Perhaps in anticipation of writing this post, I had a dream last night about the particular branch of Savers where I found this chair. In my experience Savers is really more about clothing than furniture; the furniture section is pretty small and I usually don’t have a lot of luck. However, this particular branch seems to always have one extraordinary find lurking amid the beige-overstuffed-couches and 1990s-Jordans-bureaus.
In my dream, Sage and Brad waited in the car while I went in. At the back of the store I found a pair of beautifully decrepit leather and wood armchairs, similar to the ones that Emily Henderson has in her living room. I couldn’t tell if they were terrible or amazing, so I stood agonizing over whether I could risk going to get Sage to take a look, or whether someone would snap them up while I was doing that and I would lose the find of a lifetime.
I guess if that’s what my subconsious is worrying about, things can’t be all that bad.
Unfortunately, I didn’t actually find Emily Henderson’s living room at Savers. But on my last visit, with a reluctant Brad in tow, I did find this cool metal chair for the sweet price of $2.99.
I obviously bought it immediately, despite Brad being utterly unimpressed. I liked the shape and, although we don’t yet have our dining room table-and-chair situation figured out, I thought this would be a cool spare chair to have hanging around. I am trying to bring in a few shiny chrome-like elements into each room and this seemed like an easy way to do so.
The chair was in good shape, but it did have a spattering of rust spots on the metal, and I wasn’t a fan of the brown pleather seat.
I looked at a ton of fabric options to recover the seat, including this imitation cowhide which is either really awesome or totally ugly. But eventually I decided to do something simple so the chair would fit into any decor going forward, and went with an affordable mix of recycled polyester and organic cotton in black.
No one needs a tutorial for reupholstering a simple seat cushion from me, and if you do, you can get it from my bench makeover project last month. Suffice it to say that it was very easy. I just went on top of the existing cushion since it was in fine shape, and added two layers of new batting to make it a little more comfortable.
The finish on the metal was pretty easy to mess up, and even picked up streaks when I tried to clean away the rust with the rough green side of those yellow-and-green sponges. Instead, I used a microfiber towel (affiliate link – read our policies) that my Mom grabbed for me during a sale on Amazon.
Some of the rust came off by just rubbing with the cloth and water. For the trickier spots, I made a paste of baking soda and water, coated the rust, and then scrubbed hard with the cloth. The results weren’t perfect, but it did a pretty good job.
A wipe down with the dry cloth also gave it a pretty good shine.
I then reattached the seat. The extra layers of batting and cloth meant that the four little screws didn’t quite reach any more. Fortunately, I found three equivalent but slightly longer ones in my basement hardware hoard, so I didn’t need to go out to the store to finish the project. DIY score!
Maybe I will remember to pick up a fourth screw to finish the job properly next time I am at the hardware store. Or maybe I will completely forget about it since the seat seems plenty sturdy and it doesn’t seem like a problem. (Guess which one is more likely.)
The result is a cool but unobtrusive side chair that can hang out in our dining room as a seat for extra guests.
I like the shape, and the contrast between the shine of the metal and the black seat. It wasn’t particularly comfortable when we brought it home, but the extra layers of batting definitely make it better.
It’s not bad for $15 plus a lot of leftover black cotton fabric! I’ll definitely be returning to that Savers. Maybe next time I really will find Emily Henderson’s living room in there!