Sometimes the best things in life are rudimentary. Two simple and striking colors I have been using to update my space are black and white. The absence of color itself can provide a clean slate for its application and expressive quality. Black and white can serve as a starting point for interesting design or an opportunity for layering objects within a space.

While I love bold hues, black and white can be the blank canvas upon which to paint your design. When I began writing this post, I looked around my Los Angeles apartment for 3 recent projects involving black and white.


Project #1:

I worked to renew a vintage pair of chairs with a fresh coat of white paint.  I think you would agree that they needed updating! The original paint had begun to yellow and was quite goopy.


  • First, I cleaned and sanded them down.
  • Since they were already light in color, I knew a few smooth coats of white paint would do the trick. For this project, I used a combination of a foam cabinet roller and Satin Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom white.
  • Typically, I use the roller with paint to provide a clean and smooth base for the additional layer of paint.
  • The final coat was sprayed on and I focused on getting into all the nooks with the spray coat.

After some trial and error, I have found that ivory and white can go together nicely. For instance, the chairs below are painted in heirloom white and the fabric is a bright white.


Next, I was on to re-cover the fabric seat. This process may seem intimidating, but it is easier than you may think.

  • For both chairs, I removed the old dusty fabric using my trusty pliers.
  • Once, the old fabric was removed, I padded them with a ½” thick cotton sheet batting. You can buy this at your local fabric store.


  • After you have wrapped the batting and fabric around the seat, you are ready to trim off any excess.
  • I wrap the upholstery in a similar way to stretching a canvas.
  • I start on one side of the chair seat edge and put a staple in the center, then I do the opposite edge. I staple in a pattern to ensure all edges are pulled evenly and tautly.
  • My pattern of stapling goes something like this, right side, left side, top, and bottom.


  • The last step is to tuck and fold the corners at a 90-degree angle, then secure with a staple.


Project #2:

Do you have any old pieces you would love to renew?

A big part of me appreciates the way furniture used to be crafted, a time when quality mattered and materials were real wood! I recognize that many artisans are getting back to these simpler times. I am trilled when I see the work of other handmade artists.

Two other black and white accessories that I will be decorating with this fall and winter are my vintage frame pinboards and cloth napkins featured below. I like the way a coat of white paint renews the frame and will allow artwork or photography to take the spotlight. Lately, I’ve turned a few large vintage frames like these into pin-boards in an attempt to organize my inspiration and corral scrawled goals and dreams stuck to the wall.


Project #3:

Lastly, with the leftover chair fabric, I stitched a set of 4 cloth vintage style napkins. Although, I’ve been sewing pillows and napkins since I was a tween, lucky for me, they only require four straight lines and a tiny dose of patience. This is something rather stress-free to do with your upholstery remnants. For me, it’s about getting that thrill of a job accomplished quickly.


I hope this inspires you to do some decorating this season and to see the potential in these autumn days to transform to an old treasure to new. More importantly, be sure to share your photos and ideas with us too!

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