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All photos courtesy of Linda Grasso of Shesez

Vintage wicker peacock chair
A vintage wicker peacock chair. (above)

Good friend Linda Grasso of Shesez blog wrote me this evening asking for some ideas on refurbishing a furniture find. Linda found this vintage peacock wicker chair in La Jolla this weekend at a yard sale for $15. The chair she was told comes from England. While the silhouette is shaped like a classic peacock wicker chair, the swirls and curls in this wicker are quite unique.

Now Linda wants to know what she should do with this chair. Does the chair even need a makeover? Should it go indoors or outdoors? Remain natural or painted? If paint is the option for this wicker wonder, then what color? If it stays outdoors, how does one waterproof it? What to do with this chair? What should Linda do with her new chair? Help!

I have some ideas and so does Linda on what should be done…but I would love to hear your ideas!

Close up of the detail on a vintage wicker peacock chair
Close up of the intricate detail on Linda’s vintage wicker chair. (above)

To give you a little context on where this chair might go…Linda lives in a gorgeous home in the Encino hills with her husband CK, two darling sons and two cute small dogs. Linda has beautifully decorated her home in a traditional style that feels both chic and comfortable. A home where you could easily throw a posh dinner party for 10, spend relaxed quality time with the family, enjoy cooking a fantastic meal in the gourmet kitchen, or even pretend that you are at an elegant resort enjoying a luxurious spa retreat. Linda has designed a home that is warm, elegant, easy and stylish all at the same time.

Linda Grasso of Shesez's California hillside home and backyard
View of the back of Linda’s lovely California hillside home and backyard. (above)

As you can see, Linda’s backyard is quite splendid. It features a lovely garden, the perfect pool with flagstone trim and a path of paving stones surrounding it. Lastly the yard has a great patio with several seating areas including an outdoor “living room” of sorts set under a wonderful white lanai.

In my view, when the wicker chair is spruced up in some way, it might actually work for this outdoor living space.

Linda Grasso of Shesez's California backyard with a pool and outdoor living room

Linda Grasso of Shesez's California backyard pool
Who wouldn’t want to take a dip in this pool? (above)

Linda Grasso of Shesez relaxing on her patio with her dogs
Linda Grasso of Shesez relaxing at home on her patio with several furry friends including her own Bo and Cal.(above)

Linda is leaning towards painting the vintage wicker chair a green or a yellow to blend in with the striped upholstery on the her outdoor living room furniture.

I think the chair could also fit in perfectly if it was painted a bright glossy white and some bold turquoise, brown and white, or yellow and green patterned seat cushions were added (I am partial to Trina Turk’s indoor outdoor fabric line – I bought the brown and white Santorini fabric for some outdoor cushions on my own deck…of course, I have yet to have the cushions made…of course). Could look kind of Palm Beach glam or retro 70’s Hollywood.

Any ideas are welcome. Please please comment on how you might makeover Linda’s vintage wicker chair!


P.S. Can’t wait to hear your ideas and also can’t wait to see what Linda ends up doing with her new (old) chair…when she finishes…I’ll have to post the before & afters!

All photos courtesy of Linda Grasso of Shesez

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  1. Great find! I would paint it white or leave it natural and have a cushion made in a very bold, colorful, fun, contemporary print. Maybe it would be a treasure in a guest room!!

  2. We used this chair for a designer showhouse on Amelia Island Fl.. We were required to use 3 pieces of merchandise from our local charity thrift store in each room that a designer did. We spray painted it a happy red, and it actually ended up in a bidding war at the silent auction.We were tickled that people fought over our $20 chair, that ended up selling for $125 !!
    Barb @

  3. Hmmmm… Such a great piece I’d be scared to keep it outside. Even the best treated wicker gets dry and brittle outside. If there was room I’d use this in an entryway or bathroom. If it was functional seating, behind a desk would be cool too! I like it as-is for now too. It’s got a nice beachy, natural vibe. Lucky pup to score this beauty!!!

  4. I would paint it white and add green and yellow matching cushions.

    Seating cushion should perhaps be light green with mix n match yellow/brown back cushions.

    Also, the swirls in the chair are so unique.From the pic, it seems there is a little bit of space. It could be used as a magazine rack with rolled up magazines in the arm of the chair.

    I would put this chair outside under an umbrella or in a gazebo of some sort.

    Crazy idea here, but if it had small camouflaged wheels, it could easily be moved indoors when it suddenly starts pouring !

  5. I don’t think her life is real. Is it? Because I think I want it.

    I think it would look great painted jet black with a bright cushion for pillow (if used indoors) or just as it is if used outdoors. I like the natural feel.

  6. I would leave it natural and have a nice stripe fabric cushion made for it, like the fabric Linda is sitting on with her dogs. But….to be honest–I’m not a fan of that chair. Still, it needs to be natural to blend in with her teak if left outside. It can by polyurethaned to protect it under cover. Her home is absolutely gorgeous BTW! Love the dogs! –Delores

  7. I’m not sure how comfortable this chair might be to sit in so that lead to another thought. Put a piece of plastic or a plastic tray on the seat part and adding some plants to it. Vines might be nice and they could be weaved into the chair. I would clean it up and keep it natural looking.

  8. Don’t paint it. The natural beauty is best. Have a slipcover made for it – a pure white, super sheer gauze – the sheerest imaginable. It will float over the whole chair and give it an ethereal and swanky see-through look. I’ve done this to wicker chairs in the past and the look is off the charts, and it’s also very cooling psychologically. Another option is to use some vintage natural linen to sew a skirt for the bottom part…chic and fun. Make a tufted seat cushion to match.

  9. I vote for keeping it natural and having a box welted cushion made in a fabulous fabric to match an indoors room. I would be hesitant to put it outdoors because of moisture damage of the So. California climate.

  10. I think it would be fantastic to pull in some of the yellow from the (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS PATIO) umbrellas…use it for the entire chair except for the peacock back – do that in a high gloss white and add a coordinating fabric cushion in yellow with white piping trim! I too would be a bit nervous using it outdoors though so if so add it to a guest bedroom or reading nook for unexpected fun!

  11. What else for a Peacock chair? Turquoise paint with a marine blue cushion. FIRST SPRAY THE CLEANED NATURAL CHAIR WITH MISTS OF PURIFIED WATER. Then the turquoise paint will end up with a smoother finish AND will lock in the moisture which wicker requires. Indoors in a sunny location will make it look the best.

  12. DAMN YOU DALE!!!! I got all the way through the posts and no one was taking turquoise. I thought I would be the one. But I do think stark white cushion with turquoise piping. I saw one of these at a consignment store recently, I think I may go get it if it’s cheap enough.

    There is no waterproofing that chair so inside is a must but what a great sunroom addition.

  13. I cleaned my wicker chair, but wanted to keep that natural look, – in order to do this I gave the chair a waterbased nut-coloured oil, and I think the result is amazing. It looks so fresh. I would prefer keeping this stunning chair in a natural colour. If its painted, the paint can crack, and that really just spoils it.
    A really great custommade cushion – that it somewhat bolder – maybe a floral or even embroidered thing could be soooo beautiful.
    If I had this chair, I would use it as a point-de-vue. And perhaps surround it with a volumious palm and dashing flowers. A great reading spot on the terrace. I would make sure to take it in in the wintertime, but If your friend goes with my method, – and give it oil. She can just repeat it – if it gets a little dull in the colour.

    Try seeing what I did here:

    Love your blog…

    Have a great weekend

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