ACQUIRING AN ARM CHAIR (FOR CHEAP)

May 18, 2013

What would you buy if a billionaire came and gave you $500 and said you had to spend it on something indulgent and not responsible or generous? My answer since we’ve been in our apartment has been a resounding ARM CHAIR. The lovely wingback or club-chair kind. (Actually, I want two – one for the living room and one for the bedroom.)

I’m all about thrifting, but secondhand upholstery gives me the willies. So, I’ve kind of let my chair dreams die for now. (Unless the above billionaire scenario happens.)

And then, an intervening of sorts occurred. My friend Christy has wanted to reupholster her couches. Curious myself to know what the pros would charge David & I for our living room set, I joined her to check in at a cute local upholstery shop. What they quoted us for having a couch & loveseat seemed so crazy high, (like, might-as-well-just-buy-a-new-couch high) our trip almost seemed like a bust.

UNTIL I SAW THIS.

Acquiring an Arm Chair from Rachel Schutlz

What is that? A hundred-year-old high quality & sturdy club chair for sale for $25! After talking with the store owner, I learned someone dropped it off at the shop to have reupholstered and never came back for it. This was so spontaneous I didn’t know what to do with myself. But, as I’m sure you guessed, I bought it! (Only after haggling her down to $20).

Acquiring an Arm Chair from Rachel Schutlz

Like I said, we want TWO of these (eventually), so we had to choose where to put the first one.

Acquiring an Arm Chair from Rachel Schutlz

In the living room it looked good and affirmed I do want an arm chair there, but we decided it is much more needed in the bedroom. With a small apartment, every room must be as multi-functional as possible. Adding a sitting and reading area to the bedroom bumps it up from sleep-time only to a day & night space.

(Do you SEE how discolored the fabric is when we removed that head rest flap? If I was at all unsure about if I wanted to change the fabric, I’m definitely certain now.)

Acquiring an Arm Chair from Rachel Schutlz

I hope to undertake the challenge of reupholstering this whole thing. I’ve never upholstered anything, and this is definitely a grad-level project. After I bought the chair, the shop owner said not including fabric, she’d charge $375 (!!). So yeah… you’ll be hearing more of this chair’s DIY journey soon. To see everything about this place we call home, check out the apartment tab.

Acquiring an Arm Chair from Rachel Schutlz

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Comments

  • Jessica

    I just did my first chair. Difficult and frustrating, but totally worth it.

    Before: http://imgur.com/bM1PfG7

    After: http://imgur.com/ZeEW2n1

    • Rachel Schultz

      That looks great! Is there a tutorial you used?

      • Jessica

        Honestly, not really. The tutorials are so all over the place. Get a good flat head screwdriver and a file and make that thing sharp as anything. Wear gloves. You will need both of these things. Oh, and don’t go all cheap on the staple gun (you’ll thank me later).

        All I can say is this…take the fabric off starting with the back and you’ll logically see which pieces were put on in one order. Keep the old fabric pieces as intact as you can (you will place them on your new fabric and cut out around them to use as a pattern) and be prepared to mutter angry words under your breath until its done. To be honest, while you’re taking it apart, you’ll see exactly what needs to be done :)

  • Yay! Looks great in your bedroom. Can’t wait to hear about the DIY upholstering. And FYI, we’re looking for a new couch and loveseat…

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks! And that’s exciting! Let me go shopping with you :)

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