Another curbside find! How should I restore this chair?
visionaire1
March 3, 2014 in Design Dilemma
Found this old chair on the sidewalk. I love the shape of it and I'd really like to bring it into this century. I'd love to hear some suggestions for how I should restore it, fabric etc. I want to use it as an occasional chair in my study which has a neutral/brown color scheme.
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Another Thyme
No ideas here, but it is a gorgeous chair. I hope you will show us what it looks like when you are dine with it.
March 3, 2014 at 9:06PM     
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deal67
I love this chair. Great find. I'd use chalk paint for the legs/arms and find a beautiful print that you love for recovering the rest. You can use chalk paint on the fabric too but I think with the patch at the front that wouldn't be a good idea.
Stay away from plaid or stripes unless you are very good at upholstery!
March 3, 2014 at 9:25PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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lessalt
Do you have any accent colors in your brown/neutral room, throw pillows? If It were mine I would paint the wood a bright glossy color and upholster it with a coordinating graphic fabric. Maybe, if we could see a picture of the room, we could be more helpful.
March 3, 2014 at 9:38PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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ahostler
I just want to say Great find. I found a Sam Moore chair like that.
March 3, 2014 at 9:44PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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lefty47
HI -- Great chair ! I would absolutely NOT paint the wood . Just find a tone on tone fabric , like a cut velvet type fabric or a channel or micro fiber fabric or something with a texture like a boucle . It would look fantastic in a distressed leather in a medium brown or in new white leather looking fabric . But just please keep the wood - restore if needed but keep it because that is the best feature of the chair.
March 3, 2014 at 9:44PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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Denita
Agree with lefty47. The wood is fabulous. Don't change it.
March 3, 2014 at 10:26PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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studio10001
Clean up and polish the bentwood arms, and cover in a graphic print to add an accent colour to your room. Nice find!
March 3, 2014 at 10:35PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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studio10001
nearest I could find to your style:
March 3, 2014 at 10:38PM     
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chookchook2
Yes, modern print.
March 3, 2014 at 10:52PM     
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zeenatpatni
I would like neutral wood finish with hot pink fabric on it.
March 3, 2014 at 10:58PM     
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chookchook2
March 3, 2014 at 11:08PM     
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chookchook2
Curves echo the chair arms.
March 3, 2014 at 11:10PM     
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Denita
Here is a fabric with the neutral browns, gray and creams but in a modern way

March 3, 2014 at 11:11PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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visionaire1
Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. Much appreciated! I'll attach some photos of the room it's going in. It's going to replace the blue swivel chair (the one with the throw).
March 3, 2014 at 11:37PM     
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Denita
Beautiful room!
March 4, 2014 at 5:46AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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visionaire1
Thanks Denita. My desk needs to be de-cluttered a bit though. Lots of cables visible! I love the idea of keeping the wood, but it needs to be darker to suit the room. Nothing a bit of sanding and staining can't fix. It needs to be redone anyway as it's quite scratched up. As for the upholstery, I'm thinking of this cut velvet from Osborne & Little. Love the look of the chair in the photo I've attached. Quite $$$, but hopefully I can find an inexpensive remnant or something similar on ebay or etsy. Someone mentioned to stay away from linear patterns as they are hard to get straight, but I'm willing to give it a shot! Only thing that scares me are the areas where the arms poke out from the upholstery. Looks like they didn't even try and just cut around them.
March 4, 2014 at 6:40AM     
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Christalyn
The shape if that chair is screaming for something funky like ostrich skin. It comes in a variety of colors, although I would keep it in the range of a chocolate brown so it does not stick out too much in the room.
March 4, 2014 at 6:44AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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houssaon
I would not change the finish on the wood. It is classic. I would get a great pattern in a fabric with texture.
March 4, 2014 at 6:47AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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bubblyjock
Keep the wood - sand and re-coat with something that's kind to the wood, such as tung oil or Danish oil, but don't chalk-paint it, ugh - that stuff is fine for "updating" French provincial, but your chair has a lot more style.

As for fabrics, you only need a couple of yards, so go for something that works with your other colours, and/or makes a bold statement, as the saying goes!

