Re-purposing something you have had for a while can bring you joy and a long lasting product that you thought you were done with.
The very first set of furniture that my dad’s parents ever bought were these boxy, down filled armchairs that have a matching ottoman. These chairs are solid wood framed and are what is called eight-way hand tied; meaning that they have a system of springs in them all hand tied together so that the springs won’t ever pop out of place. My grandparents bought these chairs in Houston, Texas when they got back from being married in Verdun, France just after the War had ended and they were ready to start their family. They were upholstered in this warm-yellow velveteen when my grandmother picked them out originally and as their style changed and the colors of their decades went on (they were re-upholstered about 10 times, I was told to match the changing styles and seasons of my stylish grandmother’s whims for decor). I love these chairs.
These chairs were passed through their childrens’ homes. My dad had them in his office for the longest time and I remember their mean-mauve stripe with a vengeance… and ultimately, I ended up with one chair, and my older sister has the other (sister chair) and ottoman. I was just able to get this chair reupholstered in the Fall of last year and I couldn’t be more happy. This chair has seen decades go by and it is still stylish and charming, and as comfortable as ever. Functional design that is beautiful and classic will never go out of style; you just dust it off, give it a new shine and re-purpose it for its new life.
The interesting thing is that I was just reading a short Elle Decor article from this month about a married couple of Italian designers based out of New York named Massimo and Lella Vignelli who stated something that I found so very powerful and true at the end of their interview “You can throw away a dress or a pair of shoes; clothing doesn’t last a lifetime. But a chair or a sofa should last forever. Don’t just go out and buy the first sofa you see. The more options you look at, the more you’ll discover what best fits your situation. You’ll see many monsters. Select a few good styles then pick the one that suits your life.” I feel that is a great parallel for home buying or even a remodel. You may see many monsters- but ultimately, you’ll find the one that will suit you and last a lifetime.