Chair Love

We have fallen in love yet again. And yes, we’re talkin’ furniture. This happens quite often, but usually we can restrain ourselves from unnecessary purchases. After all, if something comes in, something must go. It’s our number one rule of small home living, and we stick by it. But the first time we laid eyes on her oatmeal nubby twill and rich, teak arms, we knew she was the one. And since our love was found through the power of, the price was right. Sure, there were signs of wear…

…but it was nothing a little rub-a-dub of some mineral oil couldn’t solve. Even I couldn’t believe it when the hubs polished her up, going so far as to detail those hard to reach nooks and crannies with a handful of cotton swabs. After an initial quick, gentle wipedown with warm water, the mineral oil proved to be the cure she needed, and she went from hot to smokin’.

Of course we also vacuumed her off, freshened her up with a spritz of Febreze (with all our furry kids, we can’t live without the stuff) and set her up in the living room. And don’t you know it, we stuck to golden rule numero uno, and promptly listed ol’ bluey on – you guessed it – Craigslist. Within a week, it was out the door to another happy home, and our overall purchase price of our new love came down a few more notches.

Scott buffed her with the oil a few more times since her first night, giving her a richer tone with each pass, allowing the natural woodwork to gleam through. The mid-century shape and soft neutral color easily fit into our decor, and those now-shiny gams give the overall illusion of more space. Whoo, can’t beat that with a stick.

Any second hand success stories of your own to share? We’d love to hear you spill those thrifty secrets.

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  • Amanda2.1.10 - 11:08 AM

    Um, I am in love. I bought a thrift store chair forever ago and promised myself I would re-cover it and rescue its wooden arms and it hasn’t been done yet. (You’ve probably seen that chair on my posts about my living room.) That pillow really makes the chair though, I love it! And what a miracle worker mineral oil is!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian2.1.10 - 11:34 AM

    LOVE IT! well, our dining room table, chairs, hutch, 2 identical danish chairs (we replaced the one large ugly chair filler with the poang leather seat from IKEA – fit PERFECTLY!). we will do the same with the 2nd chair frame once we have more room, one orange chair (amazingly in really good condition) that came with our round coffee table and those 2 chairs. we scored all of those together (besides dining room table and hutch that we bought off an old lady moving) at an estate sale for 50 bucks. this was in 2006 all before danish modern took off everywhere, even before urban outfitters. SO, long story short, we scored it all at the RIGHT time. it’s just so hard to find these things now and at such a good deal too. so what an awesome find for you! i’m going to send you those etsy links now!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle2.1.10 - 12:50 PM

    LOVES IT!!! What an awesome find! I love the cute birdie pillow also.ReplyCancel

  • Rachael2.1.10 - 1:57 PM

    That’s the perfect addition to your living room!
    Do you have any suggestions on how to bring our leather man-chair back to life? I’m pretty sure the husband will hold onto that thing for life, and it could really use some love!ReplyCancel

  • micah2.1.10 - 2:19 PM

    Oooh thanks for the mineral oil tip! The chair looks great and love that pillow!ReplyCancel

  • Scott2.1.10 - 4:12 PM

    Rachael, I’ve used a product called “leather lotion” on faded leather furniture before. It works great. I found it at Wilson’s Leather, but you could probably find it at a furniture store. Let me look around, I may even have a nearly unused bottle that you can have!ReplyCancel

  • Kim2.1.10 - 4:18 PM


    …and a P.S. to Scott: You should definitely let us give you that leather lotion – that man chair is actually pretty awesome. I’ve always loved it! In fact, I think I’ve taken many a nap in that comfy thing.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly2.2.10 - 9:18 AM

    I love it!! Looks a little bigger and maybe more comfy than the blue chair too :)ReplyCancel

  • More Style Than Cash2.4.10 - 8:06 AM

    I am really curious, is there no residue from the mineral oil? If you were to wipe the chair of the arm with a cloth does it come up clean? My mother had all teak furniture and I remember her using a teak oil and if it wasn’t done properly then it could get sticky. Your chair looks lovely!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.4.10 - 10:49 AM

      Hello Style,

      The mineral oil soaked up rather fast the first time we rubbed it on – I think the chair was deperately in need of love! Scott also took the time to phyiscally rub it in, rather than just wipe it on. I would say that almost instantly the chair had soaked up the oil, but the second and third time it took a little longer (maybe an hour). That said, we’ve left the chair alone since, and she’s still gleaming and beautfiul. There is no sticky residue, but we made sure to not over do it.

      Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Sue2.5.10 - 10:47 AM

    The chair is great and I love the size for your living space.

    That said, spraying it or anything with Febreze or other air fresheners is a very bad idea. It can be toxic and contains harmful ingredients for you and your pets.

    Try dusting it with baking soda, leave for 10 minutes, then vacuum up or spritz with white vinegar, both are natural fresheners that are not harmful.

    I use white vinegar, lemon and baking soda to clean and deodorize my entire house. Commercial, pricey and toxic products do not enter my home.ReplyCancel

  • Kim2.5.10 - 8:03 PM

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you so much for the insight! The Febreze product we use has been tested safe for animals and helps to reduce the allergens in our home. That said, we have a kitty that actually has asthma, and after we switched to the “safer” Febreze, she’s been attack free (for almost 2 years now).

    However, I’m very interested in trying your idea, and we really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to let us know.

    Have a great weekend,
    Kim (& Scott)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda2.8.10 - 10:34 PM

    What a GREAT chair! And it didn’t even need to be re-covered! That mineral oil really works wonders, too.

    We’ve found an office desk and a (crappy) pool table on craigslist, but I am still in search of a console table and possibly a coffee table. I won’t give up!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.9.10 - 10:51 AM

      Amanda, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!ReplyCancel

  • Thu4.12.10 - 4:33 PM

    Love your blog and the fact that you live in Chicago too! Your chair is amazing…just wondering if you would mind sharing what kind of chair that is??ReplyCancel


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