Saturday, February 19, 2011

Renovate Brooklyn! Day Twenty-One: Renegade Design 101.

So we're not exactly Lorenzo Lamas (heart-throb pictured at left) but Mummy and I are becoming A+ Design Renegades. For the past week, I have been eyeing up a lovely/revolting chair frame that has been sitting outside of a parking lot on North 1st Street between Bedford and Berry. To describe it as lovely/revolting may seem confusing, but if you'd met the chair, you'd know what I meant. The frame is made of beautifully carved wood, delightfully diminutive, and I think will fit quite nicely into our new bedroom. The upholstery, however, was absolutely, indescribably disgusting. Really. The outer most layer was actually just layers of duct-tape and then below that, packing tape circa 1985. Before that, years of horrible torture had been bestowed upon blue damask, leaving nothing but a trail of tears behind. So yeah. It was gross. 

Yesterday, I was finally able to muster the courage to approach the chair. Fear of bugs, needles, and neighborhood embarrassment had previously deterred me, but having the company of my mom bolstered my confidence and we went boldly forth. Armed with exacto-knives, a contractor bag, and a bottle of Fantastic, I declared that we should strip the chair down to the wood frame on the street, so if we encountered anything unsavory, we could just run. It soon became apparent that we were definitely going to encounter something unsavory, and we had to weigh whether or not it was worth it.

At this moment, Mummy daringly touched the seat of the chair to test the cushions, proclaimed that the springs were actually in very good shape, and we were done for. The chair would be stripped! This whole endeavor was made more amusing to see because both of us were dressed up in our urban finery, planning for a day on the town that was to follow this adventure. There I am, black boots, black pants, silk blouse and this fabulous vintage Valentino overcoat that Mummy found in Minnesota, and there is Mummy, black boots, black pants, lovely lilac merino sweater... both of us stabbing away at this filthy chair on North 1st Street. It was a sight to behold, and the guys at the construction site across the street had a good laugh at our expense.

It should be said LOUD & CLEAR, nary a bug was seen. We did find lots of other prizes though! 26¢ in loose change, a sizable piece of birthday themed wrapping paper stuffed into the seat, and a couple of "hose-saver-heel-liners" from the seventies, still in their packaging. Sold for 15¢ each. Who knew? It should also be said that I still had nightmares last night about bed-bugs. God, I don't want bed-bugs.

So, this week-end's goal is to begin (finish?) reupholstering this chair, using the fabric from my $10.00 shower curtains that were originally Mummy's "wall" in the guest room. She gracefully volunteered them, privacy be damned! (Plus we're up in the country now, so she'll only have to sleep sans-wall for one night once we're back in the city.) We'll keep you updated as this project progresses.

Neither of us have ever attempted such a courageous feat, 
so cross your fingers!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment