Before and After: A Forever Chair

You may remember that some time ago I found the “perfect” chair for my living room. Though I had a plan for said chair, the reality of my plans is that they often go unrealized for years and years. I can say, for once, that I did not let that happen to this chair. It did not have to go off to the island of furniture too filthy to come inside—at least not for very long. For a big project such as this to go from beginning to end in less than one year, for me, is rather remarkable. And I’m more than just pleased with the fact that it’s done—it also looks as amazing as I had envisioned. Here’s a before pic of my frizzy green filth monster:


I bought this chair expecting to have it reupholstered. I had seen a picture of it posted from a friend’s shop out of town and I fell in love with the shape. But its condition left a lot to be desired. 50 years of love had taken their toll inside and out. Note the crumbled, rotting foam in this in-progress shot from my upholsterer:


All of the materials under the fabric were more than past their prime so this puppy had to be stripped back to the bare wood frame and springs.


This part is tricky. When you have to replace everything you run the risk of the end result having a slightly different shape than the original. But my guy came through big time.


I’m even more in love now. The orange-red color might not be for everyone but it’s going to work very well in the overall scheme I have planned for my living room.


Even my upholsterer loved this one—it’s now one of his favorite projects. I think he had fun working on it.


The very steep angle of the seat gives it some dramatic flair. It appears as though you’d be forced into a deeply reclined position while sitting, but it’s actually extremely comfortable and natural feeling. And it’s 1000 times more comfortable with new high density foam.


For the fabric I chose “Rivington” in paprika by Knoll Textiles. It’s the same fabric that I used on my sofa but in a different colorway. The fabric has a high wool content and is treated with nanotex technology to make it virtually stain proof. This upholstery job should last another 60 years. And at nearly 94, should I still be lucky enough to be around, I’m sure I’ll be able to discount any damage incurred in that time as “character.”

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  1. Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that is a great fabric. My Poul Jensen Selig sofa fabric is original and is around 60 years old, and still going strong… that is the quality of wool. However, I can feel it has thinned when sitting on it. I would like to replace it this next year. I do like your choice here very much.

    • Austin
      Posted October 5, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Gregory! I love this fabric so much. It’s heavyweight (which doesn’t make it great for every application, but perfect for more tailored, structured pieces) and commercial grade including Nanotex stain resistance. You could sacrifice a goat on this fabric and it would blot right out. But mostly the texture and color variation are beautiful. I had my sofa recovered in the same fabric, but a different color way.

  2. Posted October 5, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh yes– I like how the slope of the chair’s angle makes it look like it’s in take-off position. Hopefully you have your tray in its upright and locked position.

  3. Deb
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    If it doesn’t work in your house, I can give it a great home. It’s FAB.

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