...because home doesn't happen overnight.

mama chair 2

For years I’ve been thinking it would be great to have extra seating near the fireplace. We spend the majority of our winters huddled around the fire trying to stay warm. The poufs I tossed down several years ago are super kid-friendly and worked well when our kids were a little younger. They were essentially glorified bean bags. However, as you can imagine, they were quite low and not really suitable for adults. An epic chair hunt commenced.

For a while, finding a chair wasn’t a huge priority. The poufs were fine, and we were trying to wrap up the main bathroom anyhow. But it didn’t stop me from looking. I knew I wanted something low and squatty to keep sight lines unobstructed from all angles. (Something like a tall wingback would have cut off the space.) I also wanted something unique which meant I was willing to wait for the right chair to come along.

I browsed thrift stores, craigslist, ebay, etsy and several other online sites for over a year before I found THE ONE on ebay. It was listed as a “Danish chair with walnut armrests and neckrest in Kurt Østervig style” – although I don’t think it’s a legit Østervig. While the frame was in great condition, the upholstery left a lot to be desired. It was upholstered in a satinish, tone on tone floral fabric (most likely not the original upholstery) and it was badly stained. (See the before here.) The scale and lines were perfect though, and I knew a good upholstery job would make a world of difference. I immediately nabbed it for $150.

Then it sat in the garage for another year while I saved up the money to have it reupholstered. I wasn’t even going to try DIYing my way around those walnut armrests and neckrest. When it came time to select an upholstery fabric, I considered a nubby polyester in mustard or gold (similar to this), but ultimately decided I’m too fickle when it comes to textiles to commit to it. I wanted a true neutral that would stand the test of time. With a saddle leather sofa and an oversize gray chair already in the room, I kept it simple and chose ivory.



It had to be 100% family-friendly. I worked with a local upholsterer who suggested a fabric line pre-treated with Nano-Tex. You can learn more about Nano-Tex here, but it basically renders fabrics stain- and spill-proof…permanently. Sign me up!

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I brought a bunch of samples home and tried them out in the space. In the end, I went with dublin oyster (pre-treated with Nano-Tex) from Luxury Fabrics. It’s a chenille that feels like velvet, looks like linen and wears like microfiber. Upholstery trifecta! Then I had to wait ANOTHER SIX MONTHS before I could pick it up from the upholsterer.

(For locals, I use Springboro Upholstery. The guy does excellent work, but he isn’t exactly cheap – this cost ~$525 for the fabric + labor – and lead times can be crazy. He’s busy for a reason though. I also used him for the tulip chair cushions in the dining room. They’re a leather lookalike and have held up tremendously well.)

It was totally worth the wait! When I picked it up from the upholsterer he said, “It’s definitely the most unique piece I’ve ever worked on. Very 60s.” Bingo.

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I love it. It’s even better than I had envisioned. It’s low-slung and kinda sexy and looks amazing from every angle which is great since it’s visible from the living room, dining room and kitchen. To me, it looks like the chair form of those preppy equestrian blazers with leather elbow patches. I would totally wear this chair.

The day I brought it home, Cheetah was curled up in it within five minutes, and that very same evening Mabrey wiped spaghetti sauce on it. The spaghetti sauce literally came up with one swipe of a wet cloth. If we were to have a fourth baby (we’re not), I would name it Nano-Tex.

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I placed the front feet on the shag rug and angled the chair in toward the coffee table. I stuck felt pads (from the junk drawer) on the back feet to protect the wood floor. Eventually, I’ll probably upgrade to these, but the “free” felt ones are fine for the time being. I really like how the chair closes off the seating area. Before, the space always felt a little lopsided with most of the furniture sitting off to one side. It feels more balanced and intimate now.

Obviously, I couldn’t leave the chair floating by itself looking all lonesome.


It needed a side table and a reading light to keep me it company. Since the chair was a splurge, the table and light had to be budget-friendly, but, again, I wanted them to be unique. I wanted a petite, round table to allow traffic to flow freely and mesh with the low arms and scale of the chair. It took me a while, but I found the perfect reclaimed teak table from Overstock of all places. (Shopping Overstock is a lot like shopping secondhand stores, except the inventory is new. You have to sort through a bunch of junk to find the good stuff.) I scored it for $111 with a 12% coupon. The natural wood and organic curves give it a bohemian vibe. The open spaces keep it from feeling too heavy.

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The lamp is vintage from ebay. It set me back $25 and was originally a weird mauve-brown color (seen here). I taped off the wood accent, light socket and cord and gave it a few coats of flat black, heat-resistant spray paint which we already had on hand. I love how the black paint sets off the shape.

