Pre-made cushions will not likely fit your chair like a glove, you need custom. Knowing how to create a boxed and corded cushion that looks professional is a skill that will never be wasted. (Unless you never use it.)
So, what’s the answer? You don’t want that thing to just sit there taking up space. Well, here’s what you need to do to get it to a place where you can recoup your investment and turn a profit.
Once you’ve learned this skill, you can reuse it over and over to upgrade those Danish Modern Damsels in Distress. And guess what, since modern cushions look swell without cording, you can skip 1, 2, or 3 steps. Celebrate that!
So, let’s break down what you need to know in order to flip this sleek and modern seat.
1. Reweb. This might mean ordering some stretchy modern webbing. You can always use my 20 plus year supplier, Sunshine Foam in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Brian’s been delivering my supplies to my house since my kids were just tots. I just love that kind of continuity.) SunshineFoam.com. This webbing is simply stapled to the frame but you most likely will find some tricky little clips that hold the stretchy webbing. The clips can also be purchased along with the stretch webbing from Sunshine or any other upholstery supplier.
2. Find Fabric. I would suggest Modern-Fabrics.com. Search for a color that compliments the wood. (You’re getting some free advice here.) I love this wool blend boucle in Crimson from Knoll Fabrics. Cushions made out of this fabric will guarantee this darker wood chair’s instant popularity. But modern fabrics are easy to find. My advice for a Flip is to find a fabric that says more than just a common flat weave fabric with an overt modern design. Start honing your style. Look at higher end magazines and websites. Don’t get tempted to buy the cheapest fabric you can find. It won’t make a statement. You’ll be wanting to establish your signature style and commonplace won’t make customers want to buy your goods. You don’t have to spend too much, you just need to become aware of a higher end look.
3. You’ll most likely be using 3″ or 4 ” foam for the seat and back. You’ll need to go to Joann Fabrics or order online. You’ll want the seat foam to be firmer than the back and you’ll be wrapping each one in polyester dacron. If you can’t find foam of different densities, it’s not the end of the world. You can use a thinner piece of foam and wrap it in a soft dacron a few times to make it comfy cozy.
4. You’ll also need something to cut the foam with. Electric Bread or Meat Knives do the trick-but get some silicone to spray on the blades for ‘glide-a-bility’.
For this repro Danish Modern hand me down chair, I made the gray and yellow cushion covers one day while in a big, big hurry and I don’t like them at all. I’d much rather have a plain nubby fabric for this chair and a nice dark indigo mudcloth for the lighter walnut chair out in the garage. . The dark fabric would look great with the light wood, and a lighter textile would be nice and contrasty with the dark wood. Fabric pattern choices make me completely cuckoo.
OK. That’s it. I can’t tell you exactly how to create the perfect boxed and corded cushions, that is why I’m selling online courses, afterall. You’ll need to sign up for my online Boxed and Corded Cushion Course and then I’ll teach you step by step how to become the best cushion maker on your street.
Here’s one more diamond in the rough. This low slung behemoth looks hideous with the ugly brown cushions and wide oak slab frame. But listen to me, this is one of the sturdiest and most comfortable modern chairs I’ve ever found. A paint change and cushion flip will allow this big boy to find a place in my soon to be redecorated main level.
Believe it or not, I even have one more really nice Goodwill find that could be slightly valuable. I got it in a trade with one of my students. She hated modern, but couldn’t find anything besides this Conant Ball chair at Goodwill. The most distressing thing is that there were two of them and she passed up the second one. They were a whopping $24.99 each at Goodwill! I even have the original cushions which are downright nasty, but the chair is in good shape. Russel Wright, industrial designer during the 20th century, was the furniture designer for the Conant Ball Company.
“His most popular line of essentially Art Deco American Modern “blonde” wooden furniture was produced by the Conant-Ball company of Gardner, Massachusetts between 1935 and 1939, and bore the branded mark “American Modern Built by Conant-Ball Co. Designed by Russel Wright”.
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