Papa Bear Chair Upholstery Inspiration

Work commitments have made blogging difficult these past few days, but my mind is  whirring with upholstery ideas for our Hans Wegner Papa Bear armchair. This is too big (and expensive) a project to get wrong, especially because we will have to live with potentially ugly fabric choices for years before we can rectify the mistake. Do I play up the chair’s unique, outrageously extroverted shape by choosing a bold colour?


Whatever fabric I choose needs to hold up to two people who actually use their furniture. Yep, we sit in our chairs! Sometimes even with a glass of (red) wine or a cup of coffee in hand, so the following is definitely out…


I can just see myself collapsing in a fit of tears after someone’s Nutella sandwich lands face down on that baby. Perhaps it’s time to get real and opt for something close to the chair’s original upholstery, a tweedy charcoal grey:

The advantages are obvious; you can wield yer Nutella and it goes with every other conceivable colour in the room. The grey fabric, I mean, not the sandwich spread. And yet part of me longs for a beautiful, soothing blue…

As if I needed more reminding that this chair deserves to be sensitively restored to its full beauty, check out the Christies listing that the above image stems from.

And before I sign off for today, may I wish you a belated happy Valentine’s Day?

Any excuse for flowers in retro vases, any excuse.

This entry was posted in Projects, Vintage bits and bobs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Papa Bear Chair Upholstery Inspiration

  1. Monica says:

    I know it is not practical but the white is amazingly fabulous – it is the bomb. The light blue is right up there too. Overall the lighter colored fabrics seems to bring out the lines in chair. Maybe a not so dark grey? You lucky, lucky girl!

  2. Brismod says:

    Such a great dilemma to have. It is a fabulous chair – it would look great no matter what choice you made. I’ve got a practical nature so I would probably be inclined to do a dark sombre colour although it would look amazing in a strong bold red or orange. Can’t wait to see what you decide. xx

  3. Fat Cat says:

    I believe this qualifies as a high-end problem 😉 I prefer the dark gray option (maybe a tad lighter actually as Monica suggested). You’re right, it would go with any colour scheme and is the most practical option (btw – Nutella has its own Wikipedia entry ?! Unreal !).

  4. lavalotti says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for your input! I’m currently tending towards the grey option (boring but safe) but agree that a lighter shade than the one pictured might be more attractive. I saw a picture of one upholstered in a dark turquoise/teal shade a while back and thought that looked pretty fabulous too, and would probably hide stains as well as the grey. Monica, I agree that the white looks amazing. My fear about the lighter fabrics is that even without something as dramatic as a red wine spill, dark blue jeans often seem to leave a bit of a dye stain behind (happened to a friend’s white sofa and put me off light upholstery.)

  5. Corry says:

    This chair will probably be the centrepiece in your living room so I think it would be good to make a real feature of it, bearing in mind that it needs to work with your other furniture. The plum red in the apartmenttherapy photo would solve the spilt wine problem! ( I have a fondness for that colour). Many modern fabrics are stain resistant or you could have it scotch-guarded which may allow you to follow your heart. Happy choosing.

    • lavalotti says:

      Hi Corry, thanks your input! I love plum reds too, I guess I’m just worried that I’ll tire of anything too bold very quickly. The scotch-guard tip sounds like a good one, I’ll have to enquire about that.

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