This past week, a few more pieces of family furniture came to live at the Retro Ranch. This time — Grandma’s orange chairs. I’ve always liked Grandma’s orange chairs — which lived in her formal living room where my brother and I played The Merry Milkman Game during visits. Grandma knew that my favorite color is orange and that I really admired the chairs — so she made a special request that they come to live at my house.


Just like the photos I have showing happy memories on Nana’s little yellow couch — here I am as a baby, being held by Grandma on one of the orange chairs that are now at my house (that’s my uncle on the right).orange-chair-close-up

Another thing that I love about these chairs — Grandma told me that she re-upholstered them herself — after taking a class (she says they were originally aqua, but that fabric was completely removed when the reupholstery job was done). Grandma really was a do-it-yourself type lady — and I think she did a really good job on the chairs.


Eventually (in several years — we have a pink bathroom to build first!) Jim and I plan to finish our basement to include a nice rec room and these chairs will eventually end up down there. But for now, I have one tucked around the corner in the den…


…and the other is in the living room corner. Doesn’t it look nice with the teal rug?

When I look around my house I see a sprinkling of furniture and mementos from both sets of grandparents — with a new twist that is both familiar and uniquely my own. Standing in any room of the house, I can point to things that were my Nana & Bob’s, Grandma & Grandpa’s or even Mom and Dad’s. It is comforting to me — and makes me feel as if family members who are no longer with us, or parents who live far away are always here in spirit.



  1. Very nice! We have same chair awaiting reupholstery in our garage. It was missing it’s legs, probably taken apart by my mother-in- law to reupholster. The legs have disappeared, and mother-in-law has passed away, so unable to ask her. Good to see what legs should look like.

  2. Beautiful upholstery work. Wonder if one of those classes is available near me. There’s this curb find Selig plywood lounge chair sitting in my basement:)

  3. How wonderful to have such great family heirlooms in your home! You’re very lucky that your family kept their awesome vintage furniture. I look at old photos and wish my grandparents had kept their vintage furniture, dishes, and cool kitchen phone. And the orange chair does look great with the teal rug!

  4. How cool to have something just as it was from your grandma(s) and that they have that timeless modern quality. I so wish I had some of our furniture growing up, but everything was damaged one way or another. I would encourage anyone to take an upholstery class…some take to it easily but for me it was really confusing putting it all back together. I loved the deconstructing part more & you get to learn how to tell quality furniture from cheapo stuff.

    • I think if I could figure out how to sew piping (and use a sewing machine) I could do upholstery. I’ve recovered chairs with staple guns before and made three dimensional things out of fabric (hand stitching) so it would just be mastering the machine that would be the hardest part for me. 🙂 (at least from what I can tell…)

      • Sewing is very easy..especially for simple home decorating. Fabric stores like JoAnns have intro classes and I bet youtube tutorials will show you lots of things. Piping is so pretty and eye-pleasing and it is easy to do…just cut the fabric on the bias so there is natural stretch.
        BTW, I was looking for something online this morning and discovered zillow..never knew about it. And, I somehow clicked on this cute little aqua ’58 house in Wisc (aqua is my fave color).:
        Now, when I fantasize about moving away from this congested city (will it ever happen? who knows, I wish) I always think about my Midwest roots and my Danish ancestors from Wisc…more so since I inherited all the ancestor photos/family tree. Anyway, thought it was funny that I randomly clicked on this little aqua house…made me smile. 🙂

      • That’s a super cute little aqua house Tammy! If you ever decide to come back, Wisconsin will be glad to have you. 🙂

        The machine I have is my Nana’s machine from like 1939. I think the hardest thing would be figuring out how to thread the darn thing, I couldn’t even figure out how to thread a newer model when last I tried (on my Mom’s when I was in high school). Maybe I can find the instructional booklet for the one I have somewhere….or on ebay…. 🙂 I would like to re upholster a few things when I find just the right fabric!

  5. Pingback: GREAT GRANDMA’S PINK CHAIR « Retroranchrevamp's Blog

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