My Little Yellow Slipper Chair

I’m sharing part of my room redo for my first work as a contributing editor for Domino (the piece will go live next week – yay!). I’m so happy with the way this space is coming together. The Knoxville Gray wall color is moody and cozy, and I love the way it looks with the color of the new floors.

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I’m also liking the red rug with the wall color. The rug is just a hair too small for the space, but I think it works great for now.

There was a spot next to my nightstand that was just begging for a cute little chair. I thought to myself that if I could find an interesting yellow chair that was bright, but not too obnoxiously bright, that would be perfect. Since I knew I wanted that specific color, I poked around a little online and in my catalogs, but kept feeling like I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on just a little chair in my bedroom.

Then a lightbulb went off and I remembered a little vintage slipper chair in the garage that I bought right after we moved here from a consignment store in Scottsdale. I loved the shape of the chair, but the mustard velvet and the ecru-colored frame looked bad-vintage instead of good-vintage.

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In the end I was won over by the cool combo of small, deep tufts and wider-spaced shallow tufts and thought it was worth having/hoarding.

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To make the colors work for my room, I pulled out a quart of Rustoleum’s Sunshine Yellow oil-based paint and a small 1″ angled brush. I carefully worked around the velvet and brushed on the bright yellow paint. You can tape off the fabric if you don’t have a steady hand, but the nice thing (also the annoying thing) about oil-based paint is it takes forever to dry. I had one or two small brush-ups against the velvet and I just quickly wiped them away. No biggie.

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I still use this approach for painting oil-based paints with a brush, except on side or vertical applications it takes a little more finesse to figure out how much paint to use. With practice you get a sense of this better. I usually do a good one or two inch dip into the paint and then wipe off one whole side of the brush and use the paint-side to brush on the piece. ┬áThere will be some drips (like shown above) but you can usually move the paint around fast enough to get an even distribution while everything is still very wet. Don’t mess with it too much though. It’s better to go back and sand the drips down after everything is dry then to ruin the whole finish of an entire section.
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I let the paint dry overnight outside (oil-based paint is pretty fume-y) and in the morning I had the perfect chair for our room! It was exactly what I wanted – a muted yellow with a small punch of bright color. I’m so glad I bought that chair on a whim. :)

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  1. Sarah

    You did it again. Amazingly good!!!

  2. LOVE your diving lady print!! I grew up in Mesa so it is fun to see the local touches you are adding to your new home! I'm inspired by you often!!

  3. Katie

    Wow! I am a newer reader and am inspired by each post by your design eye. The combinations you come up with are so striking and this chair is another example of that. Great job!

  4. Mary

    I'm impressed with your painting skill. I would have had a hard time not getting paint on the fabric.

  5. I love it :) May I ask, how did you do the Motel painting? Thanks!

  6. Julie

    you got the perfect shade of yellow! I just recently moved a slipper chair that we inherited from hubs grandmother to a corner in our master, it's the perfect items to fill the space and adds character! can't wait to see the rest of the room!

  7. Amanda

    Looking fabulous!! Absolutely love the rug, especially with the wall color. So glad you didn't try to match the yellow paint with the color of the cushions. Congrats on the Domino editor job :)

  8. Wow. I would never, ever think of pairing mustard velvet with bright yellow lacquer, but oh man does it work! Your house looks lovely! Continued best of luck!!

  9. The chair looks awesome. I love the diving lady photo. Brings back many memories.

  10. Love it! It's great to see what "Sunshine Yellow" really looks like. It's not quite as bright as I thought it would be, which is great =).

  11. I'm impressed with how it turned out painting around the fabric!

    Nice punch of color with the gray too. Very cute.

  12. Can I ask why you used oil based paint? I always wondered what an appropriate use for oil based paint would be. Gorgeous results!

  13. I just love that you just-so-happened to have such an already gorgeous chair sitting around in doing nothing in your garage.. and then you went and managed to make it look even better!

  14. Becca

    This is so good! Nice job!

  15. Melis

    The chair looks awesome! And I love the Motel Print (I, too, grew up in Mesa). May I ask if you had that printed from a picture you took or purchase it?
    Thanks! Love your blog!

  16. I love the hotel print! I used to live right down the street from the Starlite. I have been telling my husband for years that I want a print of that in our home. Where did you get that print? Thanks!

  17. Great find! I love how a perfect choice of paint color transformed this chair into something modern and beautiful. Looks great against the grey wall, too. Thank you for sharing!


  18. This chair is amazing. I'll point to this chair the next time my husband gives me The Look for hoarding, um, "things with potential."

  19. Mary

    I'd love to know where you got the motel print. I used to live in Mesa and that brings back great memories!

  20. I read your blog religiously but haven't commented on a while. I LOVE this chair!! If only my husband would understand that it's important not to pass up great pieces at the store even if you don't have a spot for it… yet! :)

  21. Naz

    Simply adorable..!! I love that chair.

  22. It's all so pretty! And I love that portrait on the dresser, too! The chair came out fantastically.

  23. Al F

    Love this! I just moved into a new place & we are probably going to go with a gray wall as well. Love the pops of color! I'm not really a DIY-er, but this looks like something even i could do!


  24. Elz

    Love how this turned out. Perfect colors and what a cute find!

  25. Where is the print from? My husband is from Mesa but we now live in Brooklyn — I'd love that for our home!

  26. That Motel print with that Middle Eastern rug is just lovely! xxxo

  27. Can we get sources for the rug and the motel print? LOVE!

  28. I never would have thought to pair bright yellow with mustard. Never. But you make it look like a marriage made in heaven. Just perfect!

  29. It's nice to see you didn't have to recover the chair, great update!

  30. i am always so in awe of your amazing eye for design. so good!

  31. Wow, the colors (both within the chair and the chair/walls/rug combo) look so amazing and fresh! Time and time again you are so inspiring to us all – not to mention your mad painting skillz!

  32. The bright yellow was a great choice! Love the result!

  33. what a happy update! I would never think to pair bright yellow with mustard but it updates it so well. I love the way you approach color.

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