Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obsession: French Chairs

Lately I've been obsessed with French chairs. So obsessed, in fact, that I am itching to get my hands on one (or two or three) even though I have no real idea where I would put them.

Aren't they dreamy?

So I have been scouring the local thrift stores and a few weeks ago I came across a French-ish chair that I kept being drawn to. I can't tell you why I kept going back to look at it because there were several things "wrong" with it: the price was a little high at $80 (I'm cheap), the wood finish was worn and would need to be repaired (not a huge deal, but a consideration), and the fabric was PINK. Very, very pink. I knew I could never live with the current upholstery so I'd have to do something about that and I just wasn't sure I wanted to take on that kind of project. So, despite my being drawn to it like a bug to a light, I went home empty handed.

Fast forward one week and I am back at the thrift store staring at The Chair. It's still there. It's still pink. But now it's $10 cheaper. After hemming and hawing over it I turned and left, once again, empty handed.

Another week passes and I am on my way home from work when I find my car steering itself to the thrift store. As I walk into the store I immediately spot my chair (notice how it has gone from being "a chair" to "the chair" to "my chair"?). It's still very pink and still priced too high for me. Just as I'm about to walk away, I notice a small sign on the checkout counter that says "Today Furniture 50% Off."

I immediately accost the first salesperson I see and ask him if that sign means "select furniture" or "all furniture". Leave it to the lawyer to make this distinction, right? Luckily he tells me it means "all furniture". Before he can even get the words out, I blurt, "I want the pink chair!"

"Uh...okay." He says, eying me suspiciously as he scurries off to pull the tag off my pink chair to hand to the cashier.

Still not believing that the chair was really half off because I'm incurably cynical and don't trust anyone, especially those people who are supposed to know these things because it's their job, I head to the check out fully expecting the cashier to tell me I owe $70-and-change, at which point I was fully prepared to walk away, again, empty-handed.

She rings me up and tells me my grand total. $35 and change. I am shocked. Clearly, the universe wants me to buy this chair. And so I did.

As soon as I got home, I put the chair in the living room and waited for my husband to get home. I knew he'd think I was crazy. He usually does. I usually am.

Walking in the door, Lobster takes a quick glance and very non-chalantly says, "What the hell is that?"

"It is a chair." I explained.

"It's pink."

"Yes, yes it is."

"I hate it." He declares.

"No, you don't." I declare right back. "You hate that it's pink. You don't hate the chair. The chair is cool."

He stares at it for a minute and says, "You're right. I hate the pink. Therefore, I hate the chair."

"I'm going to fix the pink." I say, already getting excited about the prospect of conquering this new challenge I've set for myself. "I'm going to reupholster it."

Lobster looks at me, sighs and says, "Of course you are."

I then tell him what a deal I got on the chair and I see him smile a little. Saving money always makes him smile. It's a good thing I'm becoming the Queen of Deals.

Having convinced my husband not to burn the chair while I'm sleeping, I can now safely go about the task of figuring out how to reupholster a vintage chair. Cheaply. I think this will be Project Number 497 for me this month.

Le sigh. And I wonder why I'm always so tired...

Anyhoo, my plan is to use a cheap canvas fabric (the same I'm using to make curtains in the living room). The color is "natural," meaning it's white-ish. Not quite white. A bit off white-y, beige-y, taupe-y. Are you with me here? Anyway, I figure if I mess up, it will be easy and very inexpensive to buy more fabric. The real question is whether I keep the wood finish of the chair and just refinish it so that it looks shiny and new or do I paint the wood and distress it a la the pictures at the beginning of this post?

Decisions, decisions...any opinions?

1 comment:

Jennjilla said...

Good luck!

We have a great reference if you need someone to reupholster after all! You know I'm all about farming it out!!! hahahaha

(I love the chair, though! - pink, not so much)

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