Upcycled Alley Chair

Does anyone else pick up furniture from the side of the road? It can’t just be me. I’ve already shared our salvaged kitchen table, and I’ve talked about how many of our furniture pieces have come from craigslist, so it shouldn’t be a secret that I enjoy making old and tired furniture pieces come back to life, like this vintage chair that we found in the alley.

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We were coming back from dinner one night, back when we still lived in our apartment, and I saw that gem a few houses down. The cushion fabric was terrible, and the paint was faded, but I loved the craftsmanship in the curved back of the chair, and the carved out fleur-de-lis embellishments.

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Dan thought I was crazy, but he reluctantly carried the chair in and up two floors to our dining room. We were in the process of packing up to move, so the chair didn’t get a full makeover right then.

We did find a bit of time to give the whole chair a fresh coat of white paint. We wanted the carvings to really stand out, so we painted them with gold. The seat was droopy, so we pulled out all of the netting on the bottom of the chair. It was already a vast improvement.

We moved the chair to our new house, but it just kind of sat there for a while. Finally, one afternoon while Dan and my father-in-law were tackling some home improvement, my mother-in-law and I tried our hand at crating a new cushion with some fabric Dan and I picked out for the chair. I can’t give you a tutorial because we didn’t really follow any sort of plan or pattern, and honestly, I’m not sure I could, or would advise, replicating our process.

Woohoo – the chair update was complete! Now the problem was that the chair didn’t really have a place to go. It was in our living room for a while, but the white frame didn’t contrast at all with the white couch, so I moved it. Stop #2 was in our family room. Our couch is dark, so I thought the chair would work well. Color-wise, it did, but style-wise, it just didn’t. The couch was modern, the huge outdated rock wall was giving off a ’60s vibe, and the chair was what – 1940’s? It wasn’t working.

I didn’t want to get rid of my little rescued chair, but I was starting to think we just didn’t have a place for it. I finally moved the chair late last year, to make room for our Christmas tree in the family room. I decided to temporarily keep it in our guest room, thinking I’d make a final decision on what to do with the chair once the Christmas decorations came down.

What a happy surprise it was when I realized how perfect the chair looked in the guest room!

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The fabric is mostly blues, which worked well with the yellows and blues present in the room. The gold accents in the chair brought our the gold tones in the candleholders and desk too. Plus, I had been looking for a versatile furniture piece that would give guests another place to sit, and a place to set down their luggage. I cozied the chair up with the bird pillow I made a while back, and an ivory/gold threaded throw I bought for the guest room ages ago.

With the vintage vibe already coming from the desk, and the whimsical feeling of the iron bed, I think this transient chair has finally found its permanent spot in our home.

2 thoughts on “Upcycled Alley Chair

  1. Looks cute! I am with you and totally would have taken the alley chair too. About half my stuff was upcycled from the alley or garage sales.

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