Thrifted Thoughts: Teak Armchair

Sometimes you stumble onto a deal so good, that you just have to shake your head and thank the thrifting gods.
This happened to me last week, or so I thought. I found this chair. A perfect, mid-century mod chair with teak armrests and rich, green, velvet upholstery.

I was hunting for lamps at my local Goodwill when it caught my eye. I did what I always do when I see a fab find from across the room: I hastened my steps and sprinted (in a nonchalant way) over to it before anyone else could get their hands on it.

Glancing down at the price tag, overwhelmed with excitement, I just about squealed with joy and did a little dance. They were only asking $8.99!

The best part about a chair like this one is that she looks pretty darn good as-is, allowing you to live with her in her current condition for a while before deciding whether, and/or how, to revamp her.

She (the chair) is not without her issues. Most pressing are the missing buttons on her seat back. The simple fix? A cozy throw!

Choosing a multi-coloured throw that incorporates other hues from your décor is the easiest way to make the chair relevant to your existing space.

Fold it neatly over the seat back to create an orderly, zen-like feel or simply toss it over for a more casual look.

Long term, I would have a new seat cushion made, as this one is looking a little flat, and I’d have the teak armrests tightened up during the reupholstery process.

When thinking about fabric, I see only one option. It’s got to be bold and graphic in pattern but understated in colour. A palette of black & white (or off-white) would contrast perfectly with the natural wood elements.

One shop immediately comes to mind to fit this bill… Studio Bon. Many of the fabrics in their collection could work. Use a small-scale pattern like “wired” to create a quirky, yet, calming effect. Or, use a large-scale pattern like “scallop” or “ellen” to attract attention and create a show-stopping, statement piece.

So, I had my makeover plan in place, I just had to make her mine. Unfortunately, as it turns out, this lovely lady was already sold; they just hadn’t had a chance to move her to the back yet. Talk about bumming hard.

Just because I had to leave the store empty handed doesn’t mean these ideas should go to waste. If you come across a chair like this in your travels, please take these ideas and make my makeover dreams a reality!

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8 thoughts on “Thrifted Thoughts: Teak Armchair

  1. I LOVE thrift store shopping. It’s one of the best ways to reduce and reuse in my opinion. And lets face it, being thrifty is good on the wallet too. Especially when you’re unemployed and trying to start a small business. Thank you for sharing your ideas for revamping that cute chair.

    Unfortunately however, the Goodwill stores in my area (Ohio) have become ridiculously expensive in the past years. Helping the disabled and disadvantaged by offering them jobs and training is a noble and worthy case for sure, but it’s getting to the point were I can’t really afford to shop there. Also, I have issues with conglomerate discount retail chains and will not shop at them…but if they are cheaper than thrift stores, other people without much $ who care more about their bottom line will just go to Wal-mart. What compounds my frustration is that when I do visit Goodwill, the clothes racks are so packed you can barely shop, so why not at least offer daily specials?

    I don’t know if anyone else has had this experience at their Goodwill stores, or if it’s just the two that are nearest to me. At first I just voted with my wallet by patronizing and donating to the local Salvation Army instead, but they have since closed down, leaving goodwill the only thrift store on the block so to speak. What is a person in my situation to do?

  2. I love this blog. This is the deal of the century.

    @EmilyLindberg – agree, we have what we call ‘the upscale goodwill’ in one part of town where things are priced 10x the price of buying them new, then we have the good goodwills, in the other parts of town where things are still reasonable. I think it must be based on location and where they are located, I almost wonder if they have sales goals.

    My suggestion, go on half price days. Or see if they have a frequent shopper card where you get % off on certain days.

    In Maryland we have value village, village thrift and salvation armies which I prefer to shop they have way better stuff!

  3. Cindy & Emily – That’s so strange! Our local Goodwill (Toronto area) is the least expensive of all the thrift stores. I guess it really just depends on location…

  4. @Cindy- Thank you for your suggestion. I wouldn’t have thought to ask for a frequent shopper discount. I recently learned that you can get a 20% off coupon (good for a month) when you donate items. And about 1/2 off days…our local goodwill stores have those every now and then (maybe up to 4 times a year) and are highly advertised. When they happen the store is a madhouse, as apposed to the Salvation Army who had them weekly (before they closed down). The fact that people seem to have such different experiences with their local goodwill stores leads me to believe that it is an issue of mismanagement, something that I had suspected.

    Here is an example of what I mean. My husband and I recently moved back to the US after being Peace Corps volunteers for 2 years and needed some furniture for our new apartment, so we went to goodwill to try our luck. There wasn’t much furniture to speak of but one item did catch my eye, mostly because it was hideous. It was a bedroom set, probably from the ’80s…bed frame (no mattress or box springs), dresser and end tables. Price: $400!!! Now that’s just wrong.

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