A Fine Little Footstool!

abeth1This piece is a lot smaller than many of my client projects, but this little item has a lengthy story.

My client’s mother’s well-used, well-loved footstool was so disreputable looking that she had grown tired of looking at it. She exiled it to the garage, where she wouldn’t have to think about its one loose leg, the scarred brown finish, the torn covering and muslin or its tattered, gaping fringe.

But, as my client said, “We’re all short people, and this is the perfect size for my Mom when she’s sitting down.”

She engaged me to renew it, as a surprise.

You’re looking at the “After” pix!

What did I do with the “Before”?


Accidentally deleted it from my phone’s cameral roll, of course.

But this is what the material looked like after I stripped it from its carcass. You’ll have to use your imagination to picture its scuffed brown cabriole gams, one of which dangled precariously for want of a screwdriver and some wood glue.


Here it is after its first coat of Cottage Paint, which I’ve been testing. It will be in Minnesota Hirshfield’s stores soon, and I’ll post more about my experiences with it then.) I used two coats, and finished with two coats of semi-gloss sealer.


Here’s a closeup of the nailhead trim that replaced the worn black fringe.

 Because this project at was a surprise for the client’s Mom (who had no idea the stool had been heisted from the garage), I worked from photos of the mother’s condo in order to find the right fabrics that would work with her style and existing furnishings.

Her daughter, my client, snapped pictures surreptitiously, pretending to shoot family members with furniture in the background! It was a bit of a puzzle to get it just right.

Every decorator enjoys a good bit of cloak and dagger now and then!

Her furnishings were eclectic with global touches, with black lacquer and brass and a touch of Chinoiserie.

“Mandala” in Wine (a sturdy rayon/cotton/poly textured blend) seemed the perfect choice for this project.


And because one yard was plenty of fabric for this tiny stool, the overage was deployed for neckroll and a 22-inch pillow, accented with black velveteen welting and end pieces. Here they all are at my house, awaiting pickup.


That was earlier Sunday,and this just in: Mom is pleased and thinks it looks almost too nice to put her feet on!

I’ll be back tomorrow with news of the Spring’s the Thing Market, coming up fast, March 2 and 3!

Here’s hoping your next decorating project involves a bit of enjoyable espionage!


2 Responses to “A Fine Little Footstool!”

  1. karla says:

    Love the project! Love the fabric! Could the fabric be from my favorite fabric store in MN???????

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