Salvation Army Finds, Part 2

As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, something caught Colin’s eye as we were leaving the Salvation Army on Thursday. He spied a petite vintage recliner, the color of persimmons sprinkled with cinnamon and dried in the sun.


He tested the chair out, reclining it back and checking for overall comfort. Within minutes he was sold on it. I drove my car to the front of the building and we slid it into my little hatchback.

transporting vintage recliner in hatchback

I love having a hatchback! So convenient for moving all kinds of bulky things.

Unloading the recliner and getting it into our apartment proved a little trickier than we’d anticipated, but ten minutes later we got it into the house. The armrests looked a bit worn from years of use, and there was a thin black line across the headrest. Colin grabbed a wet rag and started rubbing the fabric. Less than a minute later, I could not believe how the chair was transformed.

Cleaning a vintage recliner before and after

All that black nastiness was just dirt, grime, and human oils. Gross. How could somebody have that in their home—presumably for years—without swiping a wet washcloth at it to restore it to its former glory? I picture a dark haired, middle-aged bachelor with a pot belly and square, tinted glasses, a Marlboro lodged in the corner of his mouth like a dart that’s missed its target, can of Coors in hand, sticky Playboys on the floor. But the absence of any smoke smell or burn marks in the chair forces a different image to emerge: a woman in her 70’s with glaucoma, advanced enough that she can’t even tell the chair’s dirty. This would account for the surprisingly good shape the recliner’s in, given its age. (Though there’s no date of delivery on the bottom of the chair, the Wes Anderson-esque Futura font style on the tag gives us a hint.)

So now we have an ugly-beautiful (really, the color is somewhat hideous, but it’s oh so delicious as well) pleather chair that Colin loves. (Pleather! I never thought I’d have a pleather anything in my house.) It’s now settled into his computer room and will cushion the bums of many.

Vintage orange and tan recliner


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