Skip to main content
Art and BeautyBefore and AfterDecorating My Home

Cheap Placeholder Art (plus my Dining Chairs are done!)

By 11/10/2010March 5th, 201739 Comments

I have a confession. I am so tired of looking at my empty walls and (as you know) the perfect piece of art takes time to find so when I was making my weekly rounds at Homesense last week I came across this one for $140 (marked down from $299). Well how could I resist? Until I find the alternative to the $18,000 piece that I want from Bobbie Burgers, this will be a place holder.
And my dining chairs are finished—aren’t they fabulous? I love them! Here they were before at the consignment store where I bought them:
And here is the after (below). I covered them with Sunbrella faux leather from Maxwell Fabrics;
Pattern; Expose Colour #50 Daffodil (available to the trade only). Apparently this fabric is so durable that if your child got art happy with a felt pen it would wipe right off, and it can be used outdoors as well!
Then I couldn’t decide on what to do on the back so I did 3 in polka dots and 3 in stripes (below) fabric from Robert Allen.
When they arrived (I’m not a big DIY designer, so my workroom stripped, painted and re-covered them) I decided I liked the stripes the best but I also adore polka dots and I can totally mix them up around the table depending on what I want to look at anyway! Which one do you like the best?
What I love about these chairs is they look sexy just sitting there all by themselves. I covered the fronts of the backs in a white (which reads a little grayed on the chair but I like the whites mixed) ribbed Sunbrella fabric from Robert Allen. Next I need to find a dining table and sideboard, I’ve been looking but haven’t found anything I like for what I want to pay.
Above photos by Maria Killam

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me for on-line or in-person decorating and colour.

Related posts:
Fresh or Fake Flowers; Yay or Nay

The Enchanting World of Atmosphere
New to this Blog? Click here ; Subscribe to my free Monthly Newsletter; Become a True Colour Expert

While you’re here, subscribe to this feed so you don’t miss out!
5 pins


  • Catherine says:

    Oh my gosh, your dining room chairs are amazing! I can't get over how perfect they are. I think the polka dots are my favorite, but I love that you did half and half. So fun!

  • Tammy@InStitches says:

    They turned out soooo good. I love the polka dots ! I think I'm going to reupholster my sofa in the velvet sunbrella.

  • Scribbler says:

    I absolutely love the chairs! I never actually thought about a placeholder, but it is a great idea. Thanks!

  • Bruce Barone says:

    I find such joy and inspiration here on your blog and hope I might be able to share some of my love, my art, with you and others.

    A client writes to me:

    "It just occurred to me that the world has such a tendency to reflect back to us the "negative" aspects of ourselves. There is triple magic in your photos because in stark contrast, your photos reflect all that is best and beautiful in people and the earth. Your vision/gift is priceless."


  • pk @ Room Remix says:

    I love your dining room chairs and am so happy that you mixed up that fabrics! They look great (and how awesome is it that the seat fabric is basically indestructible? 🙂 )

  • pk @ Room Remix says:

    I'm sorry, Maria! I thought the first link didn't take so I linked up again. Feel free to delete one of them.

  • Kathysue says:

    I love, love these chairs they make me smile!!! So fun and fresh, great choices, Kathysue

  • The chairs are fantastic! What a great move to use faux leather. I like that you mixed up the backs. What are you thinking about for a table — wood, metal, glass, paint? Will you have a 'placeholder"? And I think the canvas is really pretty — more romantic than I would have thought — it's a nice unexpected surprise.

  • Anonymous says:

    Fantastic! Where do you have them recovered? I bought some beautiful French antique chairs that i need to get reupholstered and can't wait to get them done!

  • Soma Pradhan says:

    Oh, doll, I'm so glad you did the stripes with the dots! Very chic!

  • Jil Sonia / Reflections Interior Design says:

    Well look at you! I love the polka dots and mixing them with stripes make them even more fun. The art is amazing, I love how the artist takes you down a pathway visually.
    Question, did you paint a yellow band at the top of your walls or on your ceiling? It really ties the look together.

  • Grace @ Sense and Simplicity says:

    Your chairs look amazing – just as fun and bright as you would expect your dining room chairs to look. I can't decide if I like the stripes or polka-dots more.

    Thank you so much for the shout-out for the Bangladesh or Bust fundraiser. We have enough to get us over the Atlantic Ocean now (haha). I'm touched that you would post about it and so appreciate it.

  • Marcus Design says:

    Wow, your chairs look awesome Maria! I love the stripes and the polka dots!! What a great choice, I think these chairs would make me very very happy 🙂
    Nancy xo

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Jill,
    It's above the molding on the ceiling and it was already there before the textured ceiling starts.
    Thanks for your comment!

  • Stephanie says:

    The art work and those chairs should have a married plaque on them. They look like they were meant to find each other, what are the chances of that? What a great find on the art work and the chairs are sexy, fun and yet elegant all in one.

