Monday, September 15, 2014

What Would Sarah Do? Mid Century Modern Edition

I'm so excited to share another edition of What Would Sarah Do this week! Thanks so much for sending in your thrifted finds!! Today, I'm sharing Jill's amazing second hand treasures, a Mid Century Modern sofa and pair of chairs (You know I have a weakness for all things MCM!). Both of pieces have amazing lines and just need a little refreshing, so today's suggestions are all about freshening and modernizing.

This sofa! Sure, it looks a little worn, but look at those clean lines and that wood base!

First, I'd remove the back tufting for a cleaner look.

Jill said she was thinking about a cotton velvet and I think that's a great idea! Maybe something like this. Make sure that it is upholstery grade, and if available, check the double rubs (a machine rubs over the fabric, back and forth until the fabric is worn), a higher number is better. (i.e. 100,000 double rubs, but 25,000 to 50,000 is suitable for residential use) Also, make sure to order a sample first!

For the base, I'd sand it down and leave it natural, sealed with clear polyurethane and clear wax. If she's thinking about replacing the bottom cushions, maybe swap for one large cushion for a more relaxed look. But keep three for a more tailored look.

I'm considering a color for a second sofa, I can't get yellow out of my mind! Maybe something like this.

Or maybe a teal! Like this or this

Jill also sent a few pics of this MCM chair. She has already removed the side panel on the arms (great call, as it shows off the detail on the arms!) I love the lines and the tufted cushion!

She's debating dyeing the fabric, before investing time/money reupholstering with a linen or linen look ..

Personally, I'd love to see these in a saturated linen, so I say, reupholster!

Maybe Fuchsia from the Warsa line

Or this yellow. Jill mentioned that these won't be in the same room as the sofa, but if they were, I'd pair them with the charcoal sofa.

I love the arms natural wood, so I'd sand them down and apply a light coat of a gray stain such as Minewax Classic gray - wipe it off immediately so it doesn't get too dark.

If you'd like to know what I'd do with a piece, feel free to email a photo to sarahmdorseydesigns{@} with the subject line, what would sarah do? I might include it here next week! (p.s. Thanks to all that sent in your request, I will try to get to all of them!)


  1. Definitely digging this new series. I'm also impressed with your photoshop skills. How do you do that?!?

  2. MCM is totally your sweet spot! I love that Warsa linen line - such great colors and so affordable!

  3. I'm drooling. I love mid century modern pieces and your ideas are great. I'd love to see more posts like this with mid century modern pieces.

  4. Love your ideas! Thanks so much for sharing my thrift store finds. I'll make sure to share the "after" with you. Jill

  5. OMG both those chairs and that sofa are fab!!! Im loving the vibrant color options. Great series chica!

  6. I am loving this series! Its so great to hear what my design inspiration would do with these finds!


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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