I picked up this Napoleon III settee last week at Provenance. What can I say? It had me at “19th century.” As you can see, it needs reupholstering very badly and it’s a little rickety (you would be too if you were 150 years old!) but nothing that the upholsterer can’t fix.

So the fun (and agony) begins. Do I want to paint it? If so, what color? Or maybe I should just strip the wood? What fabric do I want to use? Do I want a pattern? Or do I want it solid? And on and on and on ……

One thought is to use that blue velvet fabric I still have. It would look not exactly but something like this one from Anthropologie I posted a while back:

Or this one from one of my old moodboards:

And remember this one I posted last year:

Again, not exactly the same but pretty close. Isn’t this lavender gorgeous – especially with all the orange? Anyway, these are just a couple of ideas. There are many more. As usual!

I want to thank everyone who came out to ADAC yesterday. It was great meeting so many of you and seeing old friends too. (Hi, Terry!)

Have a good weekend, guys and I’ll see you Monday. And don’t miss out on the Katie Ridder Rooms book giveaway. It ends tomorrow at 6:00 PM EST.




oooh, dilemmas indeed. We have one that is 400 years old and we got it upholstered about 9 years ago but we left the wood as is. I couldn’t bring myself to paint it. I look forward to seeing what you will do, be braver than I am :)

julie at BV

Love your purchase Ally. I’m sure you’ll know what to do with it. I featured you and your pretty powder room today in my blog. Come over and take a look!

Happy weekend!


Love that purple settee! Purple and orange is a color combination I often forget I love (as weird as that is). Congrats on your find — I’m sure it will be gorgeous when you’re done!


Hi, Meg! That’s not weird at all. I love so many color combinations I need little reminders like this every now and then, too. :)

Jenna @ Homeslice

My vote is to keep the wood and strip/stain it and then go with a bright fabric for upholstery. It will make it modern but stay true to the piece. Gorgeous settee, exciting!!!


lol @ ‘it had me at 19th century,’ love to see the after look. I like the anthropologie version, beautiful blue color.

Sweet Freak

I love it! I got to the ballet last night and my friend and I were mesmerized by the emerald green velvet seats… that would be a beautiful option, too!


Ally I love it!! The lavender is scrumptious, however I adore the blue and for me would probably use that shade. Great find!

I am doing well in rehab after the hip replacement. (grueling that it is!)


Art by Karena


Thanks so much for taking time to comment! I read every one and reply through my own comments.