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I wrapped the upper third of the fugly cord in leather lace from JoAnn’s ($4 with a coupon) using the same method I used on the kitchen desk lamp. Then like the sly cord hater I am, I snaked the cord through the table. One more reason to love that lil’ table!

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The kuba cloth pillow and indigo mudcloth throw are from here and here, respectively. I stole the pouf from the gray chair and now no one wants to sit there because it’s impossible to lounge with your feet on the floor. Which begs the question, “Are two poufs in one room too many?” The little blue and white pot on the mantel is the peruvian planter from West Elm. The snake plant hides the gas shutoff for the fireplace. I still haven’t figured out a way to disguise the dreaded boob speakers :/

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I’ve been jokingly referring to the new chair as my mama chair, yet every time I go to sit in it someone has already beat me to it. It’s the new favorite seat in our house. Burning fire or not, it’s a great little reading and/or wining spot regardless.

But seriously, kids and cat, BACK OFF IT’S MINE. If you’re good, maybe I’ll leave it to you in my will.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking


I’ve seen this chair on your instagram feed and really love it. The wood arms are spectacular and that’s a gorgeous fabric. Worth the wait so good for you.

I’m thinking of where I can put a mama chair. I love her so much! Each time I see an update from your home, I get happy and sad at the same time. I keep thinking, well that’s it–she’s officially done. But then I remember, Mabrey’s room is coming!


I LOVE IT!!! A few years ago I scored a free wing back (shorter than the usual) chair and saved about a year as well to reupholster. Cost me about the same as yours. Ofcourse I get the “you should have just bought a new chair” whenever I mention the cost to reupholster. Also did mine in a white fabric. I used a denim-ish fabric. Its the chair that ONLY I can use lol but my pug will sneak on to it at times. Mine is usually covered though because even hough it’s treated, we live across the beach and get mad sand storms daily. I still get nervous around it.
Anyway… Congrats on your new chair. Its gorgeous and I love the fabric!!


You’re funny, the chair does look like an equestrian blazer, I would totally wear your chair too. The entire seating area looks great. I can’t believe the stool is from Overstock definitely need to weed out all the junk to get to the good stuff. The lamp was a great find and I love how you wrapped the cord with leather strap, I need to remember that trick for my own. Glad to see the house getting tweaked!


El sillón es un encanto y queda genial en su salón! Llevo un tiempo buscando algo similar en mi ciudad (Barcelona), tendré que seguir teniendo paciencia!! :). Es evidente que es usted una exploradora de la red, es capaz de localizar verdaderos tesoros!! Danna Miller -> Indianna Jones? ;p


Love the chair!

Maybe a pair of frames wrapped in fabric could hide the speakers? Build a frame and wrap it in gorgeous fabric like a canvas. You’d probably have to find a new home for the mirrors though…


Its beautiful!!
What about a plant in front of the boob speaker, or a small stack of books. Or a frame?? I guess on the blog they don’t look so bad but I’m sure they stick out and bother you in real life. Would Steve consider switching speakers? There has got to be a better kind out there!!


It all looks great! Quick question-did you secure the leather lace to the cord at all?


Brilliant!! Where do I even start? I could NOT love your house MORE. I always look forward to a post from House*Tweaking. ;) BHG??? Cannot wait!


LOVE. I read a lot of design blogs, but keep coming back to your home, and the living room in particular. It feels so warm and accessible, but still clean and polished – so difficult to achieve! It just evokes the right feeling for me. I have a dreaded corner fireplace and trying to figure out how to style – not many inspiration pics out there – would love a post with ideas! Happy Friday!


To be honest-I didn’t even notice the speakers until you said something :) looks great! And 675 for a chair that you love is really not bad at all. a good chair is SO expensive!


Oh. My. I am in love with this corner.


Ooh, great idea!


Just shot the editor an email to see when the feature should go to print!


I did! I linked to the tutorial I followed, but here it is in case you missed it…



Boob speakers are staying. I’m *this close* to just accepting them as-is.


ja, ja!


It’s coming along! Wallpaper installer comes in 11 days. Not that I’m counting.


I was wondering the same—I actually was gifted a magazine subscription, and chose BHG so I can be in the know. Looking forward to it! Have a great weekend. I’m all heart eyes for the chair.


Where is the leather pouf from? I want a brown one but not sure of quality when ordering online. Thank you!!! Love that chair!!!!


