I did it! I finally did it! I bought this chair over a year ago for only $25 with big dreams of dressing it with beautiful, gray wool cushions. After washing the cushion covers and replacing the foam, we lived with the orange, holey and corduroy cushions for over a year. I frowned every time I looked at them but I couldn’t bring myself to spend $40-100/yd for my dream fabric. And then my patience and frugal fortitude paid off when, at long last, I found the perfect black and white slub fabric at a surplus fabric outlet for $4.75/yd. I saved more cash by reusing the old zippers and quickly whipped up new cushions over the weekend. Hooray! It looks seriously handsome.
Wood frame, two cushion lounge chairs are a mid-century furniture staple. They’re fairly easy to come by, even easier to reupholster and certainly worth a little extra effort to restore. If you find one, here are a few things to check before you buy:
- Test the frame for sturdiness. If it wobbles, it probably needs to be re-glued and that’s more work than most of us are ready for.
- Is the wood and finish in good shape? Are there any major blemishes or scratches?
- Remove the cushions (if there are any) and check the seat supports. Worn out jute or sagging rubber straps can be replaced. Rubber straps with metal clip-ends are a cinch to replace but you’ll spend around $50 for 3 straps. If you’re up for it, I recommend Fagas Straps by Evans Inc.
It’s pretty much a given with chairs like this that you’ll need to replace the foam and upholstery. If you know how to sew a zipper, you can make a box cushion. And if you’re extra fancy, you can add piping. Design*Sponge has a great box cushion how-to. The key to buying any piece of vintage furniture is knowing what you can and can’t fix and how much time and money you’re willing to invest. Be honest with yourself and you’ll be rewarded with furniture you’ll love forever.