Armchair: Part Two
We left off with my having found the perfect chair...
And here it is! Shockingly ugly and orange, I know, but it has beautiful bones. And amazing legs. And did I mention it was $17? I bought it immediately, crammed it into my Matrix, and drove home. My kids are used to being stuffed into the car with my weird purchases. I tell E that she gets to have "friends" sit beside her. She's pretty cool with it.
I started seriously searching for the perfect fabric. The tones in our house are gray-based, and the walls are light gray. I wanted to keep it neutral, so I figured a medium gray textured fabric would be our best bet. I needed 8 yards, and I was trying to spend as little as possible, so I stalked JoAnn's and G-Street's clearance racks and Fabric.com. I wasted time, money and gas doing this, however. I think I ended up spending like $50 on dozens of swatches. Grays are really moody, and it is very difficult to find the right one. It was insane.
In the end, Pete saved the day. He said we should just spend a little more to get something that we really like and that would last. So, we decided on a nice, gray, herringbone-textured upholstery fabric by Crypton, from JoAnn Fabrics. It is an incredibly durable fabric, with stain-resistance built into the fibers. It was definitely the right choice. We saved around 50%, but I definitely learned my lesson that sometimes trying too hard to save money actually costs you money (or time or sanity) in the end.
The next step was dropping it off at the upholsters. They told me it would be 3-4 weeks since they had a bunch of stuff to finish ahead of my chair, so I was prepared to wait. It ended up taking a good bit longer than this, but I had no rush, so it was okay. I showed him some inspiration pictures of how I wanted the chair to look:
I was so excited when he finally emailed to say I could stop by to see the progress. It was coming along beautifully. Something about seeing furniture getting a facelift makes me so happy. So happy.
He had already done the arms when I arrived, but I wasn't crazy about not having piping on either side (like on the green Urban Outfitters chair above), so he ripped them out and reconfigured the fabric to extend the piping on both sides of the arm to reflect the continuous curve of the design. (You'll see what I'm talking about in a sec...)
I debated whether or not to put button tufting along the back of the chair, but when I saw it nearly finished a few days later, I decided not to. Actually, Peter was heavily influential in that decision. He even did a photoshop mockup for me with both options. In the end, we didn't want the buttons to detract from simplicity of the lines in the original structure.
We were really impressed with Hakan at Simply Upholstery. His prices were reasonable, and he truly wanted us to be happy with our project. I would enthusiastically recommend him to any Northern Virginia locals looking for an upholsterer.
I started out with the goal of spending as little as possible, but I eventually realized that it made more sense to think long-term and see this as an investment into our home. I ended up spending the same or a bit more than a similar chair would cost off-the-shelf at West Elm or Pottery Barn, but this was mostly because the fabric was more expensive (and durable) than I originally expected. I am not gonna lie, spending more than $100 on furniture hurts me, so this was most definitely a splurge. But considering that I had complete control over the process and was able to customize everything, it was totally worth it. So, without further ado, here is our chair in its new home. Thank you, beautiful chair, for making this corner my new favorite space...
And look how much the kid loves it...