Friday, September 23, 2011

DIY Design: The Sn(ugly) Chair.

My girls and I spent much of the week curled up together - both of the girls were sick and they needed some intensive Mama TLC to get better.  It definitely helped to have a nice big chair to curl up in...

...poor sick kiddos!

The chair is something I've been meaning to tell you about. I've been looking at our living room for some time now, and I've been thinking that it is missing something but not quite sure what. We currently have a tiny IKEA sofa and armchair (Klippan and Tullsta, respectively) in the room, and not much else...unless you count the toys that are threatening to take over my house. That back corner between the two windows was basically dead space, and we've been wanting more seating for when guests come over. In my mind's eye, I could see an upholstered wing back chair with a really modern print, but they are really way too expensive for our budget (our budget is IKEA Klippan and Tullsta!).

When a friend of mine suggested that I look on Craigslist, I laughed out loud, thinking I'd find only really dated furniture. So what? Was my wise friend's response. Ummm, excuse me? And that was how the plan to re-upholster an old chair was born....

Now, I have absolutely no idea how to go about doing this, but I do have the internet and a very handy friend who has promised to hold my hand (and my pliers and staple gun) as I bleed, sweat and probably curse my way through this project. What the heck, I thought. Let's do it! Yousuf thinks this whole exercise is nuts (which is code for "don't spend too much money!"), so I'm going to have to prove him wrong. It should be fun, right?

But first I needed a chair. A really cheap, but not so cheap that it was gross, chair.

Craigslist is a DIY'ers fantasy brought to life. Even in the quiet little market where I live, you can find absolutely anything. The chair that I settled on was going for $75, which was a bit more than what I had intended to pay, but I liked the overall shape of it and also that the ad said that it was in almost-new condition.

It was the first time that I ever made a Craigslist purchase on my own - Yousuf is usually the haggler, but as this was my project, I decided to go for it myself. Aside from the 90's green color, the chair was in great condition, and get this, El Cheapitan - I even haggled the price down to $60!!

Off to a good start, I'd say!

So we've been living with this GREEN chair in our living room for about a week. It's really comfortable, it makes a lovely accent piece and I love it's vintage lines.

I do not however, love the color. At all.

GREEEEEEN. I'd call it Pondscum, but that name's already taken by our van (which was another used purchase) The birds are a-chirpin': CHEAPY CHEAPY CHEAP!

But there is definitely the potential for character with this piece...I just have to figure out what fabric will look really fantastic, and oh - also how to reupholster the chair. No biggie.

So, if you have any great upholstery advice, websites, links, videos - hit me! I could also use help with my fabric choices too. It needs to be durable for sure, and I'm thinking no geometric patterns because lining up all that fabric in the right direction will give me a heart attack.

I'm envisioning the walls in my living room to be a very pale grey (gray for you Canadiurns). The IKEA sofa is in the process of being re-covered to a slightly deeper grey, to pick up the silver tones in these fantabulous pillows that I just snagged for sale off of West Elm. Hello, lovelies. I'm so loving this Indigo hue right now:

And then there is the IKEA Tullsta chair to deal with as well. It needs a new cover too - but thinking about all these different pieces and what fabrics to choose has me overwhelmed, which is SO WEIRD. Finding design inspiration is usually not so difficult for me, but I think I'm afraid of making an irreversibly horrible choice in my own home.

So - here is my Design SOS! Or, you can just sit back and watch how this whole thing unfolds. I'll keep you updated as the process develops.

But for now...I'm going back to doing more of this:

(I kind of adore it when my babies get all sniffly and need a little extra Mama love. The new chair helps to make it all extra comfy!)

Happy Weekend!
p.s. I just came across this fabulous website, it's called InCircle Interiors, and they offer design advice online to fit tight budgets. How neat! I thought I'd pass it along in case any of you are interested. xoxoxmahreen

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