Ballard Designs Casa Florentina Genoa Arm Chair Knock Off with chalk paint, linen seat, and monogram. All for $20 - Major Hoff Takes A Wife

Ballard Designs Casa Florentina Genoa Arm Chair Knock Off with chalk paint, linen seat, and monogram. All for $20


I don't know about you, but when I saw the Ballard Designs catalog featuring the Casa Florentina collection, I fell madly in love. The brush strokes, the depth of colors, the glazing, oh my! Then I saw the price! Double oh my!!!! The object of my desire was this specific armchair, the Genoa Armchair with linen seat. Priced at $449, it is a sight to behold. Isn't she heavenly??? Look at her curves and beauty!
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If you remember right, a few months ago I scored this gorgeous Pottery barn desk (read about that here!), and I was looking for the perfect chair to go with it. 

So when my friend posted she had this chair for sale, I was all over it. For $20 I scored this beauty:
Armchair before duncan phyfe style
She has great bones, but really need some help. 
See the damage on the top of the chair:
Close up of issues
and the seat---whatever vinyl stuff this was, it had seen better days. Too say it was gross would be an understatement! 
Armchair gross seat
But I was determined to make her a beauty! After removing the seat cushion, I set off to paint her. In 100 degree heat. Not my brightest idea! I used Powder River Paint in Silverado, as it was a pretty close match. Okay, honestly because I got a free sample from
Miss Flibbertigibbet at Haven! The entire little sample jar covered the seat with a bit left over. I'll do a review on the paint soon. 
After I painted the chair, I lightly sanded it and then used my secret waxing technique (which I am going to be sharing soon!). 

Next, I moved onto refinishing the cushion. I ripped off the vinyl and couldn't believe my eyes! The original needlepoint seat cushion was still on there!!!! It was beautiful, but not the look I was going for. The wonderful thing was that I knew the person I bought the chair off of. It had been part of her Grandparent's dining set. The needlepoint matches her decor, so I carefully removed it and she can now frame it and hang it in her living room. What a great reminder from the past!!!
Needlepoint seat
I wanted the linen look, so I was thrilled that a friend had given me an old linen skirt she no longer wore. She hated to let good linen go to waste and I was happy to take it off her hands! I used my embroidery machine and added our monogram. I bought the font off of Etsy. I would normally give credit and a link, but I was not pleased with how the design was digitized. There are better companies out there. Stick with one you love and trust.  Here is how the monogram came out, with the linen fabric:
Monogram dining chair closeup
I used a slightly off white thread with a nice sheen to give a tone on tone look so the monogram wouldn't be "so in your face". 
So are you ready to see the final chair????
I'm in love with it! The curves, the arms, the rose detail. I'd say she got a good second life, wouldn't you?
Ballard dining chair knock off
Arm chair legs
Rear chalkpaint chair
Potterybarn desk with chair
Duncan Phyfe dining chair chalkpaint
Rose detail duncan phyfe dining set chair
So to re-cap, here is the before:
Armchair before duncan phyfe style
and the after:
What do you think? Think it's a pretty good knock off? Would you have chosen a monogram for the seat? 
 Linking up to some great parties this week! Check them out!

DIY Show Off


  1. Beautiful! You are my kind of thrifty - $20 chair, free paint, and the linen skirt - genius! And, it's so nice that your friend can have the needlepoint cover as a keepsake! I especially love the monogram - what kind of machine do you have? I tried one years ago and couldn't get the hang of it.

  2. Love this chair and pinned it! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment about my Pottery Barn inspired pillow. Funny thing about the Manet! I had know idea what you were talking about at first!

  3. by the way I could not reply back to you...are you a no-reply blogger?

  4. Ahhhh!!!! Sara! Simply gorgeous!!! Love everything about it! Dying to know your "waxing" technique! You did a fabulous job!

  5. I love the makeover you gave to the chair. You did an awesome job. Would love for you to link this up tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Hope to see you there.

  6. So nice of you to give her the needlepoint!!

  7. What an awesome makeover!!! I love the whole thing! Also, very cool about what you did with the original fabric!


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