Category Archives: chair

Reupholstering a Mid-Century Chair from Craigslist

chair makeover
I’m a Craigslist newbie. Never sold anything on Craigslist, never bought anything on Craigslist, was actually kind of scared of Craigslist until recently. I’m not here to say that you should or shouldn’t be afraid of Craigslist… (that’s up to you), but I am here to tell you about my positive experience on this virtual marketplace.
I turned to Craigslist recently because I just couldn’t seem to find a chair that I loved for our new office. Usually if I can’t find an item that I love in stores, I turn to local thrift shops, and eventually garage sales and estate sales. Unfortunately during the Chicago winter, garage sales and estate sales are not really an option. What’s a girl to do?!
My answer: she should introduce herself to Craig and his fabulously resourceful List. Enter Craigslist. After a little searching in my area, I found this $20 mid-century chair and immediately contacted the seller. After a few friendly email exchanges… the chair was mine! With a carload of trusted family members (for back-up of course), I drove to a local suburb to pick this bad boy up. Here’s what the chair looked like when I got it home…
Less than desirable, but oozing with potential. I had to really enforce the “oozing with potential” to my pick-up squad; they weren’t as sold on that part as they were on the “less than desirable” part.
My plan was to clean up the wood & reupholster the fabric. I liked the neutral look that the chair already had going on, plus I had some other “loud” design elements in mind for the office, so I wasn’t sure that a loud fabric would compliment my plan. I decided to stick with the cream look and bought some reupholstering fabric from JoAnn for $6 on sale (of course). I also bought a layer of cushion to apply under the fabric for a little extra padding.
Before I could add those clean layers I had to rip off the old fabric, which was more like old wall paper? Now that I think back, I probably could have just adding my padding and fabric on top of the existing stuff, but I wanted to start fresh, which I am still feeling mixed about.
When I ripped off that layer of grossness, I found even MORE grossness. I’m not even sure what this next layer of “stuff” is, and to be honest, I’d rather not put too much thought into it. I closed my eyes and scraped the excess “stuff” off of the wooden base. I used this reupholstering tutorial to re-cover the seat after it was clean. With a layer of padding, some reupholstering fabric, and a staple gun, the whole cushion took about 30 minutes or less.
Next up: cleaning up the wood. This was the easy part actually. I sprayed a little Pledge all over the chair and wiped it off. That’s really all this seat needed because the wood was in pretty awesome shape, other than needing a good clean/shine.
It was already looking better! For the dramatic reveal, I reattached the new cushion and ta-daaaaaaaa:
A gorgeous mid-century chair on a rookie budget! For less than $30, I had a new desk chair with a lot of personality!!
What a difference a little TLC makes…

The subtle stripes on the cushion help give the plain-Jane, or should I say JoAnn, fabric a bit of a personality. Plus, it’s no secret that I just can’t resist a nice stripe.

I had no doubt in my mind that a little elbow grease and some sweet talking could make this wood shine again and bring this Craigslist treasure back to its glory days!
Since there is not a desk in the office just yet (soon, hopefully!), the chair currently doesn’t have much of a home. Once we commit to a desk idea and make it happen, this chair will hopefully be a part of the equation. For now, it looks pretty darn adorable in our office and adds a little more mid-century charm to this space.
I know I won’t be doing all of my shopping on Craigslist in the near future, but I am definitely adding it to my list & checking it twice. You heard it here first people: I have officially jumped on the Craigslist bandwagon! Hopefully it can find this lonely chair a partner-in-crime… #deskdreams
Bridget DIY Playbook
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My Reading Nook Scores

Three-Tiered-Library-Cart
Last week I showed you guys our new swag light. Pretty groovy, right? In that post, I promised I would disclose about the chair and little cart, so let’s get right down to it and dive into those details.
Office Reading Nook
I originally ordered a gray modern chair for the space with a hefty price tag of $350. It arrived and the chair was absolutely gorgeous. However after sitting in it a grand total of TWO TIMES, it broke. the wood snapped completely in half and we had to ship it back.  Not only was my self esteem shattered (never fun to sit in a chair and break it!), but I was back at square one with no chair for the space.
But the space didn’t stay empty for long. Bridget and I made a trip out to Habitat for Humanity Restore (the one in Joliet, for you Chicago folks) and we found this chair for only $37. I made sure to test it out really good to make sure it was sturdy and stable. Lucky for me…this bad boy was built well and wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t exactly the style I was originally going for, but I figured the wood tones and light teal upholstery would actually work well in the space. Plus, for $37…you can’t really go wrong!
$37 chair and $5 cart
I then hit up one of my favorite thrift stores in the city (A World Through Rose Colored Glasses in Bucktown) and found this little cart for only 5 bucks. Storage and a place to rest my coffee cup?! Sold!
$5 cart
I’m not gonna lie, the cart was incredibly disgusting when I found it. Spider webs, dirt, grime, dust…you name it, this little treasure was covered in it! But it wasn’t something that a little TLC and bleach couldn’t fix. One little bath for this guy and it was ready for styling.
three tiered cart
storage cart
It is the perfect size and I love the extra storage that this little cart provides. Win, win for me.
Mini storage cart
Chair details
$37 habitat for humanity arm chair
The chair wasn’t in bad shape at all. All it needed was a wipe down and it was good to go.  I paired the chair with a pillow for a pop of color, and my Ikea sheepskin for some texture. That’s all it took to bring it from 1984…to 2014.
cozy reading nook
I’m pretty happy with my reading nook scores all for under $50! Will I keep them forever? Maybe not. But for now they’re pretty darn fabulous and I’m very pleased with the final price tags.
Casey DIY Playbook
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Making a Statement

statement chair
If you’re a regular here on the DIY Playbook, this statement chair is old news. Howeverrrr…. over the past few months I have gotten quite a few questions about where I bought this gem and when One Kings Lane approached us to dish on this little darlin’, I thought this was the perfect chance to share the scoop & answer all of your questions!
I bought this statement chair on clearance for under $200 at HomeGoods! It sits at our front window and is the perfect spot to cozy up and relax with a warm cup of coffee. According to OKL’s Decor Resource Guide, I would call my statement chair a contemporary armchair. The fabric is a little more abstract than I’m used to, but stepping out of my decor comfort zone is healthy every now & again, right?
I accessorize this chair with a variety of fluffy pillows and a soft throw blanket. It just seems like these simple pieces add the texture and “homey” feeling that I love so much, without breaking the bank of course.
Next to the chair, a tiny refinished table (read more about that heree) holds a few accessories that complement the colors of the chair’s fabric while also adding a little purpose to the space.
One of my favorite parts of this chair are the rolled arms. I love the button-inspired look at the very end of the rolled arms, especially paired with the textured fabric.
For under $200, I really love the fun flavor that this armchair brings to our home. As far as I’m concerned, a statement chair is a must. The key to making a statement that works for your space… making sure your chair reflects YOUR STYLE & makes a statement you l.o.v.e.
Thanks to One King’s Lane Decor Resource Guide, you can identify exactly what type of chair screams your name before you set out shopping for that special statement. Until then, happy researching my fellow rookies!
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