Friday, September 3, 2010

Where's The Chair?

I play this little game at my house and it drives my husband crazy. I call it, "where's the chair today?"
I buy new chairs, I change old chairs, I get rid of old chairs, and I move the chairs from room to room. Is there anyone else out there that does this?  

I started this blog so I could talk about chairs. 

This one is still in the shed and still looks like this

My first post  I mentioned that I was going to take an upholstery class. My obsession with collecting old chairs with the intent to reinvent them was starting to take over my living space and I needed to do something about it once and for all. 

This is the chair I worked on in class

I started with the hardest chair and had high expectations of finishing it and a couple others over the course of 8 weeks. 

At this point I felt so hopeful
So I did a few posts showing my progress or lack of progress on my chair.  

At this point there were only two classes left and I was ready to quit

As it turns out 8 weeks of classes was not enough to finish reupholstering a chair when it's stripped down to nothing but a frame and you're learning how to recreate every part. 

I carried that chair and all the stuffing, fabric, and tools back and forth from my office at home on the second floor to the classroom in another state in a classroom in the back of a a huge fabric store for 8 weeks during the biggest snow storms in history.   

I tried to boost my confidence by winging it on a wing chair by myself at home.

 I got this far in about 8 hours

I ran out of fabric so the welting never was done.

I never quite finished the wing chair either. Last week moved it to the kitchen next to the fireplace.  Now I've decided I'm going to change it completely. I'm going lighten the wood and upholster it in white burlap.

 After a while in hiding I brought out my unfinished chair, in all it's incomplete glory.  The color was right for my muted neutral sunroom.  So for most of the summer I've had an unfinished chair sitting in the room we live and entertain in. I know, appalling!  I felt only slightly better after seeing a few interior decorating magazine spreads that included the innards of chairs showing.  For the record, I don't like the look at all. 

In the past four months we've seen the following chairs come,  go or get reworked: 


Cleaned and recovered. Then donated

Stripped down to frame. Repaired frame. Painted and purchased new fabric.  This one gets moved periodically from my office to my bedroom. 

She looks like this today. Don't sit on this one!

The outdoor furniture got revamped. I'm thrilled with this project.

I brought these home from Ikea. They required assembly. I'm happy with them. 

Both of these club chairs were donated. The one on the right was the first piece of furniture I ever bought. I got it at an estate sale and had an upholsterer do that job. 

And here is where we are today. The chair on the left is the one from the class and is finished finally.   It's a temporary (I guess they all are kind of). The other chair was purchased and will be recovered at some point by a professional.

 I think I like chairs so much because they are inexpensive when you're getting them on the side of the road or at flea markets and they can be reinvented (sometimes in a matter of hours).  I have learned that upholstering is a lot of work and it takes a lot of muscle and patience. I think it's a good skill to have and I'll continue to do the smaller jobs. But, for the bigger ones it's worth paying to get it done well and in a timely manner. 

Anyone else out there have a chair obsession? 


the gardener's cottage said...

hey julie,

i have plenty of obsessions but none are over chairs. jack white comes to mind. i wish i could find him sitting in a junk store b/c i would take him home and "fix" him up. but seriously, i admire your determination in learning a new craft. putting up with travel and bad weather to boot. you just can't keep an artist down. your chairs look so good, you should be so proud, i am.


Kim@Chattafabulous said...

We must be long lost sisters - I have this affliction as well. Funny thing is I wouldn't have it any other way. Picked up 2 more today!!

pve design said...

I love secrets, but was that you that I sat next to at "chairaholics?" Upholstering has never even tempted me.
Please pop over for my Saturday secrets.
You must.

kayce hughes said...

Good to know! I am tempted to learn because my sweet dog keeps eating my chairs but I think that in would drive me to insanity.

Karena said...

I would never consider upholstery I love unique, interesting chairs though!! Art is my obsession....

Art by Karena

dovecote Decor said...

Is there a recovery group for us? Do we neglect the ones we love with our addiction? I love occasional chairs, miniatures, children's chairs. I don't think I'm up to upholstery, thank goodness! Funny!

Anonymous said...

Oh Julie I have a love affair with chairs too. Jeff thinks I am insane. I can't put it into words, but I there is just something special about chairs.

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Ummm....Yeah....chair obsession here too. Tiny cottage. Enough said.

Warm blessings,

PS.... I don't know how to upholster, but have made a gazillion slipcovers.

Anonymous said...

[url= ]жуткий интимный комплекс ..... и ещё коешто.. [/url]
Как заявить мужчине, что отношения завершились? Встречались возле года, со временем взяла в толк что не мой мужчина. Коллега по работе (мужчина) предложил вообще ничего не говорить, игнорировать, не отвечать на звонки, мол сам догадается, взрослый уже не мальчик.

Martha said...

I just found your blog and I LOVE IT!!
I have a pile of chairs in the basement. I need to take and upholstery class.
Every time I see one on the side of the road i yell, "Free CHAIR!" and my 10 year old daughter perks up. I'm pretty sure I'm passing this affliction down to her.

Unknown said...

Wow, You made that look easy as pie. I know it had to be a challenge. Your vision for that chair turned out perfect! Click here