seating for the studio

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I've had some studio visits lately and it's made me take another look at the studio from an aesthetic and functional point of view. It's functioning great as a sewing studio. But if people are going to visit, it really is necessary to have someplace for them to sit and it would be nice if the place was spiffier overall. If the space is going to represent me to customers, I think I need to step it up some.
Klippan loveseat by IKEA
My first idea for seating was this smaller scale couch from IKEA. I thought it would work for the basement because of the metal legs and vinyl upholstery. I liked the cheerful color and the price was doable at $399. Then I got to thinking... it's made largely of polyurethane and vinyl. That's gonna off-gas like crazy, and will a cheap sofa like that last? I try to be ecologically responsible whenever possible, so I came up with a new idea.
I received a set of four "Anne-me-down" chairs from my friend Anne last year and hadn't done anything with them yet. Judging from the avocado and gold upholstery, I think they are from the 1970's. They're not designer originals or anything, but I like their style. Not only were they free, but chairs probably make more sense than a sofa for my purposes because they can be easily rearranged. Plus, I like the idea of saving them from the landfill and giving them new life.
First, though, they need regluing and repegging. On closer inspection, one of them might just be too far gone, but I will try. By "I" in this case, I mean my husband. He's handier with the carpentry.
The wood is a bit scuffed and beat-up. To tell the truth, I've been procrastinating fixing up these chairs because I thought I'd have to strip and restain them. Then the lady at JPT caning recommended this refinishing stuff called Howard's Restore-A-Finish and the wheels started to turn in my mind. I bought it from them in "dark walnut" for about $8.
The directions on the can say to wipe on with 0000 steel wool, following the grain, then quickly wipe off. And voilĂ ! The wood looks amazing and it took less than 15 minutes to do the whole chair! Nasty fumes, though. Don't attempt this indoors.
I happened to have this happy orange cotton floral fabric on hand that I got at *gasp* JoAnne's. It's a casual canvas uphostery by Better Homes and Gardens. What can I say? It caught my eye. I pried off the old upholtery using a screw driver and pliers on the stapes. Using the old cover as a template, I cut the same shape out of the new fabric and staple-gunned it on.
I'm completely satisfied with the results! Only 3 more to go...

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