It was several months ago when I was driving home from Cleveland that I passed an old Antique store when these beauties caught my eye. I quickly turned my car around & had to see for myself. I jumped out of the Honda & noticed two green velvet chairs sitting on the front porch. They reminded me of some old nailhead upholstered chairs with sloping arms I’d seen before & only recently replicated by Restoration Hardware… which cost between $500-2400/each. I could already imagine myself sitting in one of these on a front porch wearing a white t-shirt & blue jeans, & smoking a pipe… ah… the good ole’ days (too bad I don’t smoke!).
There was only one problem (okay… actually several problems) that I could see, the frame of one of the chairs was completely broken resulting in the springs causing some major warpage (is that a word? It is now… booyah!). I would need to remove the material to see if/how it could be fixed. And speaking of the material, it was so weathered it was dry rotting & would need replaced. And, maybe I overlooked a few details, 1: I don’t know how to fix the frame of the chair, 2: I don’t know how to reupholster a chair, & 3: How would I get these chairs home. Oh… but the potential these bad boys had!!
Next thing I know I was walking into the store & met a fella behind the counter. “How much do you want for those green upholstered chairs out front?”
“I’ll give them both to you for $4.”
“Do you take a check?” Cha-ching!!! Majah’ score!
So… I managed to squeeze both of the chairs in the car & off we went.
When I arrived home, Joy was quite pleased (in complete contrast to my other chair story). Thankfully, she didn’t bring up the minor detail that I didn’t know how to fix the chairs.
I took the chairs up to my studio & warned “Don’t sit!” to everyone who even hinted as though they were about to sit in one the chairs. Then, I did what every good son-in-law does, I called my Father-in-law & said, “looks like we’ve got a new project on hand” (notice how I said “we’ve”).
After a few months of telling the story of my new chairs I actually decided to do something. My father-in-law & I went to a fabric store & landed a killer deal on some really nice greenish-khaki material. We came back to the house, began dismantling the chairs, & got to work. We completed about 50% of the chair before their having to drive back to AL. He said he would take the chairs & if he had time, do some more work on them. To my surprise, when they came up this weekend, he brought one of the completed chairs. Ladies & gentlemen, Glory & Hallelujah. We’ll name this one Hallelujah!! Thank you Jamie Baldwin!
The finished chair in all her glory!
One of the chairs after stripping the material (two pics below taken with phone):
And one for the road!
Total cost for the renovation of 2 chairs = about $80 & some sweat (with plenty of material left over for at least another chair & several pillow. I’m not sure but I may have missed my calling. Next project: Reupholster a chair without my father-in-law doing most of the work. Watch out America!!