Tuesday, October 5, 2010


So here is a little story about a girl who loves to find things in alleys. I picked up a couple of chairs awhile back in an alley not far from here, one was in pretty good condition and the other looked as if a cat had been living onto for about 50 years. The one that was in good shape was sold pretty quickly since the white upholstery doesn't mesh well with a three year old and his chocolate milk lovin' ways. The other was placed in the basement of doom, to be reupholstered when I finished the 32 other upholstery projects I have going.
Today being a beautiful day, I decided I was going to tear the chair apart and rid it of the smell of all of the cats that have loved in so much in the passed.
The shape of the chair was a dead ringer for a Jens Risom Knoll webbed lounge chair, and by now I hope you know how I LOVE webbed vintage furniture. So I peeled the red crushed velvet back that had been so loosely stapled on, to find the sides of the chair also served those cats as a scratching post. No biggie, I was going to web that bitch anyway. Mind you I already looked for a makers mark and came up with nothing, I took out my utility knife and began to cuts those years right off that chair. The buttons went first, then the scratched and stinky upholstery. I tore through the blue composit batting, pulled all of the horse hair roping and burlap. I started pulling tacks, and so noticing how beautiful the wood was from the structure of the chair, and for those of you that don't go pulling furniture apart I will let you know that the wood inside isn't ever as nice as the legs and exposed parts. I was so happy that my little faux knoll chair was already working in my favor, then when I flipped the chair again I spotted what I thought was,"voltra". A quick google search turned up nothing, and I had never seen an upholstered Jens Risom chair of this shape. I then thought that maybe the "L" was a "S'' and quickly with my google search my heart sank to the bottom of my stomach.
For quickly I found that in Germany the chair was produced by Walter knoll under the name "Vostra" during the 40s and 50s, being designed by Jens Risom. The exact frame was used for the webbed chair as was for the upholstered chair.There it was, what am I to do? If I chose to continue with my plan would that destroy what the chair was, but since its the same frame are they inter-changeable? At this point I have left the springs intact, do I go ahead and reupholster? Do I list it on ebay in its current state knowing that we really shouldn't have nice things in our house with a child and two dogs? I'm so mixed at this point, i don't want to devalue the chair by completely changing it's original state. Please if you have any suggestions I'm all ears.


  1. I say give Ebay a shot first. Put it on for maybe a Two Week sale (not auction) with a "Buy It Now" of $XXX.XX Or Best Offer, stipulating that the chair will not be re-offered after the expiration of the ad. Then if it doesn't sell, do with it as you please. You will have appeased the Vintage Original Gods with your effort and you will either have a bucket of cash or a chair done the way YOU like!

    "Basement of DOOM" heh, your like doc Frankenstein down there.

  2. very cool! i check out alleys too - amazes me what people throw away. this is a great find!