These are nothing like your chair, just examples of how a bold fabric can change the look (one of my Ideabooks is Divine Upholstery, and these are just some of them):
Louis Chair with a modern twist Before and After Chairs 1 Before and After Chairs 2 Alice Armchair by Creazioni available on Imagine-living.com
March 4, 2014 at 6:57AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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prt13
First, I'd tie it in a contractor size garbage bag to make sure it doesn't have fleas/bugs. It's a lovely chair and given the tones of the room I wouldn't paint it, perhaps a deeper stain but most likely not even that. The fabric on the throw cushion on the large biege-ish work chair looks as if it might really compliment the wood in its current state.
March 4, 2014 at 7:11AM      Thanked by visionaire1
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Sandy G. ltd.
-- I found a chair very similar to yours on the curb, waiting for the garbage guys and I could not let that happen! Brought it home, cleaned up the wood arms/legs with stain. poly. The back is caned and in good shape so that was easy. I upholstered the seat in a cheetah print upholstery fabric with the cording in another print. I love this chair and would buy it in a heartbeat if I saw it on a showroom floor.

Consider a zebra print for your chair. Keep the wood natural if possible. So what if it isn't perfect! Consider it's history and honor that - - this chair has a story! If you prefer not to live with imperfection, and some folks like flawless, paint the wood a high gloss black. The zebra would pull the black/white from the print on your piano wall over to the other part of the room and add a hit of drama and contrast. Add a white velvet lumbar pillow with your monogram in large black letters!
March 4, 2014 at 7:11AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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visionaire1
Wow Sandy, that is a great idea! I never considered something as bold as zebra print, and seeing the room with an image of the pattern I can really visualize it. Might have to seriously consider it.
March 4, 2014 at 7:29AM     
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annazeva
I totally agree with the animal print and black wood, you can always use it somewhere else if you don't like it in that room. An animal accent always looks sharp.
March 4, 2014 at 7:35AM      Thanked by visionaire1
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fsattar
gosh arent you lucky finding a treasure trove of items you can restore beautifully! well done on the last one.
March 4, 2014 at 8:51AM     
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bubblyjock
leopard print! I love Sandy's suggestion for animal print. Or how about dots (these are both in the same house, funnily enough) Ft. Worth Historical Residence 1 Ft. Worth Historical Residence 2
March 4, 2014 at 8:58AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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moggie73
I echo the animal print. Love Sandy G's cheetah and bubblyjock's leopard.
(no painting of the wood). Either would make sense, as you have neutrals going on in your room. What do you favor as accent colors in this area?
Best to you.
March 4, 2014 at 9:39AM      Thanked by visionaire1
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Genevieve
Great find and Art Deco too :)


March 4, 2014 at 10:06AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Recover in a more modern solid fabric. Leave the wood. Good find. Do a coral.
March 4, 2014 at 11:33AM      Thanked by visionaire1
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S.J. Janis Company, Inc.
an animal hide such as cowhide? On trend
March 4, 2014 at 11:34AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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visionaire1
What about this cut velvet from O&L, the black and white version? So luxurious, but so expensive! Maybe it's a little too much. Still not sure whether to keep the wood or paint glossy black. Leaning towards keeping it, but I still think I need to refinish it. Sandy G said that it doesn't need to be perfect, that it gives the piece more character etc. I love that idea and I'm in no way a perfectionist, but you can't see in the photo how scratched up it is. I'll attach a better image of the leg. It's definitely seen better days.
March 4, 2014 at 7:48PM   
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visionaire1
Thanks fsattar. funnily enough I happened to find this chair on the same street I found the other one! For anyone who didn't see my other 'design dilemma' post, the chair next to my piano was also a curbside rescue. Maybe I should quit my day job and stalk the neighborhood instead ;)
March 4, 2014 at 7:57PM     
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hasinajiwani
Great find. I would sand and refinish the wood in the same shade and do the upholstry in a heavy tan color linen or a heavy tan color raw silk where the weaving is thick and obvious, and add an interesting rectangular cushion to finish the look.
March 4, 2014 at 11:04PM   
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fsattar
Lol yes why not? Go in search for all items thrown away as 'junk'? I did notice the other chair next to the piano was your last curbside find;) looks gorgeous next to the piano. Like the way your dark wood stain came out - think my chairs came out darker than yours tho that's because I had to match it up with a tv wall unit in my living too (dark mahogany).
March 5, 2014 at 12:19AM      Thanked by visionaire1
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thedarlingsbecca
I looked at Pier One, World Market and Pottery Barn web sites:
March 5, 2014 at 12:51AM   
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bubblyjock
LOVE that Osborne & Little fabric, it's luxurious and vaguely animal-printy all at once. How about seeing if your Houzz enablers can find a less $ knock-off?
March 5, 2014 at 5:31AM   
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March 5, 2014 at 5:41AM   
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visionaire1
That retro fabric would certainly make for a funky chair! Just not sure how it would look in my study. Thanks bubblyjock, I'd love for you guys to help me out if you stumble across anything. That one you sent looks good. Wish it was black and white/cream. Not really digging the blue. How about this one from Ralph Lauren Home?
http://www.ralphlaurenhome.com/products/Fabric/item.aspx?haid=85&collId=196&shaid=&sort=&itemId=31875&phaid=19

I've seen it on amazon for $50 a yard. It's just a spun polyester though not a velvet so price seems a bit steep, but hey, its Ralph Lauren. The name adds a few bucks surely.
Do you think 2 yards would cut it for this chair? It's not all that big.

