A Tale of Two Seaties

(with my apologies to Dickens…)

“Nothing that we reupholster, is done in vain. I believe, with all my soul, that we shall see triumph.”
― Julie James, Bespoke Upholstery with inspiration from Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Our story begins during a solo bike ride on the south east side of Toronto when a historian and art collector (my customer David) spied a lone wooden arm chair abandoned on the curb.  He enquired at the deli it fronted and they said the food inspector insisted on “no seating” in their establishment so yes, the chair was up for grabs (or landfill).  David returned by transit and took the chair home.  The bus driver even waived his fare saying “It appears you’ve brought your own seat.”

Here’s the chair as it was then:chair_1_before_upholstery

You see, for a while now David had desired a wooden arm chair for comfort and practicality.  He appreciated that the bare wooden arms don’t get soiled over time as fabric arms do (a brilliant example of form following function).  David also wanted to create a tea table for two in his condo.  But where could he find a similar chair?

Why, in his friendly neighborhood thrift store, of course!  Ontario Thrift at 1053 Pape Avenue in Toronto is steadily gaining a reputation for fine goods.  Owner Osman Abdi knows quality and value.  He specializes in collectibles, antique furniture and decorative arts, but keeps the prices divinely low.*

At Ontario Thrift, David spied a similar wooden arm chair and got a great price from Osman and his lovely wife.

Here’s the second chair:chair_2_before

Next David called Bespoke Upholstery (my custom reupholstery business).  I met with David, helped him choose fabric** for his newly acquired chairs and gave him a very competitive quote for complete reupholstery with all new high quality materials, wood frame tightening, cleaning and polishing.  Now, David has two restored chairs – far superior in quality than anything new available in furniture stores today.

Dickens would have been proud!


*I got an industrial sewing machine there for $200 – it’s sold elsewhere for $800!  And I adore my elegant silver teapot which pours ever so Downtonly – a steal at $10.

**David selected an Ultrasuede from J. Ennis Fabrics in two of his favourite colours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: