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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then, we actually put the brand new and already much improved, chair together.
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:
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?
Posted by Christine Fader in Fabric, Retro Decorating, Vintage Shopping, Vintage Viewpoint Tags: Chair, Desk, furniture, home office, how to re-upholster a chair, Office chair, retro, Sewing, shopping, Staple gun, vintage fabric