Monday, April 15, 2013

chair-ity shop delight

 Allow me to present to you our new kitchen chairs.  We have four of them.  This may not sound like a big deal to you, but previously we only had two kitchen chairs and they were always threatening to fall apart.  Whenever anyone visited, we would have to gather chairs from other corners of the house (e.g. the chair at my sewing machine) and everyone would be sitting at different heights and feeling various degrees of (dis)comfort.  No more, I say!  We now have four matching chairs around our table.  Pretty nice they are, too!
 We have been looking for kitchen chairs for about six years and kept falling in love with ridiculously overpriced numbers like this one above.  We spotted this chair in John Lewis back in September and really liked it, but did not like the £125 price tag so much.  I took some photos of it and forwarded them to my family as I was sure similar chairs appeared in charity shops all the time.  Since then I had seen a number of sets of chairs similar in style appear in the Salvation Army shop, but Graham always found something not to like about them.  I saw the chairs we now own a good few weeks back, but couldn't persuade Graham that we should buy them.  He said they were all right, he supposed, but not quite right.  Last week, my mum (who carries a photo of the John Lewis chair in her purse cos she is dilligent like that!) came home from a walk with Dulcie telling me there were two sets of chairs similar in style in the Salvation Army shop and shouldn't we just go and get them.  Lo and behold, it was the ones I liked she had spotted.  They were still there.  That night I took Graham out for dinner (well, I say that, but he ended up paying) and sweet-talked him into agreeing that four matching chairs that were just all right would be a lot better than the two falling-apart chairs we had currently.  He agreed, although made me promise we would continue keeping our eyes peeled for THE perfect chairs.  So the next morning, my mum and I hot-footed it down to the Salvation Army and bagged ourselves a bargain - all four chairs for £15!  Four of the John Lewis chairs (which I now think are maybe not quite as nice as ours) would have set us back £500!  And, wouldn't you know it, once we got them home, Graham realised I was right and he was wrong (obviously!) and the chairs were actually really nice.  I don't know what happened.  He is normally pretty skilled at mentally removing items from their charity-shop surroundings, but he seemed to have a mental block when it came to these chairs.  Oh well, it all worked out well in the end.
The chairs are OK as they are, but I'm not mad keen on the black plastic seat coverings and they are slightly low for our table and a bit hard on the old bony bums, so we're planning to reupholster them.  They look like they'll be very easy to do - the seats unscrew very simply and then the old material can be ripped off and the new material (plus some foam padding) stapled on in its place.  Graham and I went fabric browsing when I finished work yesterday afternoon.  We did see a few fabric contenders, but nothing that was definitely right.  My frontrunner so far, I think, is red gingham, but we're holding out for something slightly more... edgy?  Graham says he has in mind something like the pattern on the formica table tops in the Ritz Cafe, Millport.  You can see a picture I took of it at the bottom of this post from 2009.  I don't know what I have in mind.  I had thought some sort of atomic/Lucienne Day style fabric, but when I actually look at them, I think it could be a bit of a kitchen cliche.  We'll keep our eyes peeled for now.  Like I said, the chairs are useable and liveable as they are.

How beautiful is the window in the picture above?  One of the main fabric shops in Glasgow's city centre (Remnant Kings) has to be accessed via this beautiful old staircase.  This window, about ten feet in diameter, is a highlight, but I also love the Art Nouveau style liftshaft, the wooden letterboxes with gilt names, and the wee old man who sits in the guard box at the front door.  Glasgow is full of amazing staircases.  I wish someone had collated them all.  You know what, they probably have!

Please let me know if you have spotted any fabric that you think would look good on our new chairs.  Our kitchen walls are a dusky dark turquoise (as you can see in the top picture) and our table and other kictheny bits and pieces have quite a bit of red going through them.  I'm thinking a pattern would be better for hiding the inevitable stains, but we're open to all suggestions.  Oh, and please ignore our manky lino floor!  Thanks :)

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