I’m a big fan of new things, even when they are just new-to-me. New pens, new houses, new ideas. I especially like new projects.
Giving new life to cast off furniture is a source of deep pleasure, creative outlet and only occasionally lots of cussing. So when this sweet thing showed up on the side of the road, checking out the view from the top of a small construction dirt hill and singing a Talking Heads song, I knew I had to bring it home and make it new again.
The great thing about refurbishing old stuff is
doing it once and being done how often you finish it, live with it for a while, then decide you have to re-do some part of it. In this case, I painted the chair a great colour and pulled out some boss fabric from my stash to reupholster the seat. The chair was painted robin’s egg blue and the pear green fabric is blessed with mossy green flocked ferns. Very cool. Just what my new office needed.
I was pretty happy with the result … for about a week. After enjoying the cushy new spot to land my derriere I started to notice that the ferns were getting less velvety. Another week and the ferns that were most friendly with my backside had lost all of their flockiness. After that, it was all downhill. That fabulous fabric was heavy enough to be used for furniture but clearly only if you were planning to upholster something that would never be touched, like the inside of a glass china cabinet or the canopy of a four poster, if you decided that you wanted green flocked ferns instead of smoked mirrors with gold marbling. (And if you’d prefer the mirrors, hey. Go for it, I won’t judge. Much.)
So back to the fabric stash with the air stapler in hand. This time I chose a fabric that I loved even more than the fuzzy ferns. I think the first time I picked it up, considered it, and then put it down was because it was originally a shower curtain. Maybe my thinking-outside-of-the-box muscle was feeling arthritic that day. But this time all those creative muscle fibers were twitching like mad. I picked up that square of fun and knew it was the one. It has all the right colours and with a little extra stapling care, it went on the seat cushion like cat hair on black pants.
But the story doesn’t end there. Once I re-introduced the chair frame to the re-re-covered seat I knew why I’d passed on that fabric the first time. The blue I used for the chair, while one of my favourite blues, was just too wimpy for this fabric. So, another coat of paint, this time in a blue-on-steroids-blue, and bam! This chair is so hot Emeril would be proud!
I have enough fabric left over to make a bulletin board for my office. Repeating a fabric twice or even three times can make a room look intentional. Any more than that and you run the risk of looking too ’80’s matchy matchy, so repeat with caution.
I like projects like these because 1) they let me have something new without spending money, 2) they use up something I already have, and 3) (and most important), I get to be creative without a trip to the Super-Crafty-Super-Expensive-Store. In this case there’s even a bonus. I needed a chair in my office and until I find something even better, this little honey makes me smile.
Do you have a story about a project that took more than one try to get it just right? Tell me about it. And if you feel the need to cuss a little in the telling, that’s alright too!