My Selfish Act: New Chair For Guest Room……

The Partner thinks I am abnormal — well I am but not for the reasons he thinks.  He thinks I have an issue with sharing, which I will readily admit that I do.  It has been a struggle with my personality since I was little.  I tend to hoard things I like and don’t share — potato chips, cookies, clothes, etc…..if I like it, I don’t want anyone else to have it.

So when I happened up this cane chair a few months ago (okay to keep it real, I found it in February), it was cute but nothing special.  I would have gladly shared it with anyone who was willing to take it off my hands for the $28 I paid for it…..

As I said, it sat in my garage for months with a tarp on it, collecting dust and clearly no takers.  So in June I finally said “Enough” (actually The Partner threatened to take it to the curb and put a “free” sign on it) and decided to do something with said chair.  I toyed around with a variety of ideas, but eventually settled on recovering it with a handmade rug I picked up from Anthropologie for $40.

The rug itself was a gift from the upholstery angels.  Made in Uzbekistan, the front side consisted of colorful hand embroidered butterflies in an abstract form while the back was simple off-white duck cloth.  Fortunately, for me, the rug was constructed in such a way that a simple cross stitch was used to hold the two sides together, so I simply used a seam ripper (my teeth) and pulled the pieces apart.  So what I ended up with was two large 4×6 pieces of cloth – just enough to do the entire chair for under $50.

Since I was using a thick & unconventional material to cover the chair, I opted to use a professional upholstery person.  While I think I could have done the job myself but between the fabric selection, sewing, welting, tufting and staining, I felt it was worth the added investment to hire a professional especially in light that the fabric (aka rug) didn’t have any additional yardage so there was no room for error.

I waited 2 weeks and got a call from Rene that the chair was ready.  I went to his place with every intention of placing the chair on eBay or Craigslist to sell.  But then I fell in love………

This is where my inability to share kicked in — the chair was WAY cuter than I anticipated and I didn’t want to share it with the world.  It was MINE!  MINE!!!!  So I did what any respectable designer does….I went home and promptly went through my house trying to figure out where it would go.  Lucky for me, we had an Ikea Poang chair in the guest room that I never loved – actually I hated it from Day One but The Partner loved it.

Fortunately for me (and the chair), The Partner was away visiting family, so out went his beloved Poang and in went this beauty……


Not that all was lost…I sold the Poang chair for a tidy sum and used the money to buy a few new accessories for the room including a great brass tray and stretching the monkey painting I blogged about here.

While not my intention, by placing the new chair in the guest room it gave the room a needed jolt of personality.  Now the room is a mix of clashing  patterns (in a good way) that make it fun but still relaxing.  A few more tweaks and I will take some new pictures of the revised room.

So tell me….what do you think of my “selfish” act of keeping the chair for myself…


Would you have done the same?

Okay have a GREAT long weekend and take some time to relax!

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White Elephant Sale Recap

So last weekend I ended up going to the White Elephant Sale in Oakland, CA.  It is a HUGE sale put on yearly by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board as a fundraiser.   It’s massive people….honestly, I wasn’t ready for the magnitude of it — 96,000 square feet divided into 17 departments ranging from furniture to artwork to baby clothes and everything in between.  This was one “mutha” of a sale with a crazy amount of people. 

And now a word about the people – these peeps are hard-core!  I mean straight up would “cut you for a discount set of Spode dishes” hardcore.  I actually got  into a bit of a shouting match with a woman over this pair of chairs….

This set of cane chairs was only $75 and in great condition minus the ugly fabric.  All they needed was to be recovered in some groovy fabric and potentially restained or painted – a perfect find for my friend who was on the hunt for a pair of chairs like this.  So I found a floor attendant and paid for them.  When I went back to pick them up, a woman was sitting in one of the chairs and I asked her to move so I could load the chairs  up for the trip home.  She informed me that she has bought the chairs and her husband was paying for them now.   I told her that couldn’t be possible since I had just purchased the chairs and have the receipt to prove it. She then told me that they were her chairs and it was a mistake.  I finally had to get an attendant over to settle the issue at which time the older woman told me I was a “thief” and an “a**hole” for taking the chairs away from her.

Okay then.  Words sorta escape me on what the woman was thinking but as I said, these are some hard-core folks.

However, after that little weird fiasco, I scored some other treasures including:

A set of 6 milk glass sherbet dishes for $12.  They will be the perfect addition to my Easter tablescape.

This cute painting for $5……I am pretty sure it will go in our half bath and replace the existing $3 dollar paintings.

And I was also lucky enough to find upholstery grade fabric (8.5 yards of it to precise) for a whopping $20.

I love the greige background color and the abstract floral design.  I think it would be a great pattern for dining chairs or a DIY headboard.  It will also be quite handy to have this on “file” as many of my recent design jobs are coming with pretty strict budgets, so having a few aces up my sleeve.

Overall, I was quite pleased that for slightly more than $100 I was able to get two chairs, a set of glasses, 8.5 yards of material and a piece of art. 

So I am curious, what has been your best thrift store or garage sale find?  Leave a comment and tell me about it!

I Am Excited to Add This to My “To Do” List

So y’all know I have a thing for chairs right?  I am addicted to a cute chair.  I think its due to my fear of commitment.  Putting a bold fabric or painting a loud color on a couch seems crazy but doing the same on a chair seems a no-brainer.  Chairs are to me what Lolita was to Humbert.

Okay, re-reading that last sentence, I realize someone may take me literally on that statement.  To clarify, I have never had relations with someone who is underage, illegal or for that matter a girl.  But I was merely stating that I love me a tarted up bold upholstered chair.  Now that we have cleared that up…….

I broke down and bought the chair that I profiled last week in my post “Thrift Store Beauties“.  Let me introduce you to my chair version of Lolita:

Velvet & Cane Chair: $28

Right now, it’s covered in cat hair and is sitting in my garage.  However, I couldn’t pass it up for $30 (including tax).  I have a design job coming up in San Francisco that this chair could be used.  But,  on the off-chance the client doesn’t want to use it, I could envision it sitting in my guest room replacing an Ikea Poang chair I have longed to make disappear from life.  If the chair does find a home with me, it would be sprayed a “greige” tone and the cushions recovered in silver or navy blue velvet.  Perhaps a navy blue mohair trimmed in white piping. 

Okay, I am getting a bit giddy over the possibilities.  I have to go now and stare at her.  I hope the Grande Dame doesn’t get jealous of my new-found love….