...because home doesn't happen overnight.

burnt chair 1

So that happened.

A popular anti-drug commercial from the late ’80’s comes to mind.

This is your chair. This is your chair on fire. Any questions?

I’m blaming it on my toddler but it was probably *mostly* my fault. Mabrey discovered how to unscrew the lid on her sippy cup then proceeded to dump all her water on the seat cushion of The Chair. Me being the clever stir-crazed, impatient, cabin fevered, frazzled, frustrated mom that I was in that moment (and more moments if I’m being totally honest) decided it would be a good idea to prop the wet cushion up in front of the gas fireplace to facilitate the drying process.

Steve and I have talked to our kids many times about not touching the fireplace. We remind them over and over that they aren’t allowed to turn it on. We’re quick to remove items that come within a foot of the hot fireplace for fear they will burn. In general, we keep a watchful eye over things when the fireplace is on.

So, yeah, I stood the wet cushion up on end in front of the fireplace and supported it with our drying rack so it wouldn’t fall over. I specifically told Mabrey “no touch!” It was the hundredth time Mabrey had dumped out her sippy cup that day. Steve was working late. Again. It was, like, our hundredth snow day. My kids were complaining that they were bored and I was trying to prep dinner. (I fully realize my liberal use of the number 100. It might not be completely accurate. Just go with it.) Not to mention, my brain falls apart at 5:00 p.m. on a daily basis.

I turned my back on the sopping cushion for only a few seconds to check the pot of water on the stove that still wasn’t boiling. And immediately, I smelled it. I knew what had happened before I even turned around.

burnt chair 2

Mabrey had swiftly and silently pushed the cushion over onto the fireplace. (Toddlers are incredibly silent when doing things they aren’t supposed to do.) I ran over and literally peeled the cushion away, leaving fabric and foam charred to the glass insert along with an open lesion on the cushion. I turned off the fireplace. All three of my kids were frozen in fear of what would happen next.

I took a few minutes to compose myself. Basically, that consisted of sitting with my head in my hands, eyes closed, breathing deeply.

It’s just a chair. It’s just a chair. It’s just a chair. It’s just a really f@$#ing awesome chair.

Everyone got a lecture on fire safety but I knew I shouldn’t have put the cushion anywhere near the fireplace with Mabrey awake and I admitted it to my kids. I had to toss the cushion out in the garage because it smelled awful.

After I had calmed down to a point where I could think somewhat rationally, I assessed the damage. The fireplace looked bad but I figured after it completely cooled I could scrape it off with some Goo Gone and a razor blade. (FYI – it worked.) Then I took a look at the cushion. The removable cover was a lost cause. There was no saving it. The side facing the back of the chair is zippered so I couldn’t turn it around and pretend nothing had happened. Upon closer inspection, I determined the foam cushion could be salvaged. I could turn the damaged area to face the back of the chair if I needed to.

I considered my options. I could 1) try the contrasting seat cushion trend and DIY a non-matching cover for the cushion or 2) contact Thrive about having a custom cover re-made for the cushion. I decided I would try the latter.

I was so happy to see the Taylor chair still available. Hopeful, I sent an email to customer service explaining my situation. They replied back within an hour saying they could make and ship a matching cushion cover for $75. Sold.

Things might have been different if we didn’t love the chair. But we LOVE the chair. It’s comfy, oversized, good-looking, sturdy and made here in the U.S. Plus, I didn’t feel like making a cushion cover anyway. It was an easy decision.

I let the burnt cushion air out in the garage for a few days. It didn’t smell after that so I brought it inside and threw a blanket over the seat while we waited for the replacement to arrive. During that time, I would pull back the blanket to show guests the damage. You can imagine the faces made upon seeing a burnt hole in the chair. (Nearly everyone who visits compliments the chair so they were almost as devastated as us.) Steve likens them to the face I made on our wedding day when I got to the end of the aisle and saw that he had squeezed the hell out of a ginormous zit right between his eyes.

thrive chair 1

This long story has a happy ending. Not only did the new cushion cover arrive and match perfectly, it came with a new foam cushion as well. I guess it was easier to make them both? I don’t know. I’m not asking questions. It’s all good.

thrive chair 2

In fact, I think the new cushion is thicker than the original. Sure, the first one was likely worn down from use but I swear this one is thicker than the first when it was brand-new. Steve’s really happy about that. He was regularly adjusting the cover on the first cushion (it didn’t bother me – just felt lived in and reminded me of this post from Lauren) and he hasn’t had to touch this one. We’re about one month in so I’ll let you know how it goes. The burnt cushion is currently residing in the attic…just in case.

I get emails all the time asking if we still love this chair, how it’s holding up, would we recommend it, etc. We love it. It’s a highly sought after seat in our house. We all fight over it. Good thing it can seat up to three people! Other than the fireplace incident, it’s holding up really well. The felt isn’t pilling. I didn’t put any kind of stain guard on it and was able to get black face paint out of the upholstery last Halloween with a little soap and water. My only complaint is that the legs sometimes twist and look crooked but I think it has everything to do with my kids running and jumping onto the chair. They could probably stand to be tightened up a bit. If you’re looking for a high quality, comfortable chair with a modern look I would recommend it. Just remember that it is oversized (it’s almost 40″ wide!) so measure, measure, measure.

thrive chair 3

In conclusion, watch your toddlers and think twice about using your fireplace as a dryer. I’m an idiot. Luckily, this time it only cost me $75 and no one was hurt.

