The rocking chair is back!  A familiar and cozy space, rockers can help create a sense of calm during this time of fear the pandemic has created.  Several of my clients have returned to sitting in them, and enjoying the soothing back and forth motion, moving at your own pace.

Classic rockers are often solid wood with beautiful craftsmanship.  Perhaps yours has a comfy, foam cushion on the seat and back. If you’re like a few of my clients, the rocker has been collecting dust in the basement. 

Whether you own a rocker, glider, or just a comfy old chair, the question I am often asked is “How can I make my chair look good again?”  Here are a few tips to work that rocker back into your room.

Good Bones

When I start with a client on redecorating a living room, family room, or bedroom, I am often asked about making an old piece look good again.  There is an important point to consider before spending time or money. We need to make sure the piece still has good bones.  Ask yourself: Is the chair still comfortable to your body type?   If the answer is yes, great. If the answer is no, you have to consider what can be altered. We can always add more foam to the cushions if it has a solid frame.


before and after photos of reupholster an old rocking chair

Check out the Before and After on a recent client’s rocker. What fun!

Rocker Recovery

In the case of a rocker or glider,  it may still be comfy but just doesn’t work in the room anymore.  Most likely the fabric has become worn or outdated.  So how do you select the right fabric?  If you’re working with an interior designer,  they should select a few fabric options for you to choose from that factor appropriate weight, color, and texture.  

If you’re a DIYer, you will need to determine how often the chair will be used.  That will guide you on the appropriate weight of your fabric; upholstery grade or multi-purpose grade.  

Based on your room, consider if you need a solid-colored fabric or a print.  If you prefer a solid, consider a solid that has a texture to it to add interest.  If you’re looking at a pattern, ask yourself if you are someone who likes a bolder look, such as a wild leopard print or perhaps a smaller pattern is more your style?  There are lots of amazing textiles to choose from. Have fun with the process. Pro tip: Always test a sample of the fabric in your own lighting before you start cutting fabric. 

See Related post: Tips on Introducing Color into your Home

Let’s Get Rocking

Ok, so what does it cost?  When it comes to reupholstery, you will most likely spend as much as you would if you purchased a new piece.  

However, not all furniture is built as solid as in year’s past.  That is why I talk to my design clients about the frame quality and comfort of your existing piece before we move forward.  

If you choose the DIY path, there are several tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube, and this can make a nice winter project.

If you’d like something done professionally and quickly, I work with two reupholstery companies. I know first-hand the quality of their work and the price range they work within.  Work is picked up and returned to you in 10-14 days, so you will be rocking in no time!

Accessorize that “new” chair with a comfy throw blanket, coordinating pillow and you have reclaimed a cozy and functional space for your home. 

If you could use some help in recovering a chair or refreshing a space in your home, let’s chat. Call me at 651.470.7724 or email  [email protected]