Hopefully my dream Osborne and Little velvet will show itself on ebay for cheap with an imperfection or something. I can live with imperfections!
March 5, 2014 at 6:12AM     
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nycdiane
OMG, what an awesome find! I love the shape of the arms, and I concur with the folks who recommend a bold graphic or animal print. I think you can go with a fairly large scale, because a small scale pattern would not complement the sweep of the chair's arms as well, but not so large that the pattern doesn't get seen and appreciated. My first thought was large-ish polka dots for a little whimsy.
March 5, 2014 at 6:46AM      Thanked by visionaire1
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bubblyjock
Really, visionaire1 - you say black and white or cream?

Ta-daaaahhh....
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zebra-Print-Crushed-Panne-Velvet-Black-White-60-Wide-Poly-Fabric-by-the-Yard-/230794072018?pt=US_Fabric&hash=item35bc660fd2
http://www.ebay.com/itm/B-W-Black-White-Zebra-Stripe-Very-Soft-Stripe-Velvet-Faux-Fur-HQ-Fabric-/291089593736?pt=US_Fabric&hash=item43c64ab588

I used these search parameters, by the way:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=%28animal%2C+zebra%29+%28print%2C+stripe%29+fabric+velvet&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.X%28animal%2C+zebra%29+%28print%2C+stripe%29+fabric+velvet+black%2C+%28cream%2C+creme%2C+white%29&_nkw=%28animal%2C+zebra%29+%28print%2C+stripe%29+fabric+velvet+black%2C+%28cream%2C+creme%2C+white%29&_sacat=0

How much fabric will depend on how wide it is, and the dimensions of the chair, and whether you want the stripe centred. So, yes, I'm guessing a couple of yards should do it if you're clever, and three will give you room for error.

I might be inclined to do the side panels in a bright contrasting colour, say red, which you'll also be able to find cheaply, easing up the budget for the O&L fabric - you might even be able to get away with a yard and a half, if you do the back in a contrasting fabric as well!

You're inspiring me to finalize negotations in the bubblyjock household domestic "discussion" about whether to put a boring sideboard in our new hall (him), or whether I get to re-cover an old settee in funky fabric: I think I win. :)
March 5, 2014 at 7:45AM   
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bubblyjock
I should have scrolled down further - this ebay seller has the velvet burnout zebra striped fabric in all sorts of colours, including black and white: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Raul-Animal-Printed-Heavy-Velvet-Burnout-Designer-Home-Fabric-by-the-yard-/321161584531?pt=US_Fabric&var=&hash=item4ac6b8df93
March 5, 2014 at 7:53AM   
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hanna1984
Be sure whatever fabric you buy online is upholstry weight fabric, especially with burnout. Are you near a Joanns store? You can order online too. They have sales and coupons, too.
March 5, 2014 at 8:03AM   
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visionaire1
Bubblyjock, I vote settee! Maybe you should just do it without telling him and then say "see how good it looks??" I'm sure he'd agree and if he doesn't, too late, it's done :)

Hanna you're hysterical! Maybe I should order a bulk lot of those swimsuits and sew them all together for my chair. +1 for originality.

Another option. Just putting it out there. I have just over 2 yards of a cut velvet I bought years ago that I never got around to using and it just happened to fall on my head when I pulled something out from the top of my closet (sign from above??). I'll attach a pic.

It would save me buying new fabric, and I get to put this one to use. And I do really love it. 2 birds, 1 stone?

What do you guys think?
March 5, 2014 at 6:29PM     
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hanna1984
It looks great to me!
March 5, 2014 at 6:35PM   
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kgonzale
This is an architectural masterpiece. Leave the wood & cover in a soft tan leather for a modern classy look - perfect for a study.
March 5, 2014 at 6:46PM   
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Sandy G. ltd.
-- Well - just might work! The only concern is how you like it with your b/w artwork because they are both strong. Lay the fabric over the chair in the room and see what you think. These days, I'm all about saving money when possible too.

