Hands up if you think office chairs don’t have a lot of vintage style.

At least, not the ones you can find in your average medium-sized town for a medium-sized price.   But, I needed to find one because Practical Man has been fretting lately about my posterior.

I love a man who frets about my posterior and mine is apparently at risk.

I’m in posterior peril, if you will.

This is due to the fact that I am an old-school girl who types at lightning speed.   I need to do it in a chair, at a desk.  None of this lolly-gagging about on the floor with my keyboard in the air.  No sireee.   I am all about respect for the home row and that requires a chair.

This is the desk chair I have been using:

desk chair

Not glamorous but I liked its vintage nod and white colour

You’d think we’d have lots of chairs to choose from since I have what some might call an addiction to chairs.  They are one of the first things I gravitate to at an auction or flea market.  I have a rocking chair with no seat or rockers.  I have a tiny little child’s chair (even though we have no children).   I once made a flying leap from the car as we passed a yogurt shop that had incredible vintage-looking outdoor chairs.

Now, I try to avert my eyes as soon as they land on a fetching seatable specimen.  With their winning personalities and come-hither nature, you can see how an innocent person might end up with a herd of chairs.

Not me, of course.  Mine is more of a flock.

But to get back on point, desk chairs aren’t really chairs.  At least, not in a good way.

They usually contain way too much plastic (at least in the stores I can afford) and they look, to me, like giant orthotics sitting in a room.   Thus, I have been waiting for a beautiful vintage specimen to reveal itself to me somewhere.

You get it, don’t you?

My desire for something affordable, with chrome-y legs and a 1950-1970s industrial vibe?

Something straight out of a Mary Tyler Moore episode that could turn my world on with its smile?

Where-oh-where are you, my gorgeous retro lovely?

Silence.

In the meantime (over the past several years), we have been using the aforementioned chair that I spied, abandoned and forlorn, at the side of the road on the way to work one morning.

Some people have rescue dogs and cats.  I have rescue chairs.

Practical Man oiled its bits for me and I made it marginally more posterior-friendly by sewing up a quick cushion with a vintage pillowcase.

desk chair with cushion

Slightly modified hard-as-a-rock chair

I can’t imagine why but, Practical Man is still not a fan.

Even I have to admit that after a few short minutes of writing, it is not a very comfy on the posterior, nor does it have anything resembling an ergonomically-supported back.

But, back-schmack.   I didn’t care until recently, when I was dragged, kicking and screaming to the dark side.

I was encouraged to give desk chairs a chance.

Harumph.  Not a vintage lovely among them.  They were all new.   As I trialed and tested, I asked the sales clerk why desk chairs were so universally ugly and never any fun colours or patterns.  Was it so hard to design something reasonbly-priced, comfortable AND fun?

Eventually, I stopped punishing the people making minimum wage and lined up with the other people at the cash.

new seat

This is the seat for my new chair. Are you weeping?

Was it my imagination or did we all have a sort of resigned, sorrowful look about us at our failed quest for a delightful desk chair?   I’m sure I’m not exaggerating to say that there was a general air of gloom as we all meandered to our cars with our ugly, ugly but very comfy chairs.

new desk chair back

New back. Ergonomic and blah, blah. Weeping, weeping.

Not for the first time, Practical Man and I set about re-inventing something as soon as it came out of its over packaging.

We got some vintage fabric out of my stash.

Stapling - getting ready

Getting ready to alter a brand new item from the store

With only a staple gun, some scissors and a dream, we set about re-upholstering the seat with it.

By “we”, I actually mean, “Practical Man did it while I supervised”.

I make a great tool nurse.

Stapling, stapling, stapling

It was stapled within an inch of its life

Then, we actually put the brand new and already much improved, chair together.

Underneath the chair

Assorted knobs and do-dahs to help with the ergonomic blah, blah, blah

It has more knobs and levers than the space shuttle.   I bet there were no attractive desk chairs in space, either.

Here’s the so-far result:

new chair

I want to dislike it, but…my posterior is a traitor.

The chair is oh-so-comfy and ergonomic and blah, blah, blah.

I’d still like to make a slipcover for the back.  But, I have a problem.

A looming sense of posterior peril, if you will, because:

  • Sewing a slipcover will require some time at the sewing machine.
  • The chair at my sewing table is a cute little something we found at the side of the road.

But, sewing while seated on a lovely-looking, albeit slightly uncomfortable vintage chair?

Priceless.

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