Awhile ago my brave friend Amy and I ventured out for a day of thrift store hopping with my three kiddos. She told them we were treasure hunting, and they totally bought in. Plus, M came home with new ministicks and L with a dolly car seat, so they considered it a successful day.
I also thought it was a successful day, including this little midcentury Danish-style chair. I say “Danish-style” because I couldn’t find a manufacturer’s stamp anywhere. But the chair was sturdy and $5… so I was in.
But it certainly needed a makeover.
Uncovering it was like traveling in time: a satiny hunter green floral (welcome to the nineties), a pink and grey chenille (eighties called. They want their upholstery back. Except, no they don’t.), and a brown and beige tweed (70’s? 60’s? I don’t know. I’m not that old…).
I flip flopped on whether I wanted to recover it in a navy or white vinyl. But then I remembered that when I had a pair of midcentury modern chairs upholstered for the Access set project, the upholsterer had given me the scraps of grey-blue vinyl, and I thought, “This is barely anything. What am I going to do with this?”
Well, there was one piece just big enough for the seat, and a long, thin piece that worked for the back. Yippeee!
It wasn’t too bad for upholstering - which is good for the limited time I have to work on projects lately. One evening I took off the old upholstery, and the next evening I put it back together.
The seat was just your average dining seat - unscrewed from the bottom and wrapped and stapled. (Though looking at these pictures, it needs a few more staples.)
The back… um… if you’re a vintage furniture aficionado, or legit upholsterer you may want to look away now…
You peeking? No? OK…
…I pried the back off by putting a flathead screwdriver between the wooden back and upholstered part. My husband kept looking at me, as he heard the cranking and wrenching of the wood splintering. ”Um… you sure you’re doing that right?”
Well, no. I wasn’t sure. But I knew when I glued it back together you wouldn’t see it. And it was a $5 chair. So I pried it off (with a tiny bit of wood splitting on the inside), wrapped and stapled the cushion, glued it with wood glue, then clamped it with vice grips overnight.
It’s actually a comfy little chair, and can go just about anywhere. Lately it’s been hanging out in the boys’ room.
Design by LeSueur Interiors
Home of Caroline and Anthony Borgman featured in Period Living
I had a rocking chair as a little girl, and I loved it. I used to sit in it and watch lightning storms out of my window, with my feet propped up on the hot water radiator.
And what child doesn’t love cild-sized furniture? It’s novel and fun and fitting. So when I found this sweet little rocker at Salvation Army for $7 I had to pick it up.
It is for the most part quite sturdy (just some wood glue needed for one spot) and just needs to be cleaned up. I’m thinking once I’ve sanded it down I’ll refinish it in a darker stain. Painting would be easier (and I’ve got some navy blue paint already), but I think the wood would maintain it’s charm better.
It has all this neat old blackened hardware and a cool slatted seat. I’ve never seen a chair quite like it, and I’m very excited to give it to the kids. Hopefully it will be loved for many years!
Stylist Kendra Smoot
Design by Kelly Deck, photo by Barry Calhoun, via The Globe and Mail
Trying to decide on my next upholstery project (possibly for L’s future room)… Settee ($80 - would use a fun patterned fabric) or tufted chair ($40 - would use a saturated solid colour.) Thoughts?!?
Photographer: Stacey Brandford, Designer: Sarah Richardson Design (via House & Home)