Sunday, March 25, 2012

Narrowing in on a candidate...

As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago John's incredibly generous aunt donated their weather-worn Eames Lounge Chair and Matching Ottoman to the cause that is our apartment. I've been dating different fabrics, trying to determine the best, most versatile material for the chair, and I think I've narrowed it down to a fist full of options.

I wouldn't say they are obvious candidates, nor are they "true to the history of the design" exactly (at all) but I'm pretty sure any of these fabrics are going to look fantastic with our existing orange and blue oriental rug, and if we decide to bring it into the guest room later on, I'm pretty sure the colors should flow easily into the color scheme I'm thinking for that room too...

Plannin' ahead folks! See it in action! 

In addition to wanting the fabric to look terrific, I've also been hunting for a highly durable fabric that will respond well to spot-cleaning, in case anything gets spilled on the chair. Having washable cushions on our sofa has been an unbelievable blessing (Thanks not only to the dog, but also stains occasionally attributed to a clumsy John or a clumsy me.) Since you can't really machine wash an armchair (or shouldn't), I wanted to make absolutely sure that this material would be easily to clean, in situ.

I've contacted my upholsterer, and he's offered to cut me a particularly good deal on the labor (It's good to have friends in high places!) Now I just have to make my final decision on the fabric, get the materials ordered, and lickity-split, we should have a fabulous, new-to-me, revitalized Eames Lounge Chair on our hands.

I'm particularly loving the one at right because it incorporates the pale blue colors from the sofa pillows and the rug, the beige tones from the sofa upholstery, and enough pattern to hide any unexpected staining as it happens. It's listed as a heavy-duty fabric, so I feel optimistic that this could be a serious contender.

Other options in the running: 

This lovely IKAT pattern, with more navy, less beige, and no blue. The perk to this fabric is it's mega heavy duty, treated with a teflon finish, and is notably cheaper than the fabric above.

I don't actually love it as much as the first possibility, but there is something to be said for the hard-core durability and the more accommodating price point.

But then something to take into account... considering I'm paying for the cost of professional reupholstering, it doesn't really make solid economic sense to use a less expensive fabric that I like less, just to save a couple of dollars.

Another option I liked, but I think I like less for all the same reasons... Robert Allen's High Performance fabric called Tami Nadu in Sapphire. This material would actually survive a nuclear holocaust. That's what it says on the label "WILL SURVIVE NUCLEAR MELT-DOWN." Also intended for indoor/outdoor/commercial applications, treated with a stain repellant, and made from a material I've never even heard of before (100% Bella-Dura Olefin...)

Even as I'm typing it, I think it's clear I've made my decision aesthetically, but before I make my decision permanently, I am going to do one more act of due-diligence. I'm going to run all three pieces through a couple of stain-test-trials, just to see how they hold up when subjected to various substances and the water used to clean them. I should have final results tomorrow, and then I'm ordering the fabric for this bad boy!

Very exciting! 

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