When I moved in here with G, I didn’t bring much with me. The apartment I was living in at the time was semi-furnished and even though the landlord said I could take anything with me, the only things I wanted were a small bookcase that I now use as a night table and this chair:
Over the year in the apartment, I fell in love with that chair. It doesn’t have the huge footprint of most furniture made today, but it fits my body the way few pieces of furniture do. Note the long seat. Most chairs I sit in cut me off somewhere in the middle of my thighs, the curse of having long legs. This chair supports me, it hugs me. It’s sturdy and well built, solid wood and patented “flex-springs”, made in Minneapolis. I adore it. When we first moved in and the living room wall was red, we had it in the basement where it seldom got used. Then we repainted the living room to its current mode of 3 shades of green and the turquoise (yes it’s turquoise) of the chair didn’t clash too badly. But the fabric is old, even though not worn and I wanted something different. A while back, I found some fabric that I really liked and would fit with our colors, so we bought about 5 yards of it:
And there we sat. We found a place that did good work–he recovered two of our other chairs–but he wasn’t terribly fast and we had to haul the work to him. So, in the spirit of spring cleaning or having the sun out today or something, I decided to call around to some other upholsterers to see if I could get an estimate. I left a message with one place. Maybe I’ll get a call back, who knows. Then I saw an ad in the yellow pages that mentioned something like, “Why buy new when you can recycle your old, good furniture?” And they offered free estimates and pickup. So, why not?
I called and thought someone answered, but it was a cell phone, so I think we got cut off. I called back. Got voice mail. Left a message. Hung up and the phone rang immediately. It was the guy, had I called? I said, yes, I had an old chair and wanted to find out about getting it recovered.
So, what were the first words out of his mouth? “Well, you can go to American Furniture and buy a new one for less than it’ll cost to re-cover the one you have.” BAM! Of course, I should have just said, “Well, gee, thanks.” and hung up. But I had to let him ramble on. I told him I had the fabric. He said it wasn’t enough, even though he had yet to ask me to describe the chair. When I told him that it was only the seat and the back, no skirt, and wooden arms, he backpedaled a bit and admitted that I MIGHT have enough fabric. His voice was one of those loud, nasal kinds of voices, that pierce right through your eardrum and his attitude was one of, “Little lady, you got no idea what you’re talkin’ about.” I wonder how this jerk manages to stay in business. During all this, G is turning the chair over, looking underneath it, measuring it with a tape measure and hopping from one foot to the other in pure rage. If it’s one thing that gets her back up, it’s someone implying that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She suggested that we might to the recovering ourselves, but this isn’t a chair I want to start on. I want it done right. So, this week, we’ll take the chair down to our guy we know will do a wonderful job and let him take his time. No free estimate or pickup is worth the kind of condescension we got today.
Oh, and as an example, here’s the Morris chair that belonged to my great-grandfather after this guy completely re-made the cushions for it: