Recently we participated in a local Naperville charity event called the Chair Affair. We wanted to come up with a unique idea that would wow everyone. In looking around our shop, we found the perfect solution. For whatever reason, we had a red suitcase from the 50’s or 60’s that a customer had given us. Where most people saw an old suitcase, worthy of the garbage, we saw the core for a Mid-Century Modern chair.
Being able to imagine a suitcase is one thing, actually turning it into a chair is a totally different animal. Initially, we had a to mock-up a temporary frame to understand how the suitcase would carry the load of a person. The bottom of the suitcase would serve as the seat and the door the backrest. For stability, we drilled holes through the bottom and the door of the suitcase, Then, we added metal rods that screwed into the frame made out of Ash and Walnut. Ash was used for the majority of the frame and we added Walnut inlays to give a nice color contrast.
We selected a vibrantly colored fabric that represented our Mid-Century Modern vision. Our upholsterer did a fantastic job of installing the foam and fabric as if it had always been there.
The finished product matched our vision exactly. We had a beautiful chair that was also comfortable to sit in. Also, it fetched a great auction price for a good cause.