The Volvo gets a glamorous make-over


We adore our Volvo.  We bought it brand spanking new.   We appreciate the elegant, slim lines of  this venerable car.  The restraint used in the application of chrome trim.  The quiet luxury of the dark red leather upholstery.   We are so reluctant to part with this car.  We love it and it has been so much a part of our life,  but our beloved Volvo was decidedly showing her age.  The headliner drooped and sagged and was water-stained.   (A headliner is the lining on the inside roof of a car).   Definitely a major face-life required.   The front leather seats were worn  thin.   They deserved a complete new look.  Our cherished car needed a make-over.


We replaced the boring beige coloured headliner with a rich,  red  fabric  the same colour as the leather upholstery.  Spectacular!     U-Tube showed us how.   It was a two person job  and a days work  and many cups of tea.


Installed and finished!


Now for the front seat covers.  I was thinking a red toile de jouy fabric.  I love anything that has a French Look.  But it wasn’t practical.  The cotton fabric had less than 3,000 rubs.(  Fabric strength is determined by how it rates on the double rub that approximates the wear and tear that comes from someone setting down or getting up from an upholstered seat. )  I needed a fabric that would give me around 100,000 rubs.  I found some elegant wool tweed  fabric with colours in the tweed  that complimented the leather seat backs.   It had that classy Old English  country house stiff-upper-lip look, and it was good for 100,000 rubs.

The fronts seats were removed to allow me to obtain a perfect fit.




It was a simple matter for me  to make a paper pattern and sew the tweed fabric into fitted seat covers.   Heavy cotton flaps were sewn  to the sides of the seat.  These were pulled under the seat and tied securely


The car seats are ready to be re-installed.


The Make-Over is complete!




17 thoughts on “The Volvo gets a glamorous make-over

  1. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……………. how exciting!!!!! I love that you do these things yourself. I cannot wait for a ride in the newly refurbished Volvo. How lovely. You make me smile so large with your amazing zest for life. Miss you so very, very much. Hope to see you soon my dears. We are off to Spain and France this year in June. Me thinks we will do the train from Madrid to Paris over the Grand Pyrenees. We shall see. The years are slowing us down just a tad. Much Love and Many Hugs and Kisses.

    • Ah, Mr. Tin Man – your chariot awaits you – all spiffied up and looking quite old world charming. Spain! France! traveling by train . How wonderful for you both. With “baited breath” we will anxiously await stories and photographs of your adventures. Now I am off to turn an officious office chair into an elegant lady attending the Chelsea Flower Show. Even more love and a hugs to you Tinny and sweet Augustine.

    • We were quite chuffed that it worked out so well. Putting in the headline was fiddly but not difficult and it completely changed the interior of our car. The seat covers were pretty easy, just a matter of taking the seats right out of the car. Thanks for the encouraging words. Cheers Virginia

  2. Impressive, Virginia! And WOW. I’m digging the red. It really, really Pops. Say, does your rather handsome automobile have a name? And what treasures do you keep in the glove compartment? A spare lipstick? Enjoy the weekend! Theadora

    • It is NEVER referred to as “the car”. It is always THE VOLVO. We don’t genuflect when we say it, but we do pat it affectionately. We are researching new vehicles and try not to discuss the possible type of car that will replace THE VOLVO when we are driving it. Our last vehicle was a white van is was called BIG WHITE. The glove compartment of THE VOLVO holds the usual . . . maps etc. and always a bag of Wilhelmina Pepermunt. We became addicted to the peppermint candies when we were living in Amsterdam. We are hitting record warm temperatures these days so the week-end promises to be for climbing and gardening. May the sun shine on you, dear Theadora.

  3. Is there nothing that you cannot redo and decorate with panache? Even a car? I am so impressed that you and husband did this yourself! Love the red leather with the tweed. THE VOLVO suits you, Virginia. May it last many more years.

    • Jo Nell, my son tells me that if anything or anyone stood still too long around me I would either faux marble paint or slipcover them. I just can’t resist remodeling or remaking things. Cheers Virginia

    • We haven’t discussed this with THE VOLVO, but we are looking at a newer car. We shall keep THE VOLVO until it falls apart, but a second car is lurking just around the corner. Have a grand week-end Jo Nell

  4. Wow, that’s amazing Virginia! It seems you can do everything you put your mind to. I totally love the choices you made.
    …….. On another note, I thought of you quite strongly today. I was on the Red Rocket turtle-ing along Queen Street. I thought, Clafoutis is coming up. I looked & the window was brown papered. There was a sign in the window…. Store For Rent. Sigh!
    Much love to you, Virginia! _Resa xoxoxo

    • That is so sad. Clafoutis was my retreat during the long months of my daughter’s illness. I have good memories of that little old cafe.
      Doesn’t the Volvo look swish? It was a two person job. Lar is very good with these kinds of jobs so it always goes well. Hope you are having a lovely week-end dear Resa. Love Virginia

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