A Living Room Master Plan

As you may recall, last week I found this amazing Adrian Pearsall sofa.


Immediately my head began filling with ideas about how I could change around my living room to accommodate this gorgeous beast. I knew that most of my current furniture would have to go—I’ve talked my parents into rehoming the sofa should I someday find a home with copious sofa requirements—but I would need a few things to replace it. Number one (and technically two) on my list—a matching pair of upholstered side chairs. And, of course, what were the first things I spotted in a tag sale listing this past weekend? You guessed it, chairs.

Right there in the photos for the sale were the perfect pair. With them weighing heavily on my mind, the Snag team lined up at the house a little over an hour before the sale was to begin. We had seen the photos and guessed everything we were after would be in the basement and had stopped by earlier to peak through the windows and located the basement door. We were set to conquer. An hour later I was rushing down the basements steps where I found them—for just $4 each!

ChairsThey’re similar to the chair in my New Year’s Finds List (seriously, what’s going to be left for me to find this year?). I love the curvy upholstered forms resting on wooden frames—it’s the perfect balance of hard and soft. They feel more substantial than a wooden arm chair, but not heavy like a big easy chair. I don’t believe these are designer pieces, probably Kroehler or the like, but the maker’s tags have all been removed.


I wouldn’t exactly say these were severely underpriced. They’re in much worse shape than these pictures can convey. They’re musty, the upholstery is stained and the rubber strapping that supports the seats has all but disintegrated. I don’t think this is the original fabric, either. But I still love the shape and I will have them rebuilt and reupholstered to go with the rest of my new living room furniture.

Seat belts? A GM tag confirms someone has replaced the rubber straps with old seat belts

Seat belts? A GM tag confirms someone has replaced the strapping with old seat belts

While it is fun to reimagine old furniture with new upholstery, finding the right fabric—without cashing in a retirement account—can be a pickle. Not so long ago Angela and I used to frequent a fabric store specializing in end-runs of high-end fabrics. The shop closed and we lament those lost bargains. I was lucky enough to find an olive green tweed for the sofa on clearance at a local fabric store. For these chairs, I’m looking for something with a little heavier texture. Right now I’m thinking something similar to this classic woven fabric from Knoll Textile. It’s not terribly expensive to begin with, but I’ll still search for some remnants from a reseller.

Sonnet in Tornado by Knoll Textile

Sonnet in Tornado by Knoll Textile

So, that’s two areas of the room anyway. The last frontier is the area currently occupied by my 1950s purple armchair. I’ve been toying with the idea of replacing it for awhile and a few weeks ago I stumbled upon this suitable predecessor at a thrift store for about $30.


This Flexsteel chair is a little saggy and way too gold at the moment, but it has great bones. It’s comfy and takes about a third less floor space than my current chair, which will be critical when that behemoth couch starts gobbling up square footage in my living room. I’m a little unsure what I want to cover this with. I had hoped to use the fabric from the couch, but sadly I fear it is too worn. I like the idea of an orange chair though, so perhaps this archival fabric from Knoll Textile will do the trick.

Cato in Orange by Knoll Textile

Cato in Orange by Knoll Textile

We’ll see, the fabric samples are coming in the mail tomorrow. I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter. Any suggestions? The whole process is exciting and exhausting at the same time. But, in the end, there are worse problems one could have than trying to figure out which amazing fabric to put on four amazing pieces of furniture. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of each piece as well as the entire room.

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  1. Posted May 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I am insanely jealous of the chairs. Four dollars! Amazing! I wonder if you’d consider telling us how much it costs to get chairs professionally reupholstered? I have almost purchased a couple of chairs, but having no idea how much it would cost to re-do them, I was too leery to pull the trigger. You guys find the best stuff!

    • Austin
      Posted May 23, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Deb, you might not be so jealous if you got a closer look at them (filthy!). This will be a bit of an investment, with new foam and fabric plus labor, they could cost a pretty penny. Fortunately we’ve “got a guy” for that, so it hopefully won’t be as pricey as it could be. But I’ll keep you posted on every detail!

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