Franken-Chair Plans

November 13, 2015 | DIY, Office, Projects, Treasure Hunting

Ever been so eager to start a project that you forget to take proper before pictures?  Me neither.  I would never do that……

Since reworking, rearranging my office and getting a proper desk a few months ago, I decided that this very sad vintage chair that I adopted at Brimfield several years ago was just the right piece to add some mid century pizzazz to the room.


I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been sitting and working in this pre cat clawed (not from my cats!), musty, old pleather chair ever since.


The seat height was a bit too low and I craved a chair on casters, so I held off on doing anything to it until I had a plan.  First step was to make sure that I wasn’t sitting on a mid century gold mine.  The chair looks suspiciously like the Eero Saarenin Executive Armchair- even down to the color.  The official version of this chair is still available new for the paltry sum of $1800+.


Lucky for my franken-chair plans, mine is just a close reproduction.  Without a makers mark or tag, I had to rely on checking the dimensions against the original designer chair.  While close, a half inch shy of the designer width and thinner seat cushion told me my chair wasn’t worth thousands.  It would be cool to own a vintage designer chair (that I procured for only $25), but I now have the freedom to make it the chair I want instead of the pressure to restore it originally.  Can you see my wheels turning?  I tried to think of how I could add casters and raise the seat, but no casters would work with those original legs.  I was at an impasse.

Enter trash chair.  (which was in 1 piece when I found it, but I swiftly picked it apart, whoops)



This beauty had been sitting in a neighbor’s trash pile for days.  Since I’m a recovering chair-a-holic (ha recovering…), I was trying NOT to grab it even though it called to me every time I left my house and had to pass by the pile.  Finally I gave in.  At the end of a run one day I grabbed the chair and wheeled it down the street and to my yard without a plan for it.  I just knew that this cool old chair did not deserve to end up in a dumpster.  The wood part of the base was loose and the top had seen better days- much better days.  While not beyond repair, the top is certainly in the sorrier state and won’t be needed for my plans.  I probably can’t bring myself to get rid of the top, though, but it will be set aside and the base is getting a new life.  Because look at this beautiful base.  It’s all about that base, that base…


Wow, I wasn’t planning on being so verbose today.  I guess I have a lot to say about chairs.  It’s a real problem folks.  Check back next week to see how I plan to make these 2 vintage gems into the perfect office chair!

Feel free to feed my chair addiction on instagram and tag your chair discoveries with #chairhoardersanonymous



2 thoughts on “Franken-Chair Plans”

  1. Wow, what a genius idea to take another chair base for your seat!! I would have never thought of that 🙁 But I can’t wait to see what kind of fabric you decide to go with!

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