Monday, 13 April 2015

Bargains and Unbargains

It's been warm enough to sit outside for the last couple of days so, whilst sitting outside it, we started to discuss what we should be putting inside the summerhouse.  Up to now I've been consistent in saying that we should WAIT and see how we use it before we start filling it up.

A few days ago I thought that it would be good to have a couple of very comfortable chairs in there, rather than just bringing in the garden table chairs.   Not lots of chairs, just 2, for us.  We used to have Poang chairs from Ikea, and I thought that a couple of those would be ideal.   

They aren't particularly expensive - not if you go for the cheapest fabric option (rather than the leather we had on our previous ones).  I looked on Ebay and other selling pages, and could see the price varied quite a lot.  I reasoned to myself that if I bought a couple of second hand ones, I could buy fabric and make new - unique - covers for them. The money I saved on the purchase would more than cover the fabric.

Second hand Ikea Poang chairs are quite popular in my area, and they seemed to be going for reasonably large sums of money. Large enough that I would have just gone and bought new ones.  Eventually, one came up that had only been in a spare bedroom since purchase and had hardly any wear.  The starting price was quite high, but it included a footstool, and the pics looked OK.  I waited to the last minute to bid, and got it for the starting prices. Result!

A second chair was on sale about 15 mins away from that one, and that had a low starting price.  Once again I waited til the last minute, and this time I got an absolute bargain.   I don't understand why so few people bid, or why those that did bid put in such low bids.  Another result!  

We arranged to collect them both today.  The first one was OK. The lady was lovely.   I could see it was a little more worn than I expected.  We loaded it into the car and went to the second one.  

I was a bit embarrassed at the low winning bid, and the second lady had been so accommodating that I had already decided to give her 4 times more than the winning bid, as it would still be a bargain.   The chair was pristine,  it could have been brand new. 

We loaded it into the car, and realised that the first chair was slightly different. Definitely a Poang, but it must be a much older version.  Never mind, no one would know, once both chairs had been recovered.

At home, I decided not to bother washing the second cover, it smelled freshly laundered.  We DEFINITELY needed to wash the first one though, nothing nasty, just age.   We took the cover off, and realised that the cushions would need replacing.   A few bits of foam, it'll be fine.

Then we discovered that the covers on the first one are not washable. Not dry cleanable. Nothing-able, apart from upholstery shampoo.    These chair and the way the covers fit are that bit different to the new ones, it requires an extra layer to slide over the back of the chair.   I'm not sure how easy that will be with my (lack of) sewing skills.   

I said to DH that I would buy another chair, and we could just sell that one (without the cover and the cushions if necessary). It didn't matter, it hadn't been that expensive (we had the stool too, remember), so it wasn't the end of the world.

DH wanted to keep it (goodness knows why! Contrariness perhaps?).  We agreed that he would order some foam (suitable for upholstery) cut to size   £40.  £40!    He's gone off to find out about "upholstery shampoo" now.

Meantime, I''ve got a couple of possible fabrics in mind for the new cover (of my chair at least). One of them is very bright, I'd ordered it in anticipation of the re-covering, and I can't see DH approving.    A second might be OK.  A third is a different colour variation on a fabric I have already so I'd need to go and buy it.

I'll wait til the bright fabric arrives and then make a decision.

Meanwhile, I've printed off blog entries from 4 different people with their instructions for re-covering Poangs.

I need to psyche myself up to try and read them properly.

Wish me luck, I may be gone some time.

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