Saturday, January 17, 2015

Of Barber Shops and Days Gone By

I had a chance to restore an antique bench that once sat in a barber shop. Do men still go to barber shops? It made me remember when my son was little. He has 2 older sisters, so on haircutting days I would take him with us to the salon. One by one we would get our hair "done" while the rest waited on the purple and pink sofa reading the women's magazines and breathing in the aroma of nail laquer and perm chemicals. 

Billy was so cute. The beautician (beautician! wow, that term dates me, huh?) made a fuss over him. She got him to say the cutest things. At the time "The Lion King" was playing in the theaters, she asked him what his favorite song in the movie was.  "weem a wap a weem a wap" was what he sang (In the Jungle, right?).

When he got a little bit older, and it seemed like he needed a hair cut every other week, his dad started taking him to a barber. Not only was the air less toxic, but the visits were short, and much cheaper. I'm sure, also that the waiting benches were much like this one:

Black vinyl, iron frame, utilitarian. Not fussy or pink or purple.
The arm caps on this are molded plastic.
This face! My darling! Can't you just hear him singing along with Timon and Pumbaa?


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Buyer Beware

They don't make it like they used to! Newer furniture looks good, but, boy, you really have to do some research before you can be sure the piece is worth the money. Sometimes the small details can make a huge difference in customer satisfaction.

I was called on to fix two sectionals recently purchased for a sorority "bum room" (rec room). They are fun colors, comfortable, they fit the space, 

 but the cushions kept slipping forward. The back cushions are attached to the frame, so it wasn't easy to shove the seats back under them.

2 sectionals with 5 seats each, that's 10 cushions to wrestle with!
They asked the furniture manufacturer (who, by the way, caters to commercial clients, and they aren't cheap!) if they would fix it. Their solution was to send an envelope of random hardware with no instructions, and expect the house mother to install it herself...
Trust me, this is a job for a professional.
(Shame on you, sectional maker!)

Here's what I did. First I took the back feet off each piece, then each dust cover,

Then the backs had to come off so that I could staple down the elastic straps with clips that would clip on to the cushions.

The cushion covers had to be removed so straps with D-rings could be sewn into each side of the band.
And this is how it all came together.
On the end:
And in the middle:
Once it was all put back together, you'd never know I had it all torn apart.
The clips and straps are holding everything in place now. No more sloppy cushions.
Selfie of the day captured in the mirror across the room :)

A good upholstery shop can provide the great customer service that the brand new furniture stores won't.