In 1999, I fell in love with a loveseat. Mr. Stickley must have had me in mind when he designed the original. Look at that nice broad wood shelf, perfectly designed for a plate of microwaved leftovers. So forward thinking, Mr. Stickley.
I then assembled a collection of furniture around the loveseat. It was inspired by Mr. Stickley, and a chair inspired by Mr. Morris, and it was all influenced by Mr. Wright. It was nice, because if you pick furniture from the Mission/Craftsman era there are no decisions beyond that. Chair? Morris chair. Loveseat? Prairie Settle. Colors? I kept the Craftsman color pallete in my purse for a year. I made a stained glass table to match it.
The loveseat in particular cost a god-awful amount of money, but it was a reproduction, so it was a third of the price of a real one from the company Mr. Stickley founded. I told Gary, "The nice thing is that the dimensions of all this furniture are set in stone, so we can always get another identical Prairie Settle."
Sixteen years later, this happened:
I stood back and gave it a hard look. It was pretty broken down.
"Time for a new settle," I said. "Let's get out all the receipts and call the company and order a new one."
Nope. Company no longer in the settle-making biz.
"Let's get on the internet and find who makes reproductions."
Well, all kinds of woodworkers make reproductions, but not ones you can sit on before you buy them. If you want a Prairie Settle nowadays you have to get an original from the Stickley company.
"Let's get it fixed."
Nope. Leather people don't fix upholstery, upholstery people don't fix leather, and new leather costs double what it cost in 1999. I ended up dismantling the whole thing just to get estimates, only to find the leather people had no time and the upholstery people demanded all new leather.
After that, I said, "Let's go to the local Stickley vendor and see how much it might cost for a new one."
Three times what we paid for the first one, and that's on sale. Nope.
"Let's fix the old one ourselves and see if it's acceptable, because what have we got to lose? It could always stay in the basement."
I took it down to the wood ...
I labeled everything so I knew how to put it back together, then I bought and used leather cement, foam glue, dacron, two types of foam, and a heavy-duty stapler.
For a while it looked like this:
And now it looks like this:
It isn't perfect, but it only cost about $300, and it doesn't look like this anymore:
I'm very smug. I even sat on it for about thirty seconds.