office chairs revamp

I don't design as many projects as I would like to. But when I do finally get around to a real, thought-out one, it always feels a bit special. There's always a unique joy that comes from making something for yourself. But taking an idea from a spark of inspiration, to a sketch, to a plan, to a finished project amplifies that feeling by a huge amount.

These desk chairs are the perfect example of that.



I've talked a few times about how I'm one of those people who hates throwing things out if they still could be useful - it's part of the reason why I have a yarn stash (I'm working through it, I swear!), and why I hold on to jars and things because I might need to put something somewhere at some point. This definitely comes from my family, and how I was raised, and I'm not complaining. But now, when I return to my childhood home I see evidence of those same habits in my parents.

One example of that was in their well-used home office. They've had the same set of matching desk chairs for so many years that I can't tell you when we actually got them. They're pretty generic, sturdy, black faux-leather things, completely inoffensive, and very comfortable for working. But they were so tired. My parents have always had cats (and dogs, ans sheep, and chickens, etc.) and the chairs showed the evidence of that. The faux-finish was scratched and peeling off, with big sheets of the grey-ish under-fabric showing through. They weren't pretty anymore, and they made their office look old and neglected. But they were still useful. They weren't broken, and they were still comfortable. So Mom and Dad couldn't justify throwing them out (fair enough). But I also didn't like the thought of them having a shabby-looking home, when it didn't need to be.


So I got to thinking - how could I help them with this? One thing I'd been really liking on Pinterest were images of knit chairs, knit slipcovers, etc., and that seemed the perfect place to start. If I could cover the aged faux-leather, then not only could I give the office a cosy vibe, but I could also help to extend the life of the chairs, and help my parents get through the useful-guilt.

And so it began. It was actually a really fun process. Mom and I looked at lots of inspiration photos together, chose cables that she liked. We picked yarn colours that would go with the chairs, and I sketched out, edited, and finalised some plans. I measured every possible relevant surface of the chair, gauge swatched, and wrote out a rough pattern, which I tweaked as I went along.



It was a fun exercise in problem-solving, and making something from the get-go meant that I could make it suit their needs. The covers are removeable, so that if a cat (or a sibling, to be fair), has an accident or makes a mess on the chair they can be removed. They're in a sturdy acrylic to stand up to everyday use, and also to be really easy to maintain.

I finished the covers over two Christmases, it was cool to see how the first held up to it's year of use compared to the second (spoiler alter: well!), and there was true satisfaction in seeing them come to life. To put the covers on, I had to disassemble the chairs, and then re-build them, so that the arms and base didn't need to be incorporated in the design and would stand out in contrast against the yarn.


The end result is something that fills me with warmth; its ticked all the boxes. My parents have a home that looks nice, they haven't had to get rid of something that was useful because of appearances, my mom was able to update the look of her home to exactly what she imagined, and I got to challenge my knitting brain.

And the best part? If these covers wear out, I have the pattern. I can just make them again in a new yarn, a new shade, a new look.

Happy stitching,
Molly x


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