured above, the tab would run you $2,294 – before shipping and taxes.  Let’s see how we can recreate this entire look for less than 1/10th of the price.  In fact, we can create the entire $2,294 look for $180!

Affordable Anthropologie version for the conservatory chair: $150. I often see beautiful vintage armchairs on Craigslist that simply need a little reupholstery love to be revitalized into a gorgeous sitting piece.  While some cost as little as $40, on average, the chairs with good bones can cost you $100.  There is not much yardage involved, and I would budget $50 towards upholstery linen fabric.  I personally think a vintage-inspired fabric with type would look dashing sitting next to the numbered dresser in the Anthropologie-inspired room.I have written up a simple chair reupholstery tutorial, and for how to stencil your own vintage-inspired fabric, visit the DIY tutorial via design*sponge. 

Affordable Anthropologie version for the reassembled mirror: $15. Make your own driftwood mirror in any shape and style you please, and spend only $15 when you follow this DIY tutorial via Create Studio.

Affordable Anthropologie version for the Ordinal Dresser: $15 (if you already own a dresser). The dresser in this Anthropologie room does not have any particularly special lines or design elements, save for the aged wood patina and stenciled and painted numbers.  Download free number stencils, buy a package of Peel Away for $7,99, and a small jar of black paint or finish for $5 to create your own version.  To strip paint or finish from a dresser you already own, follow Brooklyn Limestone in her adventures in taking white paint off to reveal a beautiful wood door using Peel Away.

The final cost for our Affordable Anthropologie inspired room is $180.  Even if you have the chair professionally reupholstered, the price tag would jump to $380 – $450, a far cry from the $2294 Anthropologie price tag!  You can also complement the look with affordable cost shutters, and voila, your Anthropologie-inspired room is complete!

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Would You Like Grain Sacks with That Reupholstery?

Feb 6, 2009 by


My favorite reupholstery projects take antique bones and dress them in unusual fabrics or modern materials.  Reupholstered with French vintage grain sacks, this Edwardian sitting chair takes on new life.  I especially enjoy the symmetrical and purposeful use of the graphics on the grain sacks.

Of course, another fantastic way to add vintage grain sacks and burlap into your home is to stop by maya*made’s Etsy shop, who just had an exciting shop update today!

Do you have any creating plans this weekend?  I hope that you will enjoy a happy, relaxing, and inspirational weekend!

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Reupholstery Before and After – Ercol Day Bed Style

Dec 31, 2008 by


Christianna’s London home is graced by a lovely Ercol day bed reupholstered with charming Designers Guild fabrics, which are a pretty respite from its original tan color (cleverly disguised in the “before” photo with a turquoise throw).  Blessed with a capable friend who kindly reupholstered the vintage 1960s piece, Christianna opted to replace the stiff back cushions with comfortable, relaxing bedroom pillows — smartly covered with removable (and reversible) covers.  With a flick of her wrist and a change of her mood, Christianna can revamp the look of her vintage Ercol day bed by flipping over her pillows.  Paired with matching Ercol armchairs, this set is perhaps one of the best charity shop finds in all of London!

May this New Year bring inspiration to revamp, repurpose, and reupholster!  Happy 2009!

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Reupholstery Guide: Deconstructing an Antique Chair

Oct 1, 2008 by

Many readers have emailed me regarding the appropriate means in which to “take down” or “rip out” the old tacks and knots to prepare an antique chair for reupholstery.  This process is one of the best ways to learn about reupholstery — especially regarding your specific piece.  However, before you begin the deconstructing process, do you need to rebuild the structure and stuffing, or can you simply recover your antique chair with new fabric?  You can ascertain this by conducting the following inspection: (read the rest of the reupholstery guide after the jump)

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Vintage Reupholstery Treats

Sep 12, 2008 by

The mix of old and new appeals to my design aesthetic…I love taking a vintage piece and mixing it with a “modern” fabric to give it an unexpected personality.  Vickie Davis, an artist and reupholstery aficionado from New Zealand, reupholters vintage couches and chairs from 1950s – 1970s, which typically have good native NZ wood bones, with unexpected fabrics.  The result is quite fun!

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