I’ll just come right out and say it: I am addicted to chairs. Well, to salvaging chairs really. The Bavarian is going to lose the plot some day if this continues. But I fear it will.
Only the other morning he had to talk me out of picking up another. Luckily for him, he was driving. If I had been, I would have stopped the car for a snoop around. He spotted my glance veering to the kerb where someone was obviously clearing out their cellar. “No. We don’t need it. We’ve no room for another chair”. He put his foot down this time and I managed to cope. It was raining after all and the chair wasn’t anything special.
But I have gathered some beauties over the past few years. It all began with my blue Thonet chair. This is one of my absolute favourites. I bought it at a flea market for €1 in 2006 along with its twin. Their rattan seats were burst in the middle and needed replacing. I severly underestimated what it would cost to repair and at the time couldn’t afford to have it repaired by hand. Naively I assumed that buying ready-woven rattan would save me money and be easy to attach to the chair. I was a fool. The ready-woven rattan was not the answer.
The Bavarian tried and tried to get me to part with the two broken chairs. But I had fallen for them badly and insisted on keeping them. We moved flat in 2008 and the chairs came with us. We moved to our house in 2010 and the chairs came with us. Finally, in the summer of 2011, one of the chairs got sanded down, given a wooden seat and a few coats of smokey blue paint. It is very fragile and I often find myself sitting on it when guest are here for fear that someone who doesn’t apprciate its fragility will plonk himself down on it and crush my poor darling (oh yes, and hurt themselves too. That wouldn’t be nice, no).
The other Thonet chair is in the guest room having suffered a botched atttempt at re-doing the rattan seat. I hope someday to be able treat him to being repaired by a professional.
This red chair was grubby and covered in dust and cobwebs when I spotted it on the side of the road but I knew it had potential. As I was taking my “before” photos with the intention of renovating it, I had a closer look and found that all it needed was a good clean. The paint wasn’t even chipped. Four years later it is still going strong and is currently Number One’s favourite chair.
The pale grey chair here on the right is actually one The Bavarian himself brought home for me. A true act of love. He spotted it left out for the rubbish collection when he was on his way home from work one day. It was dark brown and covered in paint splotches, having presumably been used by someone to stand on while painting a ceiling. Some paint stripper, a good sanding and a couplpe of coats of pale grey paint later, it is one of our family favourites. It is a really solid, comfortable chair to sit on.
Each of the three plain wooden Ikea chairs in the photo above have been retired from service and a range of salvaged, renovated chairs have taken their place. The table too has been replaced with a flea market find.
This armchair is another family favourite. Just look st the size of it! It is so cosy and comfortable. As soon as you sit down on it, you long for a cosy fire, a good book and the sound of rain pelting against the windosws. On the rare occasions when I feel I can just sit and do nothing, this is where I sit.
It has been cleaned but is in need of a new cover. I find this one quite ugly but I still haven’t decided on a fabric. Our siting room is so mismatched that it doesn’t really matter that this chair goes with nothing. The sofa needs re-covering too, so I am hoping to match up the two of them – one uni-coloured and one patterned.
The dining room chair in the photo below was yet another salvaged item. It was in bad need of sanding and polishing and the cushion was way past its best. This is what it looks like now. I chose a fabric which fits in well with the colour scheme in our bedroom. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, but the light in our room is not great, unfortunately.
I’ll be posting a tutorial soon on how to revive a tired old chair and this is the one I used for the photos.
|The original cushion|
I’m not quite sure where this addiction of mine will end. It would be wonderful to have the resources to give up the day job and spend my days refurbishing. Who knows, maybe one day.