When we moved into our house we were lucky enough to be given a lot of the old furniture belonging to the two brothers who had lived here together. Both of them had passed away and their relatives live some considerable distance from London. It was more convenient all round for them to just pass on whatever was left rather than paying for someone to come and clear the house.
There were some beautiful pieces here, a teak dresser and matching shelf which we passed onto Jake’s parents as it matched something they had at their house, a gorgeous glass topped coffee table (Sadly no more, as I managed to fall through the table top and smash it to smithereens. I was dancing around like a twit) and managed to trip over the kids’ toys and land, bum first on the table. Bye bye glass.) An incredible silver chandelier, which I believe came from Russia and may have been a gift to the railway executive who was the first owner of the house. Two sets of glass fronted library style sectional book shelves, our personal favourite of everything that was left behind. Loads of little nested tables which we’ve passed on to Alex and Scott and a whole heap of amazing chairs.
Most of the chairs have long since made their way out of the house but two of them remain, returned to us after a sojourn in Alex’s lounge room.
They are beautiful things.
I’ve no idea what period they are, my guess is 1950s or 1960s. Alex’s friend, Alison, couldn’t be terribly precise on them because they’ve been re-varnished at some point, but she thought they were great.
Alex suggested ages ago the idea of fixing them up as reading chairs for the owlettes but as with many things in our house, they’ve languished in the garage for a couple of months whilst we’ve been distracted by other things.
You can see in the above pictures that they have the most beautiful, simple wooden frames underneath the tattered and frankly hideous fabric coverings.
Jake’s in the process of clearing out the garage so they re-emerged this afternoon, to the massive delight of the girls who sat in our front garden, fully reclined on their chairs, side by side like two little old ladies, calling out to passersby with great glee.
Sadly, I didn’t get photos of that bit.
I’ve moved them upstairs to the spare room (in the process of becoming a sort of play room for the girls) and they spent a happy hour or so up there, stretched out, calling for blankets, pillows, picture books etcetera, delighting in their new furniture.
So it looks like I have a new project. I’ve never done anything like this before but looking at the construction of the cushions and covers currently in place they should be fairly simple to replicate. I should really sand them back and re-varnish but trying to do that with two small inquisitive girls around is going to be near impossible, so for now I will probably just settle for dusting them and using some furniture polish. I’ll have to buy some new foam for the seats as the old foam looks like it’s crumbling into the dust of ages in there. Large chunks fall out every time the chairs are moved which is not ideal.
I’m off to Ikea tomorrow to meet Amy for tea and fabric purchasing (Mmm, Godzilla fabric, you shall be MINE!) and Orlaith has given me instructions as to what she would like for her chair. If any one has any tips they’d like to offer for how you go about re-covering to age-ing but otherwise sound recliners, they’d be very welcome!