  • Design Elements says:

    They turned out pretty good.! wonderful chair. Have a agreat day!

  • Anonymous says:

    The stripes are my favorite, but it's great that you mixed the two. Makes it so much more fun!

  • theonikm says:


    I would not replace that beautiful
    scene! It looks as thought you can walk right from your living room into the "garden". Beautiful chairs too!

  • Nichole@40daysof says:

    I LOVE THE CHAIRS!!! The yellow, the polka dots, the stripes – so fun!

    Giveaway on my blog today!

  • diane@onlinefabricstore says:

    Chairs are darling and indoor/outdoor fabric is great choice in any room…very smart. Just one question….does a man live in this house because it is very feminine.

    I must admit I was surprised by your choice of artwork but it works beautifully. Save your $12,ooo and keep it. No one will know and you will have lots of $ to finish the place

  • Belinda says:

    The chairs turned out great. Just going to say I think you are brave to do the polka dots and stripes. They are very cool!

    I love the painting also, I'm a garden lover and that painting is beautiful!

  • camdesign says:

    Love over size art on the wall, fab! The chairs look wonderful and the yellow is so nice & clear, black and white dots, wow, loving the mix of fabrics!

  • Marlis says:

    love the chairs, and it's okay to have placeholders.. I have a wall of art and needed one more piece (which is still eluding me) so I put a placeholder in.. at least it looks balanced now..

    The polka dots have my vote! but i love the stripes too.. so fun.

  • Kim@Chattafabulous says:

    My favorite is the mix! Brilliant!

  • Dovecote Decor says:

    Maria: The chairs are terrific! I like Brooke's idea of using old doors to add architecture and warmth to a room. We have an architectural salvage store nearby. They sell beautiful old doors for about $35.00.

  • Kelly @ JAX does design says:

    Your chairs look great! The polka dot fabric is fun 🙂


  • nannykim/spindlecottage says:

    Oh, I so love those HApPY chairs–how could they not make one SMILE!!

  • Scoti Springfield Domeij says:

    Love the painting. What size is that canvas? Would love to see a camera shot of just the painting. I agree with nannykim, the chairs are happy chairs and fun.

  • Sherri Cassara says:

    Love the polka dot chair – how cute would that be to use for your 'logo' – or put on personalized note cards?
    Super cute! I don't have a post on placeholder art (most of my artwork is holding a place for something else!) but I have a favorite photographer that I would love to have more of his work – gorgeous B&W photography, in the meantime I have 'similar' B&W photos that I printed myself – much smaller and in groupings.

  • Mary says:

    I love the polka dots. Yellow with black & white look very fresh.
    I bet it they go with your sofa very nicely.
    A black table will look great with your chairs but you will be dusting it every day.
    You know how I hate dust.

  • Spencer & Lorilyn Crum says:

    Such cute chairs!

  • traci zeller designs says:

    I love your chairs, Maria! They look fantastic … and mixing the fabrics like you did is totally inspired!! xoxo!

  • Tricia says:

    That's a huge canvas for the money and lovely too. Great find. I think the chairs look terrific. I'm a little partial to the dots but mixing them up is fun. I have a plan for the Maxwell fabric as well in a metallic looking teal. Can't wait to get mine done.

  • kate says:

    Your chairs look great and the painting will do in a pinch. It sure is tough to beat an amazing original like on the artist's site.

  • angi says:

    All I can say is that you have a beautiful home Maria, and that placeholder art is a KILLER idea! Stunning lounge.


    You have the bag, gloves, hat and scarf to match those chairs. High five! I love yellow too.

  • angie says:

    I hit send to fast 🙁

    That's "angie" that made the last comment and I'm from

    Clearly I need more tea.

  • Donna says:

    Maria..I love the new ideas..and the idea of a 'placeholder' until the right thing is available. Your new chairs are lovely! I like them so much better than the pink stuff before.

    I posted the best idea ever and I'm sure you will love it. It's using old frames as a display. My friend, Laurie, has a large collection of antique frames and she just arranged them on the mantle. They were HUGE and filled the large space of wall beautifully. Who would have thought of it? Took some gorgeous photos of her 'keeping room' including this great idea. Really, in away, it was a placeholder fix. She couldn't decide what to put there. And between me, her son, and her, we all agreed this was a great temporary fix..that may well become permanent.

    I'll be checking out the other ideas. I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with.

    Donna @ Comin' Home

  • Pam Kersting says:

    Loved your post Maria! Also love your sense of FUN with the 3 polka-dot backs and 3 stripe backs to your new chairs!

  • KanataDweller says:

    love, love your chairs! and the mix of stripes and dots is a brilliant idea. love them both. i do that with our bedsheets btw. i mix them up – stripes, dots, plain as long as their colours don't clash. i refrain from doing too much matchy-matchy 🙂

    Have a wonderful week ahead, Maria.

Leave a Reply