this chair took over my life

A few weeks ago I fell into crazy love with a chair.  Like, I actually gasped when I saw the picture of it on Craigslist.  Gasped.

And then I drove across Texas with my mom to find it, buy it ($15!), and cart it home.  Things seize me like that.  In fact, that’s how I get most things done — I feel pulled toward, or compelled by, or obsessed with an idea or a project or a story until I’ve bought, found, written, or made it.  I’m the opposite of methodical.  Which is pretty fun.

And this chair, like, took over my life until I’d made it mine.  

I wish I had it under a cloth right now that I could whip off with a big whoosh.  But here it is:


I’m still not sure what it was about the chair that snagged me. I liked the swoop to the back.  I liked the proportions.  I liked that it was $15.  But I’ve seen lots of furniture on Craigslist that I thought, with a little work, could look great.  Something about this chair was just special.  Or had the potential to be.

It sat in my garage for a few weeks while I fretted over upholstery fabrics and asked around for an upholsterer.  And then before I knew it, I’d picked a fabric, the chair was off at the shop, and I got a call that it was ready.

So today, in the rain, my son and I drove to get it.  And when I saw it all ready, I gasped again.



My husband has already pointed out that bringing lovely things into our house-full-o-kids is a dangerous proposition (we only have two — but it seems like more).  We’ve already placed our bets on how long before a chocolate handprint gets stamped on the seat.  (Husband says 4 weeks.  I’m guessing 2.)  But I’m telling myself the thrill now will be worth the heartbreak later.  

(The gorgeous fabrics on the chair and on the throw pillow are both from SwankySwell, by the way!)


I always take a kind of funky approach to love.  Like, when I was a kid, of all the Beatles, I picked Ringo.  And I do the same thing with beauty.  I look for more than the eye can see.


Filed under news!

15 responses to “this chair took over my life

  1. Deb

    It’s gorgeous, Katherine! I can imagine how great it feels to have transformed this lump of coal into a diamond. I have a lump of coal in my basement I bought a few years ago and haven’t found a good upholsterer yet. Maybe now I will!

  2. SavannahB

    Wow!! Gasping at that was totally appropriate! And every well-loved piece of furniture has a chocolate handprint or juice spill on it somewhere. Enjoy!

  3. Veronique

    WOW! I can see why you fell in love with it. Trying to imagine it when it was brand new with the flower fabric. It was a gorgeous dame in its day.

    AND…I love how it looks now that it is recovered too. Definitely worth the trip to Austin.



  4. You have an incredible eye for the beauty of what “was” and what “will be”…this chair is just one small sampling of that. I’m in awe!

  5. oh it’s so good, katherine. SO. GOOD.

  6. It’s beautiful! I’m kicking myself because I saw a Martha Washington chair a few weeks ago for $5 and I didn’t buy it. I kept looking over at it and imagining how I would reupholster it…I should have gone with my gut and bought it. I love your chair!!

  7. MOG

    You do have a great eye, the chair has such lovely lines.

  8. That chair is the BOMB! Now you need to email a picture to the seller…lol

  9. Amellia

    Can I ask, how many yards of fabric it took to recover it? I ponder doing something like this, but never get around to it. I bought a chair a month ago (new) and it took FOREVER to find the right chair with the right material…so I probably should of just had something covered!

    • I had four yards, but it only took 3! The chair is kind of smallish. An upholsterer can tell you exactly how much fabric you need for a specific chair, though. And, yes–it’s so fun to recover furniture and bring it back to life!

  10. Linsey

    HEART! BEATING! Love it! And you aren’t obsessed…you’re INSPIRED…and INSPIRING! xoxo

  11. A very lucky husband


    You were right the chair does look great. Please note the crime scene tape I’ve placed around the chair in an attempt to win our bet.

    I love you gorgeous.

  12. Melissa Donnelly Villegas

    gorgeous final product. very classy.

  13. I love that chair too.

    P.S. My best friend is queen of doing this exact thing. Well, maybe prom court compared to you.

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