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September 21, 2010

MANHATTAN NEST HAS MOVED. THIS POST CAN NOW BE VIEWED HERE!

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52 Comments
  1. Mom permalink
    September 21, 2010 1:01 am

    Oh my God you are so amazing. No wonder I miss you so much.

  2. Mom permalink
    September 21, 2010 1:04 am

    BTW, Does Juliet “get” you now?

    • September 21, 2010 1:08 am

      Actually, she was extremely gracious and complimentary when she saw the rehabbed chair. Couldn’t believe it was the same one! So we’re cool :-)

  3. Ana permalink
    September 21, 2010 1:06 am

    You would think Brooklyn would be the LAST place to find gold like this.

    I’m really hating you right now.

  4. Jen permalink
    September 21, 2010 1:23 am

    Very nice. I got mine off the street in Baltimore suburbia. My kid calls it the “trash chair”, which is also his desk chair. Thanks for swivel idea, I’m waiting for mine from ebay. $50 including shipping. Weird thing though…no shock mounts on his chair. Just some protruding fiberglass where the base is screwed in. I’m hoping they don’t break off when I unscrew the base off.

    • September 21, 2010 8:14 am

      That is weird– is it definitely an authentic Herman Miller (or, if it’s really old, Zenith– the logo should be molded into the bottom) shell? As far as I know, shock mounts have always been part of the design, but it’s hard to find a good thorough history. If you run into problems with screwing the new base on, you can buy replacement shock mounts on Ebay, too!

  5. September 21, 2010 1:27 am

    The labels on the pics are hysterically funny.

    YOU LUCKY BRAT!

  6. September 21, 2010 1:45 am

    awe. some. it’s really like a resurrection.

  7. September 21, 2010 1:49 am

    hahahah even better than your sweet score is your awesome photo doctoring. “how you like me now, bitch?” Thanks for the laugh!

  8. September 21, 2010 1:59 am

    You know everyone is going to hate you like they hate me now, right? I don’t know what it is about New York — it’s like the ground is breeding shell chairs.

    You should see my basement. I’m hoarding them all for when I retire. They’re my 401k backup plan.

    Anyway, AWESOME job. !!!

  9. September 21, 2010 3:20 am

    When I first moved in Williamsburg I got a job delivering restaurant food on my bike. I gotta say, I have never seen so much incredible furniture in need of a bit of TLC than you see hanging around North Brooklyn sidewalks on the 30th – 1st of the month EVERY MONTH.

  10. September 21, 2010 3:21 am

    P.S. High five, it looks incredible!

  11. September 21, 2010 5:29 am

    Fiberglass restore amazingly well. Check you out! Free is always best.

    I keep waiting to find a free Eames chair in Hemet, but I don’t think anyone went to school out here.

    • September 21, 2010 8:24 am

      Well, even crazy cat hoarders and car-modders have to go to the laundromat and the hospital now and again, right? You’ll find some!

  12. September 21, 2010 6:05 am

    loved your writing in this post! soooooo freakin funny.

  13. monica permalink
    September 21, 2010 12:31 pm

    The chair cartoons are hilarious!! Good job on the restoration. Enjoy.

  14. September 21, 2010 12:40 pm

    What a great find! I’m jealous of the avocado green… It’s my favorite!

  15. September 21, 2010 12:52 pm

    Boy, look at you! That’s a great find, and nice work cleaning that thing up. We actually picked up some free old Eames shell chairs (the kind with the “arms” integrated) a while back on Craigslist. They’re the kind that were once upholstered, but someone had tried to rip all the foam and upholstery off. They’re a mess sitting in our attic right now. This inspired me to bring them out and try again. By the way, any thoughts on how to remove glued-on foam from the fiberglass shell?

    • September 21, 2010 4:17 pm

      Score! I love the armchairs. Hmmm, perhaps if you fill a bathtub with some REALLY hot soapy water and let them sit for a bit, it might make the adhesive more pliable? And then attack it with a brillo pad? Theoretically, I think there should be a salvageable shell under that stuff! I’d try to avoid hard chemicals since it might damage the fiberglass. Good luck with it (and I hope to read about it soon!)!

  16. September 21, 2010 1:13 pm

    Dude this post was freaking funny. I love how you had to justify to your friend and convince her to go back for the chair. Good thing you did because it looks great.

    I know it may be hard at the moment dealing with two chairs fighting, but eventually they will stop bitching and become friends for when you have a dinner party.

    Looks great!

  17. September 21, 2010 1:54 pm

    Ok. You are awesome. I have been reading your blog for some time now. It is so funny and your makeovers are fantastic. At 49, my first apartment is in the distant past. And while I wouldn’t pass up a great trash find, I can well afford new Eames chairs. In fact, I just bought a set in 6 different colors.
    Your chair would fit right in with the newbies. Great writing and handiman skills! Way to go. Best, Lynn from Decor Arts Now

  18. September 21, 2010 2:22 pm

    Atta boy…always listen to your inner scavenger.

