Diamond Chair Cover Thoughts

I think I need to start a blog post category just called “Chairs and their Covers.” I have a problem. You may remember that I bought this dream vintage Bertoia diamond chair a few months ago but the pumpkin-orange original cushion cover was unexpectedly unsalvageable. It was immediately clear that this was a job beyond my sewing abilities/wants. I thought about having an upholsterer do it but I wasn’t at all excited about putting forth the effort of finding fabric on my own or getting on my upholsterer’s long list or paying the high price I was expecting. Are you catching the lazy vibe I’m throwing down? Clicking buttons on a computer sounded so much better so on the suggestion of some IG friends, I purchased a reproduction cover from an ebay seller. I’m here to share the details in case you are A.) in the same boat B.) lazy and C.) can’t afford a billion dollar replacement from Knoll!

You can find the seller right here. They manufacture other Bertoia cover replacements for those large diamonds, birds, and ottomans too! The cost for a regular diamond chair cover came in under $200 after shipping and, although it took months to arrive, for the price and convenience, I’m generally happy. The fabric and construction are good enough, though obviously the quality of the original and Knoll replacements I’m sure are on another level. The cushion ships folded in half, so that right there sets it apart from the completely molded foam originals which are shaped perfectly to that curve. A bit of manipulating is required to get this cover into place and the results is wrinkled areas on the back sides. Sad, as that back view is the best view! The fit is actually pretty decent from the front.My biggest worry was that the fabric would be cheap looking and in an off color. I picked a vivid dark orange from their fabric choices (Persimmon) and, while not as nubby or as thick as my adorable original, it has some texture and is better than expected. The color is surprisingly great! The foam itself is thinner, which I’m fine with, but it arrived with a few areas where the foam isn’t totally adhered to the fabric causing bubbling. And a few more bubbles popped up within a few days of fitting it to the chair. Not ideal, but you only see it in certain lights and it’s not a deal breaker for my lazy butt.The tether system is my biggest complaint, being rigged a bit differently and not hidden. On the originals, one piece of twine encircles the entire cover and clips inconspicuously under the seat. This cover has two tethers that need to clip at the sides, the angles of which are not at all forgiving when trying to hide the clips. The look is super clunky and the one thing I would change if I could!Some shots of the original for comparison. (Does anybody want it for a pattern/other reason? Foam is lumpy/deteriorating and there is slight smoke smell but if you still have a use for it, hit me up!)Overall, for the price and especially THE LACK OF WORK ON MY PART, I’m happy with the purchase!

I’m really just so thankful to have this chair.

I’m basically exactly this at minute 1:50…

But no really, ashtray/lamp/chair hits a little too close to home.

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Circa50 Butterfly Chair Covers

Somehow this has turned into a saga. Two years ago I bought some replacement covers (actually two different kinds ugh) for our backyard vintage butterfly chair frames and wrote this long post on places to find them. I have detailed info there, but to summarize: if you want replacement canvas covers for your (non folding) vintage frames, check out Circa50, D & J Patio, Unique Contemporary Solutions, or Amazon (if you are willing to dig around in the reviews to make sure of sizing!). If you want replacement outdoor vinyl covers, only Circa50 and D & J sell them, as far as I know.

Since I needed outdoor covers, I opted for the cheaper ones from D & J and, while I was previously mostly happy with the purchase, both covers met their end last month within 20 minutes of each other – and while we were sitting in them ha! The weakness in these covers is that the edging is not made of the same outdoor fabric as the seat (and the color doesn’t even match) and that minor annoyance proved to be the literal weakest link. I repaired a small ripped seam last fall in one of the covers, but both covers ripped straight through at the edges in multiple places last month when we went to use them for the first time this year. After less than 2 years of full sun/weather exposure in our backyard, the canvas binding and thread just didn’t withstand the elements in the same way the vinyl seat did. So now my cheap solution is turning into a costly one that could have been avoided. Arg.

I ordered a pair of vinyl outdoor covers from Circa50 last week, like I should have done to begin with. They arrived quickly and are an upgrade. The fabric/edging is great and the choice of sizes meant that I could get a better fit. My chair is a weird size, 29″ across the top and 27.5″ across the bottom. Since I was in between sizes and I’ve heard that sizing up is a good idea, I went with a size C and it fits great. I think I could have even gone up one more. Reviews claims that these will last for like a decade instead of a few years, so my only regret is not ordering them in the first place!

Here are some side by sides for comparison.D & J:Circa50:The weather magically turned wonderful this week and I’m in full freshen up the yard mode, which right now mostly involves pulling 10,000 weeds (and doing my annual google search of DIY swimming pools). If backyard season is hitting you too, you may find these posts useful: on firepits, on finding vintage cone fireplaces, a modern screen door, my backyard mural wall, drought tolerant landscaping on a budget, and a mid century inspired patio. Happy yard work everybody!

