I have a soft spot for old furniture, on the basis that landfill depresses me and new furniture seems so expensive, and devalues so quickly. Re-using old furniture seems a better choice all round. Whilst I appreciate antique furniture, I prefer things with little value which I can merrily paint or work on without causing a crime against antiques. Plus I bought my first auction lot at 15 (a broken vacuum cleaner and two manky draught excluders, bless me) and I can't deny I have a thing for old crockery. My dad runs antique and collectables fairs. Old junk and tat makes me happy.
So, imagine my delight when I found this chair at the weekend for a reasonable £25:
It had long since been painted white, but if it hadn't I probably would have left it as it was. It's a lovely shape, and is probably 20s / 30s. I imagine it was a cafe chair, or used at home in less formal settings. Delightful. It was however the owner of a seat pad which had some dated material on it. I took the seat pad off; as you can see the seat pad was a later addition held on by screws. Pity really, but there was no reason this chair couldn't continue to have a decorative and useful life.
Now, if I see a tea towel which I think is wonderful, I buy it and squirrel it away. I had two in mind. This first one was typically shabby chic style - all faded flowers and muted pink tones. It felt a bit of a predictable choice. I had taken the top layer of fabric off the seat, and left the original layer as I suspected it was nicely holding the padding securely. I could see the 80s fabric beneath the shabby chic tea towel so this helped me make up my mind.
So next I tried a bold Ulster Weavers tea towel in a rich red tone. It covered the 80s chintz, plus was far less predictable and really bold. The paint isn't as bright as it appears and it is a little tired. Everything worked for me - faded tatty elegance with a dash of up-to-date fabric in a bold design and colour - plus not too predictable. I stapled it on underneath, and cut off the excess. (Special mention to friend Diana who taught me how to cover things in fabric without the fabric going all stretched and odd!) The pad was screwed back on after the chair had been given a clean. Here's the result; it will probably go in my bedroom as like everyone else I always need somewhere to abandon my clothes!
Let me know what you think in the comments section...