August 07, 2016

My $10 Craigslist Chair

One of the perks (or challenges...depending on how you look at it) is that I am constantly shopping for new furniture. The benefit of this job is that I see a lot of really cool stuff, often times at dirt cheap prices. The drawback of this job is that I see a lot of really cool stuff, often at dirt cheap prices...and I have a hard time saying no. I'm telling you, when the auctioneer sees me walk into the weekly auction, he knows he's going to have a good night! But it's not all bad. In this process of picking up a lot of random items (some of which I've regretted soon after), I've also scored some really great pieces. 

Awhile back I was picking up a dresser I found on Craigslist. When I went to look at it, they had it stored in their garage along with several other dressers. I started asking about those dressers as well, and before I knew it, they were pulling old furniture down from their attic, up from their basement, and even calling their cousins who lived down the street to see if they had any furniture they wanted to sell. Yep, I went home with a carload that day. One of the items I picked up was a wood frame upholstered chair. It was in rough shape, but I was really drawn to the lines of the chair. And for $10, how could I resist?! By this time, the guy was offering free delivery so what was one more chair?!

At the time, I didn't have a specific place for it, so it just sat in our garage for awhile. I knew I would eventually find a spot for it in our home. If there's a will there's a way; I just had to be patient!

Several months ago we finally started getting around to decorating the front room at our lake house. After much debate, we decided this room was going to function as a slightly more formal sitting room. Once the wheels started turning and I got a vision of furniture placement, I knew this chair would work perfect in the space.

Our home has a lot of blue and white, so naturally that is what I gravitated towards when picking out fabric. I wanted something traditional and classic looking. This is the first room you walk into when entering the home, so I wanted it to set the tone for the rest of the house. I ended up going with a blue and white buffalo check. 

The next step was refinishing the chair. I went back and forth between touching up the stain or painting it, but ultimately decided to stick with a wood tone frame. It is going right next to a hutch I recently painted, (you can read all about that here) and I thought it may be overkill to have both pieces painted.

There are several people at the studio where I work who specialize in different trades - refinishing, upholstering, carpentry, etc. I thought this chair would be the perfect opportunity to partner up with them. Not only did I get to watch the whole process, but they also gave me a 'friends & family' discount. 

The upholstery guy totally reinforced the chair, added new padding and new support straps.

The end result...a far cry from how it started.

I was really happy that I left the frame stained, as it adds contrast against the blue and white.

It didn't need to be fully stripped and re-stained, but was just freshened up with a slightly darker and richer shade.

We all know my sewing skills are non-existent, so I was completely blown away by the quality of work the upholstery guy produced. He said it was a challenge to line up the checks just so, but I think he nailed it!

Not to mention, the double cording around the edges. How is it that I still haven't mastered the skill of sewing on a button, yet other people can reupholster an entire piece of furniture?! 

Here's a peak of the chair next to the hutch. I think the styles coordinate well together and maintain the more formal yet comfortable look we're trying to achieve. It's a lake house, so my goal was to achieve a more formal look without it feeling too up tight and stuffy. 

I'd show you the rest of the room, but at the moment it's still pretty bare! 

So for now, it's just a lot different views of this corner and our new chair!

After playing the role as the guinea pig when it came to teaming up with the upholstery guy, I'm hoping to pull him into more projects. In turn, I would be able to expand my product line to include upholstered pieces as well. Up until now, I've shied away from dining sets and any sort of furniture with fabric. However, knowing that I have a skilled and reliable person to work with, I'm quickly warming up to the idea and already starting to build my inventory with those kinds of pieces. Ok, maybe I started building up this inventory long ago despite the fact I didn't know how I would refinish them, but I now have a vision and am eager to get started with this new venture!