patchwork chair and ottoman set

Forget fabric stores – some antiques are just too boring to bother re-covering with traditional patterns. These hodgepodge pieces use patchwork scraps to create fresh new themes within stodgy old frameworks. (Re)fabric(ation) can be fun.

reupholstered vintage sofa

Based in Sweden, a group called Design by Leftovers takes old and often overly-ornate furnishings that would hardly fit in a modern home, and remakes them to look creative, contemporary and strangely more timeless. If you are at a loss for how to reupholster some vintage furniture and other household items, look no further for inspiration.

reupholstered patchwork dining chairs

reupholstered recycled fabric chair

While there seems to be much mixing going on, there is a clear set of methods within the madness – each found piece of fabric is stitched into a new whole in a way that is clearly conscious of what appears around it in terms of colors and patterns.

reclaimed patchwork chair

Old velvet slipcovers, vinyl patches, leather panels and more are paired for reupholstering with carved-wood chairs and couches, much of which may have vintage appeal but, save for such interventions, is otherwise destined to become discount furniture beyond repair.

Each of this series has a core zone of tonal focus – cool purples and relaxing blues to bright reds, bizarre pinks and earth browns. No doubt much fun was had in the remaking of this weird collection, sorting out various styles and colors of the spectrum to create unique new furniture objects and even a few oddly-matched sets.

None of it comes cheap, either. That green patchwork sofa seen above, known as Charlotte’s leftovers, reportedly costs a cool 9250 Euros (about $10,500 USD.)

design by leftovers
repainted vintage furniture

Beyond recycled, upcycled and reupholstered furniture, Design by Leftovers’ aesthetic just gets weirder. They’re also known for rehabbing old vintage dressers, bureaus, tables and other objects with paint jobs we’ll call – uh – unconventional. It just goes to show that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, as they say. Check it out for yourself and tell us what you think.