I have a slight problem with obtaining chairs. We don’t yet have more than we can use, but perhaps one more would be unnecessary.
There’s an awesome antique mall in a rust belt near ghost town on the way to visiting my family. We used to live close enough to it that it would be a fun weekend day trip. We both, however, drive sedans – N’s is fairly large, so a chair or two can fit in the back seat, and mine is small and can fit one small chair, but it’s also an old beater, so we’ve had no qualms about strapping a huge old oak library table to its roof among other near impossible things.
On our way back from this past Thanksgiving travels we stopped in. I was very close to obtaining another small rocking chair, a “sewing chair” that was similar to this one I got a few years ago:
That I use as my spinning chair and re-covered in a lovely (and once expensive) vintage linen sample that came from an estate sale.
But then we spotted a homely mid-century chair for the whopping price of $12.00 in the basement. The basement in parts, is a dim and dank place. Good things have come from this basement, but far better things have had to be left behind due to our vehicle limitations, or the expense of renting the van to haul it home. We sort of needed a chair for the guest room/N’s study, and I didn’t need another little chair, so we considered it. The wood seemed like it was likely walnut, but it was covered in a dark streaky stuff. There was a ghastly 1980s wedgewood blue and peach dot fabric covering the seat, but in the dim light I was able to see that there was a plaid cover underneath and thought it could be the original – possibly a wool blend in black and white and red.
N set out to strip the unfortunate goop off of the wood.
And I began to pry off the nasty insipid fabric to unveil the “original” upholstery.
Only in better light, I saw that it was a nasty 1970s acrylic brown and orange and gold and barely perceptible mint green thing. And likely the top layer of dark “stain” or goop was poorly applied to the wood then too.
So I pried the staples off that one and got down to the original cloth.
A black and brown plaid chenille-like fabric in surprisingly good condition.
But though I was pleased with finding the original seat in perfectly usable condition, it felt too dark for our house and didn’t show off the freshly restored walnut well.
So I hit our town’s shop that sells used/excess art supplies and got some more upholstery/drapery samples.
In the end, the one that worked best and N liked the most – a nice linen – doesn’t quite match the era of the chair, but it works well enough. I’ve also got some solid-colored but nubby-textured linen and silk blend samples that look spot-on for the time should we wish to change it or sell the chair eventually. This fabric was probably meant for drapes and likely not especially hard-wearing, but it won’t be used too often and it is easy enough to change.
And the original cover is still safe and sound and protected.
Now it needs a little pillow perhaps…