Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The one about the chair

I think everyone needs their own chair. An upholstered chair to sit and read or watch t.v. or simply to relax. A chair that is the essence of them. 

I have no idea where this idea comes from. Maybe it was growing up and Grandpa Z had his chair, and Grandma Shelby had hers, and one year my mom got my dad his very own wingback chair in a dark green fabric depicting fishermen fly-fishing on a river. Later Mama would get herself an armless chair in red with little blue frogs all over it. 

Everyone needs their own chair. 

A few years ago, I saw my aunt's chair. It was an old chair she got a great deal on at a thrift store or garage sale. She kept it around for awhile as is, but eventually paid professionals to recover it in a luxurious fabric in her very favorite color, pink. It is her chair. And I loved the structure of it. I wanted one. 

Since then, I've learned that it's called a channel back chair. Over the years, I've looked off and on. I've waited. I am not a diligent or hardcore thrift-er. I knew what I wanted. I knew how much I was willing to pay. But in my sporadic searching all I found were chairs in terrible shape that were being priced at double what I wanted to pay. Plus I was busy denying myself shopping privileges while I worked at paying off that student loan

Occasionally over the years, I'd plug in channel back chair to the local Craigslist to see what would pop up. About a week ago, I plugged it in and found nothing local. There was one possible candidate, but it was way up near Seattle. I wasn't willing to drive 12 hours to buy a chair. Then for some inexplicable reason, I was thinking about it again Friday night, and I searched simply for chairs. And what do you know, but there it was labeled "Upholstered Armless Chair." 

I couldn't believe it. It was at a Habitat Restore the next town over. I knew I just had to have it. And then I got nervous when I realized the post had been up for 7 whole days already. There was no way this chair was still in the store. No way. 

But my sister, being the kind soul that she is, said as long as I bought her a cup of coffee at the Sister's Coffee Company, she's drive me up the next morning. 

I woke up anxious to get going. I ran to the bank, and Sister was still getting ready when I got back. It was just after 9:00 so she suggested I call the store to see if it was still there before we hit the road. 

They had barely opened the store, but Mari confirmed that the chair was still there and she'd put my name on it. I think I jumped up and down when I got off the phone. I couldn't get Sister out the door soon enough. And then I got worried that maybe there were structural problems with the chair, or that it smelled like cats. 

"Sister, you don't have to buy if you get there and don't like it," my sister reassured me. 

I wouldn't want it if it smelled like cats. I am allergic to cats. But I really wanted the chair. 

We found the store thanks to my sister's smart phone. And when we walked in, the chair was nestled under a great big artificial Christmas tree. It wasn't falling apart, and it didn't smell like cats, and a great big tag read: HOLD FOR SHELBY. I was kind of like unwrapping a present on Christmas morning.  

As I paid for the chair, the gal who answered my call earlier said three people had called about the chair the week after it had been posted, but I was the first to actually show up. (This wasn't my first great experience with Habitat for Humanity Restore. My bed came from there too at an extremely good price. If you haven't checked out your local store, go do it. You might be surprised at what you find.) 

I have my very own chair. Eventually I plan to fix it up and reupholster it. But for now, I'm happy that it's a very neutral color, and it's oh so clean, so I can enjoy now while I attempt to decide how I want to finish it. So many color and fabric options to consider.

It does have a seat cushion in excellent condition. I just didn't get a photo of it. 

Do you have a chair that is all yours? Is there a story behind it? What does it look like?

If you were going to re-do this chair for me, what would you choose? A velvety celery green fabric? A damask yellow pattern? A solid white or navy? A pattern with fish or frogs? Or something completely different.


  1. I suddenly feel like I too need one of these chairs! Burgundy with mustard dots would be my pick. Happy designing!

    1. Don't you just love that channel back style? I have so many ideas in my head, it's going to be hard to settle on one.

  2. Now I want one too!!!!!!!!

    1. They actually might be easier to find on your side of the mountain. I've seen some before over toward that way. Mama wants one too, so I may have to become the family channel back chair dealer :-)