Dining Room Tulip Table

I’ve been trying to get our current dining room situation to work for our family for years and it just wasn’t. We finally decided to invest in a new table that was the right size and offered a more durable surface, this Lippa reproduction tulip table. VERDICT: A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER IN EVERY WAY! (Sources at the end)

This has been a great lesson that just buying what you love and making it work doesn’t actually always turn out. I wonder sometimes if I should be more content and less persistent when it comes to house stuff, but every time I invest the time and money to get things right, I’m always blown away at how much it elevates our day to day life. Often times “contentment” is really complacency. I think that’s why I love architecture/interior design/industrial design so much. A little effort towards good design can literally change your life for the better. Yes I just said that about a table.The things that weren’t working before: We never used this room, talk about a house red flag. It was uncomfortable and cramped. The table was too big/wrong shape for our awkwardly small square dining room. And the table, which was a vintage Heywood Wakefield dream table/find/purchase, was too precious, not to mention rickety, to let the kids go to town with art/homework/regular disgusting kid eating or even for me to spread out with a project. Add in that it took up the entire room but could only seat 6, and the color wasn’t popping with our grasscloth and wood floors, and it was time to move on. I’ve known for years, but it felt stupid to spend money on the table I wanted and knew would work when I had “a perfectly good one already,” which actually wasn’t true. I should have spent it sooner. Lesson learned.

Pedestal (for the tiny room size) and white (for the dark room color) were the parameters. Since I’m in a huge tulip phase right now, a tulip table was the only answer. I’ve been keeping an eye out for vintage ones and I even looked into the cost of a Knoll, who has been in tulip table production since the beginning of tulip tables, because vintage/real is better than fake…usually. But vintage and very expensive originals need some stewardship and responsibility that I don’t want for this season of our life. I need a table that can take a beating, that we can really use, where markers and spaghetti sauce are a go. So sellout repro it is!The cost was a little daunting. I’m a by low, sell high estate sale scavenger type and I think this might be the single most expensive piece of furniture we’ve ever bought and it’s not even real… I’m hoping to sell our old one for about the same price, so I’m justifying it as an even trade. But, so far, the cost and hassle (SO HEAVY WE CAN NEVER MOVE OUT OF THIS HOUSE) has been totally worth it because we are actually using it. I feel like we gained a room.

This room is small and acts as a passage from the family to the dining room, essentially leaving only a 9.5′ square for the dining area, making it difficult to find the right size. Rectangle didn’t work, I thought oval might, but once I got down to the actual available dimensions none were right. Circle made the most sense, 54″ or 60″ being the options. Normal recommendations are that you have at least 30″ from your table to your wall, and neither size offered that clearance. But the most important thing for me was table top square footage…for a giant workspace. Cozy was fine with us as long as I could comfortably move around the table when we weren’t sitting there. I took a chance and went big (60″) and I’m so glad I did. This may not work for the host who throws drawn out dumb dinner parties where people need to be able to come and go from the crowded table, but I am so not that person. Mostly I need this to meet the daily needs of the four of us, and it would be nice if we could occasionally squeeze a few more around our table. The 60″ fulfills all those needs. I’m SO glad I went big. The room is spacious, bright and comfortable – finally!As for the top, I went with the engineered artificial marble over plain white just for durability, but I am so happy with the texture it adds. I’m not really a marble person, there are so many other surfaces I’d choose over marble, but I UNEXPECTEDLY LOVE IT. I’m no expert, but the fake marble is pretty convincing and it won’t stain. The shine bounces light around in the room in a wonderful way.

Our chairs are from Ikea, 7 years ago. We have 6 of them and they easily tuck under the table, with room to squeeze in a few more if need be. I’ve apparently been collecting tulip stools for various parts of our house (dressing room and I recently got another for our kitchen desk area). When I brought one in out of curiosity, something magical happened! They look SO CUTE AND I WANT A TABLE FULL!!! Like 8 multicolored spinning stools around this round table. Highly impractical or the most practical solution ever??? The kids and I are all in agreement, husband thinks that is crazy talk.The most glowing endorsement for the new table has been from my son, who often cannot tolerate change or new things, especially when they involve getting rid of familiar pieces of furniture. When he saw this table he proclaimed, “I usually hate new things but this new Palm Springs table is great!” Hmm? While tulip tables star in many a Palm Springs homes, he has never ever seen one there himself. His explanation: “Things in Palm Spring are bright and clean and this table is so bright and clean that it reminds me of Palm Springs! I love it…even though it’s new!” GREAT SUCCESS.

Mostly for my benefit, here’s our updated dining to-do. Notice that baseboards are crossed off. I AM LIVING. Next up in here is a mind blowing wood room divider. I can’t wait to get to that project. Pure fluff fun! 2018?

Dining Room To do:

  • Remove carpet
  • Swap out old light for Nelson saucer
  • Paint trim
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Paint ceilings and walls
  • Hang grasscloth wallpaper
  • Frame out pass through
  • Put some weird woodwork in the pass-through
  • Build room divider
  • Walnut curtain cornice boxes?
  • Finish wood floors
  • Baseboards
  • Paint the pocket doors
  • NEW TABLE!

Now I need to figure out if things are getting too themey in our house. Tulip table in the dining room, tulip coffee table in the family room, tulip stools in the dressing room and kitchen. Plus round white table just outside on the patio. Too much??? It feels right to me, but some non-tulip-obsessed eyes would be appreciated.

SOURCES

table – Lexmod | chairs – old Ikea | tulip stools – Amazon (I recovered)

painting – DIY ripoff of this one | bookshelf – DIY

light – Modernica, now at Herman Miller | grasscloth wallpaper – Brewster, similar