Thursday, May 17, 2012

Metamorphosis of a chaise

This is one of my most favorite stories about junking.  While living outside Little Rock, I was on my way to pick up the kids from school.  I passed this chaise sitting on the curb just a mere block from my house.  Should I or shouldn't I?   

I proceeded to the school and picked up the girls.  I retold the story of the chaise sitting on the curb to my two girls.  I wanted to see what they thought about it.  My oldest daughter was appalled at the idea of me actually dragging this piece home.  The youngest one was for it.  I told them, if God wants me to have this chaise, then, when we return home, it will still be on the curb.

Well, sure enough, it was still on the curb.  I opened the hatch of the van and single handily hoisted my new treasure aboard.  My youngest was so shocked in seeing that I could manage the piece by myself.  Maybe it was the shear adrenaline.

Around the corner, we arrived home and I unloaded the chaise.  What happened next took a strange turn.  First, we steam cleaned the existing fabric.  Then, I just let it sit.

Months later, it just sat in my bedroom waiting to be adorned.  I didn't have a vision until..... I was in Illinois for a summer visit and my Mom showed me some vintage drapes that she had found in the attic.  It was a very cool vintage barkcloth.  I thought I could try my hand at slip covering since I really had not invested any money thus far.  It wasn't a perfect job, but for now, it would have to be OK, and it did look a bit better than the turquoise and pink graphic fabric that was already on it.

So now, I moved it to the bedroom and started rearranging furniture.  I had pulled out my vintage shutters taken off a mental hospital in New Hampshire(isn't that crazy?).  I did buy them!  The Mr. had already hinged the three panels together to give it a screen effect.  The room wasn't large enough to handle all three shutters, so I bent one behind the other.  I pulled out the fabulous quilt that my dear friend Tara had quilted for me when we left Boston.  The vintage white baby dress I have mentioned before hung perfectly on the shutter adorned by a shabby but sweet tassel.

And there it stayed for a few years, until the poor threadbare barkcloth just dry rotted.  So sad.....
After that, I  covered the chaise with a sheet until our move to Alabama.  I knew I wanted to slipcover the piece and I didn't have the talent to do it myself, so I put that job on a to do list after the move.

As a sideline, I want to show you what I did with the leftover barkcloth.  Tell me if you remember seeing this piece anywhere else?

(Sorry about the photography.)

This piece has also been in my daughter's bedroom.

Changing the fabric changes the whole look.
And now the piece is back in the living room.

OK, so then I found this fantastic lady that slipcovered near Huntsville.  I purchased the matellase fabric and she did her magic.  Quite an improvement!  Look at the detail.  The seam in the back is done with Velcro.

The great thing about slipcovers is that you can clean them.  My slipcover lady recommends dry cleaning.  This slipcover is one year old and still looks brand new.  I have had it cleaned once.

 Once on the stoop, now, set for a Queen.

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