When Ross and I came out to Portland for a few days with Dad before the big move, we each bought a piece of furniture that would give us something to look forward to coming back to, and a starting point for our Portland home decor. Ross bought a giant, old red trunk (that we call his Pirate Chest) and I bought an old antique writing desk. While we LOVE both pieces, they have each presented their own problems.
For one thing, Ross' Pirate Chest is HUGE. In the store we were thinking it could be used as storage at the foot of our bed or a TV stand, but once we got it home we realized that it was too massive to serve as any of those purposes. It dwarfed anything else it was near. So we have moved it around over time, and finally are using it as a (very large) side table in between our couch and over-sized chair.
On the other hand, my desk was quite the opposite. As it is an antique and we got it from a second-hand emporium, the chair was missing. I thought it would be no problem finding a cute wooden chair to match. We searched every Pier One, Bed Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx, and home store in Portland, but all of the chairs were too tall. Apparently writers back in the day didn't have thighs, because no matter what size chair we found, you couldn't slide under the desk without your legs being smashed up against the desk. Not comfortable. Or flattering to describe for that matter.
So at the end of last summer we went to a yard sale a few streets over and purchased a cute corner desk and chair for a whopping $10. Both the desk and chair had been painted white, and it looked as if a 5 year old had gone back in to put green paint on the accent trim. The paint was dirty and stained and the cushion on the chair was covered in a film of filth.
As it was all-wood, I was able to clean the desk with a LOT of bleach and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (they really are magic), but the chair was immediately banned to the garage. I didn't know what was living in the fibers of the cloth and I didn't want those lurking creepy crawlies in my home. The desk we turned into a resting place for books, pictures, and Henry's butt as he looks out the windows.
Over the past few months I have slowly but surely given my chair a complete overhaul. Starting with sanding all the crooks and crannies of the wood. Then staining it a dark antique brown. I over-sanded some of the edges to give it a nice "I have lived through everything" feel.
Just yesterday I put the final touches of the clear satin finish and this morning I replaced the seat with new padding and a new cushion-cover made from dark green canvas.
And the best part? The chair matches and FITS under my antique desk. Two for one deal my friends!