  19. September 21, 2010 2:44 pm

    You’re hilarious. And I am sooo jealous!

  20. September 21, 2010 3:07 pm

    This is amazing. I will be in NYC the first weekend in October. Can we hang out and find Eames chairs for free somewhere??

  21. September 21, 2010 3:34 pm

    Eames chairs + talk bubbles = better than LOL cats.

    Do something with this awesomeness NOW!!!

  22. September 21, 2010 4:18 pm

    Jealous! There seems to be a distinct shortage of Eames cast-offs in Seattle (despite our “free sign” culture). It looks fantastic!

  23. September 21, 2010 5:01 pm

    Awesome restoration! So jealous!

  24. Esther permalink
    September 21, 2010 6:45 pm

    wow… all i can say is wow. you are inspiring!

  25. September 21, 2010 7:08 pm

    Looking amazing, Dan. Love!

  26. September 21, 2010 8:33 pm

    Yeah, this site definitely needed more talking furniture. Rock on!

  27. September 21, 2010 9:27 pm

    The speech bubble pictures are hilarious!

    And, after I commented on Spin-tastic! about the old library here that had Eames chairs and Bertoia Diamond chairs? Yeah, a friend told me she saw a bunch of them on the side of the road a while back. I’m dying on the inside right now! Dying! I love my trash finds, but I’m also praying to the Chair God that I luck out and find the armchair I want for the guest room on the side of the road.

    • September 22, 2010 3:51 am

      ARGHH, that girl doesn’t sound like a friend! The betrayal!

      • September 22, 2010 1:16 pm

        This is true, a real friend would have freakin’ called me and said “how many do you want? oh wait, stupid question, you want all of them”. I’ll just pretend she didn’t know me at the time?

  28. AnnW permalink
    September 21, 2010 10:24 pm

    Way to go! You might find some behind a school building in Manhattan. I remember logging too many hours in these chairs over the years. They are Really Uncomfortable. Now, before your Orals, or whatever they call them at NYU you must find three more. Remember, my daughter found a Jens Risom armchair on the street in the West Village. You are really a good refinisher. Ann

  29. Liz (who is green with envy) permalink
    September 21, 2010 10:34 pm

    I think we need to have words. Serious words. You have taken this too far. Someone has to say something and the task has fallen to me.

    I feel cheated, tricked even. There was me thinking you were a normal human being, albeit one with a slightly precocious talent for creating a stylish home. I forgave you the fantastic bed, the amazing desk…hell, I even forgave you the vintage chairs. I decided not to burden you with the feelings of inadequacy and envy I experience when I give into temptation a drop by your blog. I don’t begrudge you your nest, not even when I remember how, when about your age, I came back from a visit home over Christmas to find slugs – yup, you read that right – on the wall of my bedroom. SLUGS. IN MY ROOM. I lacked your energy, your enthusiasm and, yes, your sheer good taste. It’s very sad but it is not your fault.

    But today Dan, today, you went too far. I gave into temptation on the way home. It had been about a week so in a moment of weakness on the way to the tube I typed in the first few letters… And there it was. On my ‘phone all I could see was the title, date posted and the number of comments. There were 27 comments. Already. This I must read.

    And now I wish I hadn’t. How I wish I didn’t know about the latest shell in your life. I don’t blame Juliet, although I would like to borrow her so I can find some nice things. Nor do I blame Eva, your enigmatic apartment pal. Your Mom* clearly bought you up super well so I can’t really blame her. I do blame Anna@doorsixteen just a little as she led me to you, tempting me with links and tales of creativity. However, most of all I blame you. I recently bought a couple of shells** and feel very aggrieved that you are able to find such a thing. Not only find it but also restore it and then write a witty gloating post about it. Damn you. Do you hear me? Damn you.

    I’m off to sulk…

    * It felt so strange typing Mom. But she’s your Mom rather than my Mum so I thought I should give it a go.

    ** Do not ask how much I paid for them as this is London where stylish fiberglass chairs don’t hang around on street corners waiting to be lovingly restored.

    • September 22, 2010 3:36 am

      Liz,
      Please comment on every. single. post. always.
      xoxo,
      D

      (I was lol-ing on the corner of 23rd and 6th ave when I read this on my phone this afternoon. I looked crazy. HAPPY?!?!)

    • Lena permalink
      September 22, 2010 1:48 pm

      I am totally agreeing with everything you wrote! And with Dan’s reply too! Where are MY awesome free or almost-free things? I never find anything awesome on the roadside or totally cheap in some shops whose owners don’t exactly know what they have. I blame the many little trendy boutiques in Switzerland who sell the cool things to sometimes ridiculous high prices!
      (although I shouldn’t complain too much since I have at least parents who have good taste and my father is someone who can’t not buy pass a good deal, so I sometimes can go “shopping” in our attic or “unburden” my dad from things he just had to buy even tough he doesn’t need them and even tough my mum doesn’t want any more things in our house.)

