Armchair: Part One


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Meet my new chair. (And my stripey-sock baby. That kid just gets me.) 

Okay, so now rewind my life like 1.5 years. I was trying to put the finishing touches on my living room. I had it mostly how I liked, except one corner. This corner, to be exact. 

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The black chair above is perfectly fine. It was like $20 from Goodwill, and it served its purpose as an inconspicuous place to sit. We were thankful for it as a placeholder until we could afford to invest in something for the long-haul, but I didn't like it very much. It was too boxy and Ikea-ish for the space. Once we decided to buy something new, I found a number of options that I liked, but they were either too expensive, too space-age, too chunky, or the wrong color. 

The West Elm Ellery Chair was not available, and the legs were too black for me

The West Elm Ellery Chair was not available, and the legs were too black for me

This Target.com option was headed in the right direction, but the panel at the top weirded me out and the color was too brown.

This Target.com option was headed in the right direction, but the panel at the top weirded me out and the color was too brown.

Peter nixed this one from Dwell Studio immediately. I guess it is a little too much like the Jetson's... 

Peter nixed this one from Dwell Studio immediately. I guess it is a little too much like the Jetson's... 

It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't going to find what I was looking for unless I made it (or had it made). A few years ago, my sister-in-law took an upholstery class and recovered this awesome mid-century armchair. She transformed it into an elegant & timeless piece of furniture. I always hoped I might run across a chair with similar bones. Check out these incredible before and afters: 

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I contacted a local upholsterer to request some preliminary estimates about what it would cost to redo an armchair, and I was surprised at how reasonable the labor was—in the ballpark of $270-$400. I love a good upholstery project, and an upholstery class is definitely my cup of tea, but I know my limits. Doing it myself was not an option this time. Upholstery is physically and mentally exhausting work (albeit stimulating), and I would have been a crazy woman to try and take care of the kids at the same time. 

So, I started stalking Craiglist for the perfect chair to recover. I didn't find it. Weeks and weeks of searching, and I couldn't find anything remotely similar to what I was looking for. Finally, I decided to compromise, and just go with a traditional wing chair, hopefully with straight lines. I found a few options, like this, but I just didn't love any of them.

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So, I kept waiting... 

And one day, when I wasn't even looking for it, the chair found me. I was at my favorite thrift store, and I saw it. And I knew, without a doubt, that it was the one. And on that note, you will just have to wait for part two...