In my copious spare time . . .

I had been trying all weekend to get to stripping a chair that Guy and I got from his folks, and I managed to work it in just last night, right after dinner.  (sheesh!)  Re upholstering is something that I’ve not ever done before this year, but after finding almost zilch in terms of antique furniture you can sit on that was in good condition, but lots of beautiful pieces with ugly, worn, or missing upholstery, I decided to give it a go.

I’ve done three pieces so far, after having gotten a book from the library and some stuff from a catalog.  Deciding to start small, I recovered two benches and a little square piano stool, each one giving me practice in a new skill that I can take to the next project.  This will be the first chair for me, and it should be pretty

straight forward.  I’ll learn how to web with this one, and then I’ll move on to something with springs, perhaps.  My ultimate goal is an East Lake sofa that I bought for my office.  Between it and me sit two more chairs, but I might get a few more pieces for practice before I tackle it.  I don’t like frustration, and the house needs more furniture.  -laugh-  Besides, it lets me be creative with color and texture.  I don’t do much with my hands in my day-to-day work, and I need that for balance.

I’ll let you know how the chair turns out.  It had two layers of upholstery on it, (a vibrant orange leather hiding a vinyl brown fax leather) and what I think was horse hair.  Nasty stuff, that.  I’ve got a red/brown/green paisley to recover it with.  I’m not so much a traditionalist that I’ll wash the horse hair and reuse it.  Give me modern foam any day, thank you, very much.


Filed under Drama Box

21 responses to “In my copious spare time . . .

  1. Jenn

    Gasp! You’re not going to re-use the horse hair?! Sacralige! lol The house I grew up in would now be about 250 yrs old & on our back stairwell which was always cooler than the rest, was horse hair & news paper insulation. I’m glad that you are having fun with the reupholstering! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • Hi Jenn. Yep, old homes are interesting, all right. We found out our back wall foundation was earth pushed together with rocks holding it in place. Scary. that’s fixed now. 😉

  2. I love to refinish old pieces I find here and there at garage sales or auctions. Sometimes I find that they are in such bad shape they have to be repainted, but every once in awhile I find a real gem, like a solid mahogany arm chair for $15.00. Plus the copious amount of stripper it took to find out what was underneath that mess. The chair is really beautiful.

  3. Marcie

    Wow what an undertaking and it’s a beautiful chair to be working on. I agree with the foam to the horsehair cushion. I’ll bet it feels really good to work with your hands. With my two little ones, they try to get into everything and refurnishing anything is not happening. Neither is sewing as my son keeps trying to put his hands in the middle of the work. Freaks me out everytime so for now that part of me is on hold. 🙂

    I’ve been very busy this weekend as my son’s birthday was the 25th and my daughters is coming up on the 5th so I had huge birthday party for them and ended up completely burned out afterwards. THey had a blast which was the important part. However I did manage to get my book into the mail for you and I ordered my shirts. I went with your size as you don’t look that much different sizewise from me. I’d hate to get one that was a bit too small and not be able to wear it. 🙂

    Good luck with the rest of the chair!

  4. mudepoz

    Once, a lifetime ago (Okay, grad school) I used to camp out at estate sales. If I got there and was at least 3rd in line, I could sell my spot to the pros, and use the money for what was left.

    I ended up with a gorgeous East Lake Chair, upholstered in worn tapestry. That was about 20 years ago. It’s still worn. Someday, maybe:) Or, it can go in my estate sale someday.

    Our carpets have horsehair pads under them. Someday, maybe, we’ll upgrade. Probably when I stop having buppies!

    • JanisHarrison

      Mude, darlin’, if your house starts smelling like a pubescent boy’s gym socks, it’s that horsehair padding. When it starts to decompose, ohmylord…Believe it from the former apt mgr who discovered ancient pads under a couple of carpets.

    • Hi Mud. I’ve yet to go to my first estate sale, but Guy has been threatening me with one. 😉 We’ll take the truck.

  5. JanisHarrison

    That chair has beautiful bones. I, too, think that upgrading to foam from horsehair is a good thing. And the previous upholstery definitely needed to be updated. I have 2 small (they fit me!) swiveling rockers that have or are about to “bottom out.” There are so many layers and so much machinery I think I will cheat by putting a firm foam seat cushion under the existing one, and throw on those ready-made slipcovers. Just for now. Until I have some discretionary income to take them to the pro’s.

    I agree, that we need to “balance” our cerebral work with physical exertion. Even a half-hour’s walk every day helps. And believe it or not, when I was an office worker, after my walk (or gym session) I found that tidying my house was gratifying. But doing something artistic would be even more so.

  6. Stephenie

    Jealousy! I love the look of antique furniture, but I can never find any in good repair that’s also in my price range. I’d love to reupholster furniture, but I’m so poor right now! I’ll have to continue to make do with my second had furniture… though if I could afford new leather to redo my great-grandmothers leather recliner I would totally smile! I can’t wait to see how the chair turns out. It’s a beautiful chair!

    Good luck!

    • Thank you, Stephenie. 😉 Guy and I have scoped out the antique furniture stores in a 40 mile range. They know us now. -laugh- I’d be scared to do a recliner at this point. Maybe someday.

  7. Judi in NJ

    Wow, Kim! You’re a very impressive woman. Can’t wait to see the finished result. Hope your Thanksgiving was nice. Have a great week! p.s. how’s the frog prince?

    • Hi Judi. Impressive? I prefer cheap and stubborn. -laugh- Though to be honest, I’ve spent more on materials than if I’d bought one new. Being creative isn’t cheap. I’ll be checking on the frog today. I’ve not seen him in a few days, and it’s moist and rainy today.

  8. Hi Kim 🙂
    That’s pretty awesome.
    I hope you post a pic of the finished chairs.
    And the couch!
    All the best,