An Affair With Chairs: Part I

By February 5, 2014 Decorate, Projects, Vintage No Comments

Last Saturday morning I had the pleasure of doing a little shopping with my mom…kidless. Those of you with kids can appreciate how absolutely amazing that little treat can be. It was AWESOME! Rarely does the opportunity come along that I get to hang out with my mom minus the three-ring circus that is my offspring. Most of our trips end in hauling a screaming two-year-old out of a store because he a. doesn’t want to ride in the cart, b. can’t have whatever it is he’s fixated on for the day or c. just felt like today was a good day for a tantrum. And that’s just a taste of what it’s like if there is only one along for the ride. Add my oldest, and the show becomes Barnum & Bailey’s Circus Extravaganza! I digress…

So…back to Saturday. After hitting up several of our favorites, we made our way to downtown Cedar Falls. Mom made a trip to one of the local gift shops and I eventually found myself digging through old books at St. Vincent de Paul. I came up short in the book department, but after wandering to the apparel side of the store, came upon a couple of chairs that were begging me to take them home. I had discovered several similar chairs last summer at a small-town vintage market. They had been all prettied up and looked absolutely amazing. Rounded upholstered backs with caned insets, upholstered seats and beautifully detailed legs. Similar to this one:

I’ve been keeping my eye out for one or two since that day in May, and low and behold – there they were – just hanging out on a Saturday afternoon, in St. Vincent de Paul, right in front of a sad looking pair of boots. After finding these beauts, my inner-monolgue went something like this:

“You don’t need another chair to refinish – you still haven’t sold the yellow dining chairs.”
“But these are so different from those, and come Spring, I’m thinking I might do another open house.”
“Ok – but you don’t need both of them. They don’t even match.”
“But if I paint them the same color and upholster them the same – then they’ll sort of match.”
“You’ve never even tackled an upholstery project this complicated.”
“Ok…maybe just one.”
“You’re right – two it is!”
“You’ll be lucky to fit just one in the back of your mom’s car.”
“Ok…just one, I can always come back for the other one.”
“Your husband will KILL you if you come home with even one more chair!”
“Ugggh. Ok…maybe I don’t need them.”
“You’re right! You don’t need them!!!”

Then, I walked away. Out the front door of the store. And, continued to obsess over these chairs for the next. three. days. Over the weekend, I perused Pinterest to see if I could manage the upholstery job and to get a few ideas on how similar chairs had been refinished. By Tuesday afternoon, I had convinced myself I could reupholster an entire living room! Ha – the trap that is Pinterest! After a quick call to my mom to watch the kids while they were napping, I was off to St. Vincent, hoping they still had The Chairs. If you follow me on Facebook (you can by clicking here) you know how this story ends. In case you don’t – I’ll build the suspense. After dashing into the store, adrenaline pumping, I made a b-line for the apparel section at the back. There was only one chair left. SHOOT! But hey – even just one would make an excellent project. Then, I saw her – shoved up against a rack of worn-out button down shirts, with her golden velvet back towards me. She was still here, waiting – the missing third of a love triangle between me and a pair of chairs! Pure, junktastic, bliss!

I can’t wait to get started on these little ladies! It will have to get warmer before I can begin the painting – just one more reason Spring needs to hurry up already! I’m thinking a nice glossy, antique white finish on the chairs paired with a beautiful neutral fabric on the backs and seats. Or, maybe a glossy black with a more brightly hued, bold pattern on the seats and backs. Or both? Should they each get their own individual look or should I attempt to make them a set? Oh the possibilities! Any suggestions?!

Oh yes – and by the way – my husband didn’t kill me, but I did get a very deep sigh and an exquisite eye roll. Ah well – he knew what he was getting when he married me!

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