Second Hand Chair Gets a Second Chance

Once again this year we’ve had the opportunity to work with the folks at Community Warehouse for their Chair Affair event. In years past, we’ve collaborated with outside designers to fabricate a chair to donate. This year, we’ve decided to do a collaboration of our own, with Aladdin Finishers, to bring one of our found frames back to life.

A friend texted about a year or two ago saying, “I just saw this chair on the side of the road. It needs you.” The frame was a classic with Queen Anne legs, and what we call a “channel” back, but had broken seat springs and holes in the upholstery.

A chair found by the side of the road.
Rose City Upholstery and Aladdin Refinishers cooperated to restore this abandoned chair for The Chair Affair auction.

It sat in the shop for a few years, but a concept was brewing in my brain as we accumulated scraps of discontinued fabrics. When Steff at Aladdin Finishers said “We should do a chair for the Chair Affair”, I knew just the one to choose.

The first step was to sort through the fabrics and select ones that would compliment each other. Then we had to decide on a piece size that would work for both the seat and the back. A pieced fabric sample was sent with the bare frame over to Aladdin’s, and Steff used that as inspiration to create a gorgeous coffee colored finish with a light dusting of metallic gold powder to give the woodwork some luster. A beautiful glossy clear coat, and the frame was back to Rose City for upholstery.

Wooden chair arm with gold wash.
Steff made this battered old lady rich and beautiful again by putting a gold wash over the deep walnut finish.

Anything found roadside obviously needs new padding, so after the spring repair, we started with a new piece of foam for the seat, then moved on to the beautiful Maxwell fabric donated by the Nest Showroom for the inside arms.

Upholstered seat of a white chair restored by Rose City Upholstery
Seat finished on vintage chair done in a range of creamy ivory and warm white fabrics.

The sewn channels in the back came next, and it took about three tries to get a layout that showcased all of the different fabrics, and looked balanced with the different creamy shades.

Deciding where to place creamy white fabrics
Laying out the squares of fabrics in a running brick pattern.

Finally, the outside fabric is applied. This awesome metallic herringbone plaid from Duralee finished the piece off nicely, along with some cream colored trim tape we found in our archives.

Finished patchwork-style chair
A true platinum beauty that just needed to be transformed from a Miss Havisham into a Miss Harlow.

We are so pleased to have a piece of our own in this year’s Chair Affair, and hope that it gets all of the attention it deserves. Anyone who can get out and support this worthy cause and–have a great time doing it—should attend the gala on Saturday April 21 at 5:30pm at the Sentinel Hotel in Southwest Portland.