Oh, hey, blog. It’s been a while. We have a huge list of reasons we haven’t updated in a while.
- Roadtrip to Minneapolis
- Sinus infection
- Working a ton
- The flu
- A visit from Bradley’s mom
- Another sinus infection
- The flu again
We’ve been bad bloggers, but we know you’ll forgive us when you see what we have to offer you in return:
A concerned beagle in a turtleneck. You’re welcome, internet.
Bradley’s still getting over the flu, but he was pretty adamant about getting some work done over the weekend. We’ve been dying to wrap up this project for a while, and finally got everything together to get it done.
Way back in April, we found these two 1950s chairs in a thrift store:
It’s OK, you can say it: they’re fugly. But if you look past the orangey-brown wood and blue pleather, they’re downright sexy. At $6 a pop, we couldn’t pass them up. We nabbed both chairs and started tearing them apart right away (you can read the details here).
We stripped the chairs and did a happy dance when we found out they’re solid walnut. We decided to stain them a rich espresso to bring out the beauty of the wood. (Original post here.)
We found out at this point that the chairs were selling for way more than the $12 we spent on them. They were on eBay and etsy for as much as $300. Per. Chair. According to the stamp on the chair, they were made in the ’40s or ’50s by a pretty well-known furniture company from New York. And they’re in amazing condition — the chairs themselves are rock solid once you get past the ugliness.
We decided not to upholster them ourselves and risk damaging the chairs. Instead, we splurged on some that delicious brown calfskin pictured above. Mmmph. It’s so soft and lovely, we wanted to rub our faces in it. We splurged and spent $150 a half-skin. For anyone keeping track, our tab is up to $162.
This is where our little makeover came to a stall. Our upholsterer blew us off for months. Our project is small peanuts compared to the projects he usually gets, so we were on the back burner all summer long. Boo! Hiss! Last week, he finally called us back and we picked up our freshly upholstered cushions.
Bradley assembled the seats, while I squealed with delight at how the brown calfskin looks with the brown stain.
Ooh la la. It’s love.
The upholstery set us back 220 bones. Ouch. We weren’t expecting such a big bill, but this is the first time we’ve had something upholstered. We were happy not having to DIY in this case because we were terrified we’d screw up that gorgeous leather. Not brave enough for that one yet, peeps.
One thing that kinda bummed us out:
The upholsterer kinda scratched up the backs of the chairs. Blurgh. He left some pretty big gouges and messed up the stain in some parts. We were able to touch up the stain easily. The gouges are, unfortunately, permanent. We’d have to completely strip and re-stain everything, and we’re not willing to do that now that the leather is on.
Luckily, they’re not really visible when the cushion is on the chair.
Bradley tested out the chairs and gave them his seal of approval:
He flipped it around and gave it the old Vanna White treatment:
Ooooh. Aaaaah. We love how they turned out. The color of the calfskin gives the chairs such a vintage vibe.
Baby got back.
Baby got front, too.
We did have one issue that we’re not happy about:
It turns out the leather shop was wrong when they told us this leather was good for upholstering. It’s really, really thick and doesn’t have any stretch to it. The upholsterer didn’t realize this until he started working on the back cushion. The leather is really tight across the back and has a couple of big wrinkles in it.
We were a little bummed at first, but it’s not a dealbreaker for us. The leather will stretch a little with use, and it’ll look great as it ages. With the warm colors and the clean lines, we’re still totally smitten:
Total cost for this makeover? $382 for the chairs, leather and upholstery. We figure about $10 for the stain, stain pad and polyacrylic. So we’re coming in at $196 per chair. Not super cheap, but not crazy-expensive either for a solid walnut chair covered in calfskin.
What do you think? And, more importantly, where do you think we should put these puppies? Do you think we should keep them together or split em up? Right now both chairs are living in our guest bedroom. We’re not sure where they’ll end up, but we’re open to suggestions.