On Saturday, my husband and I took a spur-of-the-moment road trip to Walnut, Iowa for a day of antiquing. What a cool little town! About 1 hour and 45 minutes away from us, we heard that this tiny town has been dubbed the antique capitol of Iowa, and they sure weren't kidding. We drove home with a car-load of treasures, both the keep and to sell, but my favorite find of the day was this cane-back arm chair, scooped up for just $10.
I spied it in one of the many antique malls in Walnut, this one an old barn that has been converted to a multi-level antique shop. What was once the hay loft, high above the ground level and accessible by the original narrow open-tread stairway "bridge" across the main room of the barn, could now be called the "chair loft". Filled with row after row of antique wood chairs, in many different styles and various stages of disrepair, this cane-back beauty caught my eye. I held my breath as my husband skillfully maneuvered it down the treacherous stairs and even more skillfully managed to fit it into the backseat of our tiny car!
I love the 3 panel wing-back style, with the beautiful high curve at the top.
The original caning has one tear in it, but is otherwise nice and sturdy. The tear is fairly close to the bottom, so I think a small pillow nestled against the back will cover the tear perfectly.
A little bigger obstacle is the missing seat. The seat was originally also caned, as you can tell from the groove around the frame and the small round pattern that has been weathered into the wood along the front edge. What I'm going to do is cut a cardboard template to fit inside the seat, and then take it along on our road-trip to Ohio at the end of the month and have my dad cut a board to fit it. Then I'll add some foam and batting and upholster the seat in a natural linen fabric.
I like the dark wood, but it's not in great condition, so I think I'm going to paint the chair with the same creamy Buttermilk paint color that I've used on the trim and doors throughout the house.
I'll share pictures of the transformation as it happens! When it's finished, it will be the perfect chair for our bedroom, tucked along the wall between an east-facing window and my bookshelf of decorating magazines. It will be the perfect place to enjoy the morning sun as I drink coffee and read my Bible in the mornings, or to snuggle up and flip through a few magazines before bed.
I can't wait to see how it turns out.