Wait, BHG, did I miss something?!? So Awesome, Dana! I love how unique that chair is, good find! You are right, it really rounds out the space. Also, I was shopping ikea.com and came across your house on their Idea page. It was cool to see your home featured but I wasn’t crazy about how they styled it, your decor and personal style are so much more inviting and refined and are such a huge part of why people love your home. Next time tell ’em to leave the styling to the expert! xx



Question! You say in the winter you huddle around fire to stay warm, with the vaulted ceiling, added skylights, french doors, etc, do you find your home colder than you’d like in the winter? Just curious as we live in ranch home with your home’s original floor plan and even with a newer furnace it’s still cold! Could be because our walls aren’t insulated! :-/


Wow, that looks so great! What a unique and pretty chair. This post reminds me: I’ve been wanting to ask you more about your leather couch (we are considering getting the same one)…is it what you would describe as comfy? I mean, I’m sure it’s not uncomfortable if it’s still in your living room, but we are wanting a truly comfy lounge-y leather couch to watch TV on (and the ol’ bank account just won’t let me pull the trigger on the deep-seated comfy Restoration Hardware one I’d kill for)….so, is your couch just fine, or is it particularly comfortable?


So glad you gave source info for the fabric! I have a free sofa (it was out with a free sign on the side of the road and my sweet husband left work to help me load it into the minivan) that I love – it’s a camelback shape with slim rolled arms – but the upholstery on it is SO GROSS. We have a 3.5 and 1.5 year old though, so my dreams of light linen upholstery were dashed until now. Now to save my pennies! :)


Dana, I swear I don’t even SEE the boob speakers when I look at that wall. I had to do a double-take to find them after I saw you mention them. Do you feel better? Probably not. THE CHAIR IS AWESOME!!!!!


I had a chair reupholstered last year for $480 (in California) so your guy is a little more but I think there was more work involved in your chair. It looks great!


I do feel better!


Often times during the day in the winter, we’ll light a fire in the (gas) fireplace, close the bathroom and bedroom doors, and the main space will get nice and warm. The ceiling fans in the great room circulate the warm air back down so all the hot air isn’t hovering overhead. We did add foam insulation to the exterior walls and roof during renovation, so it’s well insulated. Still, with the winters we’ve been having (extremely cold temps!) the hearth is a popular hangout. Happy to have a chair to sit in near the fire now!


I bought it from Joss & Main a few years ago but I’ve seen similar ones on Amazon, Overstock and ebay.


Last I heard, it would be July but I haven’t talked to the editor in a while. Will let you know what I hear!


As a retired fire claims adjuster I have to tell you that cords under your carpet are a fire safety hazard. Sorry (:


Good to know! Does it matter if the actual pronged plug is under the sisal rug or not? Only the cord (no plug) is under the rug. In other words, the lamp cord plugs into the extension cord in open air.

Love this chair! It looks like it was always there and fits right in. My favorite spot is always the one closest to the fire. I have thought about getting used furniture and have it reupholstered but have yet to find a good person to do that in our area.


I love both of your chairs so much that I want to marry them, but not cannot decide which one will cause me to leave my husband. They are both serious keepers. What a find that new one is!! Good job! I love everything about it and how it fits into the space. Terrific styling with the new side table too. You are so good!



I love your mama area! It’s sexy, organic, tribal…I really could blow up the closeup and frame it for wall art. It’s that pretty and cozy looking!


That side table is the PERFECT match for that chair too!!!!!
I love it!!!


I am feeling very stylish right now! I knew that pillow on your new chair looked familiar…I favorite-ed it on etsy a while back and then you bought it! I am just going to have to look for another….Thanks for making me feel like a hip mama!


jumping in to agree with Laura–the cord under the rug is a big no-no because of fire hazard. It isn’t an issue of the location of the plug and outlet–it is the cord itself. Walking on the rug-covered cord; having furniture sit on it, can cause the cord to fray and spark. Better to find a battery light or have an outlet installed in the floor under the chair or table. Here is more info from a Real Simple magazine article: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/technology/safety-family/electrical-cord-safety


Can you tell me more about buying on ebay?? I’m assuming you are only searching for furniture locally? Is that possible? I’ve been on the hunt for a new chair, but never considered ebay as a source.

Also – on another note – I recovered two awesome, tufted chairs for a co-worker. They turned out great – but now I truly understand why it cost so much to reupholster. A labor of love.


Yes!! Please do a couch review soon!!

The lamp looks really vintage, you have some awesome ideas here! Thanks for sharing!


DIY tufted upholstery?! Good on you! I don’t only search for ebay items locally. For me, it really depends on the cost of shipping or if it’s feasible for me to pick up (<3 hour drive). Maybe I need to write a post on how I search ebay?


Thank you for this! The cord now trails through the table, under the chair and alongside the edge of the rug.


Haha! Too funny.


oooh, love this chair! I need nano-tex fabric everything.


I love the brown leather couch and have been looking for one just like it! How has it helped up and where is it from? Gorgeous room!


Where is the leather sofa from?