Durachrome Do-Over!

Do you love these four retro metal chairs as much as I do? They are part of a 1950s Durachrome dinette set belonging to Retro-Loving Client. The set is one of her best estate sale finds!

That gorgeous metal mesh seemed a bit cold for RLC’s needs — she wanted this set for her lake home, a prefab weeHouse, where they would likely be used by guests often damp from a swim.

(Not familiar with the ultra-cool weeHouse, created by Alchemy in St. Paul, Minn? You can see examples here, and learn more about their modern, prefab construction here!)

Here’s the finish on the table that goes with the chairs. My photography gives this a bit mintier cast than is actual, but you can see its cool retro pedigree!

RLC is a fabulous client. She likes the Lark Nest style, and gave me free rein to dress these chairs (which had no padding or covering when they arrived) anyway that suited me. RLC is a vivacious redhead. Her only requirement: “Please use ‘redhead’ colors!”

I cut soy foam cushions (firm but not too deep, so they would not lap over the metal edges of the recessed areas when sat upon), then recovered them in painter canvas. It’s an economical and sturdy material that can stand up to sand, moisture and spills. Next: sketches for canvas slipcovers, augmented with the vintage fabrics and zippers that are a hallmark of super seamstress Nancy Polacek!

These were a few of the “redhead” fabrics I considered from Nancy’s vintage stash. And then…

… RLC made a house call, bearing a carton of ¬†”Granny’s old draperies.” She wondered, would it be possible to work some of this fabric into the design?

Yes!

Here are the four seatcovers (with fabric front and back!) Because Granny’s drapes were more subdued in palette than the earlier choices, but with splashes of black, I chose a fabric that was not quite as bright and that complemented the charcoal-like lines. Check out the avocado, gold, black, russet brown and terra cotta orange vintage zippers, too — “redhead” colors all!

RLC’s cabin project is under way, and these chairs are its first official pieces of furniture. Can’t wait to photograph and show you the table and chairs in situ!

Kim

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