Repurposing chairs, fabric

An upholstery team recycles and reinvents discarded chairs and fabric scraps.

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Being green comes naturally to Richard Pariello and Sharlott Lewis—they’ve been upcycling old chairs and fabric scraps for years.

The duo salvages unwanted and discarded chairs and recovers them in patchwork kaleidoscope patterns at Designs by Richard Pariello in Payson, Ariz.

“Richard’s sense of design and upholstery skills, and my patience and sewing skills come together to create our one-of-a-kind Kaleidochairs,” Lewis says of her and Pariello’s creations. “It’s a labor of love with all the time that goes into them.”

The two labor for 80 or 90 hours per chair, to be exact. Most of that time is spent sewing the fabric pieces together. Fabric scraps from previous projects and discarded samples from fabric stores are saved and pieced together in patterns inspired by quilt blocks. Each chair includes more than 100 fabrics sewn together, all topstitched, which adds to appearance and durability. The resulting custom-made, recycled fabric is then used to cover unwanted chairs Pariello and Lewis rework from wherever they can: thrift shops, curbs or third parties.

“A lot of the chairs are pretty bad,” Pariello says. “Some aren’t structurally good, but the foam rubber is good. Everything’s recycled.”

Pariello and Lewis both enjoy working on the Kaleidochairs for the love of the trade and to make good use of materials unwanted by others.

“We’re pleased to know that these chairs have another chance to be enjoyed,” they say. “We’ve been green since before it became necessary.”

Do you have a project you’d like us to feature in Save My Seat? Send details of your project, along with before-and-after pictures in the form of print photos or electronic images (tif, eps or jpeg of 300 dpi or greater) to Kelly Frush, Associate Editor, Upholstery Journal, 1801 County Road B West, Roseville, MN 55113, or e-mail them to All images become the property of Upholstery Journal and cannot be returned.


Comments are the opinion of individual posters and do not reflect the views of Upholstery Journal or Industrial Fabrics Association International.

  • Cheri

    Love this chair!!

    I love what you did to this chair.  I have been thinking about doing the same thing.  Nice to see it was successful!  I saw a quick glimpse if a denim couch on a Macy's had a lot of pieces of denim from jeans covering it...loved it.  I want to try that with my couch! 

  • victoria


    I know what you mean when you say you have been green before the title green. I was the oldest of 25 grandkids and we all used the same highchair at my grand parents house. My grand father did work just like yours.Thank you! Seeing this put a smile on my face it made me remember his work and made me want to try it in my shop.

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