I'm going to be honest. I am a dumpster diver. It is one of my favorite things to do - search the sidewalks for discarded furniture and take it home. Living in New York where space was a premium, I frequently found pieces in like-new condition that had gone out with the garbage simply because they didn't match a new shade of paint. And when the weather was poor and the pickings were slim, I turned to flea markets, vintage stores, garage sales, auctions, the Salvation Army, eBay and Craigslist for inexpensive steals. (Also excellent sources for colored glass, another personal obsession.)
I've found more free chairs than we will ever use, bar tables, side tables, foyer tables, a bureau, an ottoman and my biggest score of all, a Provencal-style console table in excellent condition. Jon, The Husband, did not always appreciate the "before" furniture chilling in our 547 square foot studio, waiting for its new coat of paint.
But now we have a house! Rooms to fill! Try and stop me!
Enter the rattan-backed, solid wood chair and couch. These were purchased at an auction for $75 total. Since the center back piece of the couch has worn through, I had to create a covered section for support. I used a natural-colored linen muslin for both seats and trimmed the edges in jet black grosgrain ribbon, all achieved with staple and glue guns, a hammer, spray adhesive and a little elbow grease. Obviously this is not a long term solution, but I plan to get them professionally upholstered and the seats revamped down the road (dang, is that expensive).
They remind me of something Gatsby would have had on the porch of his North Shore home. I love the graceful swoop of the arms, the beveled wood details on the legs and 'shoulders,' and heavy basketweave.