How big is this pattern? It would be nice if it was in between the artwork and other chair seat pattern , size-wise. The gray in this pattern pulls in the gray in the other side chair. Nice!
March 5, 2014 at 8:11PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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chookchook2
Yes use it. A dollar saved is a dollar earned.
March 5, 2014 at 8:46PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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oh2livewell
I'd go with the best fabric it can warrant, in a bold pattern, one that you're really in love with, and turn it into an undeniable conversational piece. Everyone loves a rags to riches decor story.
March 5, 2014 at 9:00PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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Lunada Consulting & Design, Inc.
Absolutely love the Chair! Great find! Keep the wood finish and add a modern graphic patterned fabric. You can't go wrong!
March 5, 2014 at 9:14PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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visionaire1
I really do love this fabric. It's a large pattern. Looks to me like it actually is halfway between the art and the fabric on the other chair in size. Definitely makes a bold statement. I can't believe I never considered using it. I finally think I've made a decision.
March 5, 2014 at 9:52PM     
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bubblyjock
@ visionaire - how about draping your fabric as closely as you can to the chair so it "fits," taking a snapshot, and posting it here? It also sometimes helps to see something in a photo for one's own use, funnily enough. That, or looking at it in a mirror.
March 9, 2014 at 7:39AM   
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visionaire1
Dang I wish I did that. I did lay it on the chair and it looks amazing! In my opinion of course, just didn't think to take a photo of it. I'm on vacation for the next few weeks so I won't get a chance to take one. I took a snap of the fabric laid out on my sofa but not sure what help that will be.
March 9, 2014 at 9:06AM     
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studio10001
It's a great choice!
March 9, 2014 at 9:32AM     
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gt123
Do NOT paint that wood! This looks like a mid century modern chair, and the wood is a defining feature of that time period. I would update it with one of the new modern lattice prints, that use just two colors and has a simple geometric pattern. Too much pattern and you detract from the form of the chair, which is spectacular! Try an ivory and taupe lattice print. Whatever you do, use a good upholstery fabric, this needs more than a cotton chintz redo. Fabulous find!
March 9, 2014 at 9:58AM     
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gt123
I just saw your fabric after I made the last post. I think it's perfect.
March 9, 2014 at 10:06AM     
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visionaire1
Drumroll please...... Here she is in all her completed glory!!

Unfortunately I can't take credit for the upholstery. I did attempt it but the thickness of the velvet made it really difficult to get the corners and edges to look right. Wood stain and polish is all me though!

Considering the state I found her in I think she scrubbed up nicely!
June 3, 2014 at 5:45PM     
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Rebecca Mitchell Interiors & Boutique
Like most great looking dames, she cleaned up real good! Well done!
June 3, 2014 at 5:47PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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vickicz
Stunning!
June 3, 2014 at 6:05PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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Sandy G. ltd.
-- Doesn't this just feel great - having the finished chair in your life now? Better than finding it new? It's like beating the system, for sure. Your chair is such a treasured rescue and you did a fabulous job pulling it all together! Kudos for a project very nicely done!
June 3, 2014 at 6:40PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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studio10001
Absolutely luscious -Well done, visionaire!!
June 3, 2014 at 7:09PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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annazeva
Very nice, and it looks in your room!!
June 3, 2014 at 8:52PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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annazeva
Looks great Duh
June 3, 2014 at 8:53PM      Thanked by visionaire1
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abbyjean
Cannot believe that chair! I love it! And it is perfect in your room.
June 3, 2014 at 9:51PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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DSC DesignWorks
I love your chair! Great job! And I love your instruments!
June 3, 2014 at 10:02PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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melwishes
Are you selling it? :)
June 3, 2014 at 10:03PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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visionaire1
Thanks everyone! I'm so happy with how the chair turned out. Sandy G, yes! So much better than finding something similar new. Thanks for your lovely comments :) Melwishes, all depends on what your offer is :)
June 3, 2014 at 10:51PM   
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zhang
很好
June 3, 2014 at 10:54PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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melwishes
Just letting you know how much I love it. Postage to Aust would be high. Enjoy it in your gorgeous room.
June 4, 2014 at 5:01AM        Thanked by visionaire1
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Erin Blanton
Aaaaah! It's amazing.
June 4, 2014 at 5:16AM      Thanked by visionaire1
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nycdiane
Oh-la-la! The chair looks really nice in her new outfit. It's the perfect scale, and the pattern is bold and classy! You have great taste!
June 4, 2014 at 1:32PM        Thanked by visionaire1
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