The Barley Twist pattern has been popular throughout furniture history. Quite popular in English furniture it managed to travel just as much as the English did.
This style of furniture is not sweet or dainty–not to me anyway. In my mind I see it more masculine, so when I decided to paint a Barley Twist chair- I kept coming back to darker colours.
This chair has great details:
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a before shot of this chair. It was a mess. Somebody had done a very poor attempt at upholstery. There was tape and glue as well as staples, pins and nails and two layers of fabric. This is the Barley Twist. You can also see this in ornamental details of furniture but the original design was structural- in legs and stretchers. The chair has nice carving details and is in really good condition.
This is a carving on the chair back. Quite nice!
I actually debated whether I should paint this chair. I originally was going to leave the wood but then I found a great fabric that inspired the look of the whole chair.
So I painted with Amsterdam Green. This is a colour only available in Europe, but I did hear a rumour that Annie Sloan was bringing it back into production. It is really super. Darker than Graphite and has great coverage. It is also a greenish bluish colour that can appear different depending on the lighting and the surroundings. Some of these photos are a little dark, sorry about that- these were taken with my phone! I think the Barley Twist works well with such a dark colour. I couldn’t really see a pink or a white working here.I lightly distressed to highlight some of the details.
And then I started with the fabric!
Plaid!! I love plaid- back to my Scottish roots! First I did the back, then added the padding and then stapled down the front of the chair back. I really think the plaid works with this style of chair- even if it is a bit unexpected.
The carvings and twists on the chair are heavy enough to visually support the strength of the fabric design.
And this is as far as I got today. So hopefully tomorrow I will have finished tacking down the fabric. I did buy upholstery pins but now I am not sure I will use them- I think a really nice trim will work better….we will see!