The 1960’s, a decade of revolution and rebellion, the world stood up and flipped tradition the bird and finally found itself.
People weren’t just pushing the boundaries politically they were changing the way we look at things architecturally and functionally, air travel was on the up making accessibility to the biggest furniture houses in the world possible. Meanwhile in little old New Zealand we had tightened up on importing to boost internal industry, managing to pick up a few danish residents after WWII and our own designers coming into their own with Scandinavian furniture design we had the likes of Danske Mobler, Airest, D A Lewis & Co and DON Furniture crafting what we know today as mid century furniture and damn did they do a good job!
The 1960’s produced timeless pieces that have stood the test of time both aesthetically and functionally.
When I found two mid-century kitchen chairs I had to have them, the 60’s gave us quality furniture so I knew all they would need is a coat of paint and some new fabric to take them back to the day they were in the shop.
I got them home and had a good look at my new chairs appreciating the quality of them. This is also when I try to place what I will do with them. I could have applied a bohemian look or just went for a plain white approach but I wanted to keep the decades vibe. Georgia suggested we go for a bright frame and tone down the fabric – what a beaut idea it was!
Like children in a candy store we were soon amongst the fabric waiting for something to catch our eyes. I spotted a white fabric with a gold honeycomb pattern which was a winner instantly, the honey comb ties into the eras vibe and resurgence of creativity. Dulux Go Go blue was with out a doubt the best choice to match with this fabric, cyan was at it’s best in the 60’s so Go Go it was!
Im going to make this short so you know what you are in for when you choose to do this your self. Starting a project like this you firstly need to make sure you have the tools for the job.
What you need:
- Staple gun
- 120 grit sand paper
- Cloth to wipe down
- Flat head screw driver
- Craft knife
I watch a lot of YouTube clips on how to do things whenever I up-cycle furniture you should do this too (it helps). Fabric isn’t the easiest thing to work with so it takes a bit of patience but is super rewarding at the end of it.
I firstly pulled everything apart, having a small flat head screw driver helps with tacks and and stubborn pieces. I started with a piece of white tee shirt material to make the cushions soft, wrapping around the edges and stapling as I went. When I was finished I then did the same with the honeycomb fabric I chose.Once this was finished I then had to edge the upper cushions, I cut a long piece of fabric and folded it over x3 times and press ironed it to be rigid. Using the original tacks (I liked the rust look) and the original edging for a guide I then hammered in the tacks, it covers up the messy stapling quite nicely. The bottom cushion is much easier, I always use white card for the base to cover the staples and fabric.I then got to work on the frame, it’s paint job looked like it had been to war! I sanded it back to a smooth state and then wiped down with a damp cloth. Using a Dulux metal primer I gave it x2 coats leaving it an hour in between coats.
Once dry I then used the Go Go Blue – shit I love this colour! I gave it x3 coats and 1 coat of clear plastic coat (same brand).
As you can see they came up great! Im so happy with them and i’m even happier that I can give something that was over 40 years old a new life for hopefully another 40 years.
If you have something you want our advice on – please do get in touch!