  30. Kerrie permalink
    September 22, 2010 3:58 am

    I went to a talk at Parson’s Lodge in Yosemite National Park this summer. The lodge is like a log cabin in the high peaks. It is also filled with about 30 of these. It blew my mind. I couldn’t hear a word the presenter was saying. I was just taking in the different shades of Eames and fantasizing about hiking one down the mountain on my back.

    Great blog. Love your style and work.

  31. September 22, 2010 7:53 am

    Of course you had to take the chair with you!
    You can’t leave something like that sitting on the curb, it’s not right!

  32. September 22, 2010 2:36 pm

    So how did you get so good at DIYing dumpster diving finds? I am amazed! (and a little bit envious, like the rest of your readers)

    Btw, did you know that this Saturday is “Give your stuff away” day? I bet you can find all kinds of treasures on the curb this weekend… hopefully that will happen here in Boston as well. Here is the link: http://giveyourstuffaway.com/

    Love your blog, btw! Cracks me up every single time. :)

  33. September 23, 2010 1:47 am

    Happened upon your blog and have to say this is the funniest chair refurb post ever. Yes, ever. The cartoons are genius. And apparently I must move to New York where Eames chairs hang out on sidewalks screaming “take me now.” Who knew. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  34. Kathy permalink
    September 23, 2010 2:39 am

    Okay, first the sweet coffee table and now this?!!!! You should see what people sell on our Craigslist. Complete crap and I have never seen any furniture left out for trash. Like Never. It just does not happen in my part of the world. I am so envious!

  35. September 23, 2010 12:40 pm

    I have a friend like that! I can ONLY find gorgeous things at the Salvation Army when I’m with her. She’s like magic.

    Perhaps she and Juliet should start a coven?

  36. September 23, 2010 9:01 pm

    Don’t feel too guilty. My husband found an Eames arm shell next to the dumpster at our apartment complex a while back. We live in Austin and it was upholstered with the most hideous UT burnt orange polyester tweed, with dark brown crimp cord. We ripped off the upholstery and saw that the foam underneath was glued to the chair. My husband spent about 8 hours painstakingly removing the foam and glue (the chair is old, they had become one) with some sort of toxic mixture he created (it involved Goo Gone, I think). After all that we discovered that the mounts were screwed through the chair, so there are screw heads on the seat. The chair is otherwise lovely and needs no restoration, so the easy fix is to either get a wire chair pad or make a little pad ourselves to cover up the seat. No one will ever be able to tell that the screws are there! The best part about this story is that when my husband found the chair I asked it if was authentic and he said he’d checked and that it wasn’t. We liked the style (duh) so we decided to keep it and fix it up eventually. So we left it on our porch in all kinds of weather for about 4 months. Then when we got sick of looking at it we decided to rip off the upholstery, and that is when I discovered the Herman Miller mark on the bottom of the chair. Husband was distracted by the giant “Property of University of Texas” tag attached to the bottom of the chair and missed the mark. Yeah. As a side note, we love your blog and find it so inspiring. I wish I had half the style and DIY chops you do when I was your age!

  37. September 24, 2010 6:05 pm

    yes, I hate you just a little for being so darned lucky but I also am a bit in love with you, your blog and the chair. Have a nice weekend! :)

  38. September 26, 2010 9:45 pm

    Daniel – the chairs… I am not even going to say how jealous I am. I recently moved to a small town in Vermont with high hopes of finding underpriced gems at the second-hand shops (much like you did in my hometown of Regina)… alas, my few good finds pale in comparison to TWO SHELL CHAIRS! The people here know to hang on to these beauties.

    Also – where did you get that wooden desk that your new shell is posed with? I need a desk and this town is lacking.

    • September 26, 2010 10:24 pm

      It’s actually the ikea Bjursta table which expands to seat four, currently serving as a dining table until I hopefully find something vintage and delicious. Also, Regina! Last time I was there (in August) I saw a blue shell chair for $40 at Wheel-a-Deal, that place across from Value Village! I ALMOST bought it and shipped it back, but I restrained myself.

      • September 27, 2010 4:30 am

        Oh dear – I will have to get my family to keep an eye out there…they often have gems stashed with their crazy collection. Yeah I can’t remember how I came to your blog but was shocked to see the you lived in Regina and that my husband and I definitely know your close buds. A fantastic small world. I am now an avid follower!

  39. Cheryl permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:36 am

    I’m so frickin’ jealous.

  40. October 25, 2010 6:58 pm

    I think you wrote this post just so that I would get This Magic Moment stuck in my head.

    I have some Burke shell chairs that were my grandfather’s (propeller base). They are really very comfy.

    My crazy thing that I bring home is clearance rugs. I have a problem. It’s a running joke at our house…

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