P.S. – It was super dark and gloomy when I took these pictures. I normally try to shoot on bright days but they have been few and far between.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

54 Comments

19.March.2014

It’s really good to know this is an option! I have the Taylor chair in turquoise (which I ordered based on your positive reviews); my dog loves it as well. It’s holding up incredibly well so far, but I can see investing $75 at some point in the future to give it a new lease on life. So glad it all worked out!

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19.March.2014

Oh my. I am so glad it had a happy ending!

It reminds me of the time my son went to warm his butt near the wood stove while I was getting everyone in their coats. He ended up melting the back of his brand-new coat onto the glass of our brand-new wood stove. And you can’t turn those off, so you just have to sit and watch the plastic bublle and smear. Ug. Bad smell + innocent face = someting terrible.

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Is it bad that I feel better knowing I’m not the only “stir-crazed, impatient, cabin fevered, frazzled, frustrated mom”? Glad it all worked out in the end. :)

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19.March.2014

My favorite part of this is your admission that your brain falls apart at 5pm. I’m the same. But 4pm is the time for me. every. single. day.

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19.March.2014

This really is an awesome chair. I would have freak out just the same. That’s amazing problem solving skills you have there. I would have never thought!

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19.March.2014

Ok, I am sorry this happened to you, but I have to say this post had me dying laughing especially the part about your husband on your wedding day. Seriously hilarious. Chair is gorgeous! Oh and I’m still confused why it couldn’t be flipped over? There is a zipper underneath it? :)

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replied on March 19th, 2014

The hole wasn’t just on the top of the cushion. It was partly on the front so that it would show even if the cushion was flipped upside down. Does that make sense? Plus, I think the hole would have just gotten larger with use.

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19.March.2014

I am so happy you were able to save “the chair”
Is it bad that I want everything you have? Seriously, this chair…it’s lovely!

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19.March.2014

I love this post! It’s so honest and real life. Probably my favorite part is when you said “Steve likens them to the face I made on our wedding day when I got to the end of the aisle and saw that he had squeezed the hell out of a ginormous zit right between his eyes.” That cracked me up so bad!!

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replied on March 19th, 2014

Agreed! Too funny – and sounds like something my hubby could have done.

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19.March.2014

I feel your pain!!! I live in the Chicago suburbs with two boys under 5, I feel like I’m on the verge of losing my mind. I had a very similar situation today as my 2 year old poured fruit punch from his sippy cup all over my coveted ottoman pouf from west elm. It is my favorite piece of furniture in my otherwise toddler-centric family room. I’ve been sick for the last two days and of course my husband is out of town, so yeah I snapped a little bit. Sometimes I just feel like I can’t have anything pretty or nice because my two guys destroy everything. I locked myself in the basement same thing head in my hands rocking back and forth saying it’s only a pouf only a pouf. Thank goodness the stain came out after about 1 hour of messing around with it. So glad your situation with the chair worked out. Is it time for wine yet?

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replied on March 19th, 2014

So sorry to hear about your pouf! Glad you were able to “save” it. I could do a whole post on “Things My Kids Have Ruined.” They are just things but sometimes it takes me a while to get to that rationale after such a catastrophe. Wine helps ;)

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19.March.2014

I think I would have cried dramatically, drank a whole bottle of wine and then contemplate on selling my kid on ebay! That chair is too amazing!! I’m in the process of talking the other half to allow us to splurge on this chair…he’s not having it at the moment :( So glad it all worked out in the end however!

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I laughed so hard at the zit story. I’m sorry about your chair, but so glad you were able to fix it right up!

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19.March.2014

5:00 pm is the witching hour.

So sorry about your chair, but glad it has a happy ending! I always envy that chair when I see it in your pics.

PS- how do you like your couch? I’ve never had a leather couch– they look beautiful, but are they comfy to curl up on?

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replied on March 19th, 2014

The last two sofas / couches we’ve owned have been leather. (We would have used the last one here but it was too large.) We choose leather because of its family-friendliness. I just wipe it down with leather wipes from time to time. We don’t mind the smooth texture. I keep blankets and pillows on hand to “cozy” it up.

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19.March.2014

The chair is so beautiful, glad you were able to get a new cushion and cover. Oh and your gloomy day photos look great, house looks extra cozy in the not so bright light :)

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Oh, I was about to cry when I saw the first picture…I love this chair, and could just imagine how devastating that would be if it were mine! So glad you were able to get a replacement cushion!

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19.March.2014

The song :You’re going to miss this” comes to mind. Glad you remembered it’s just a chair, and now it has a story. And the “fried by five” days don’t last forever, and then we wish we could have them back. I laughed out loud with the zit story! Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

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19.March.2014

Oh no – the poor chair (cushion)! I’m so glad the story had a happy ending. I would be devastated, too – it’s such a beautiful chair! How awesome is that customer service, btw? I work at Crate & Barrel and while I’m sure the vendor could make a new cushion cover, I’m not certain it would be that affordable – or that quickly!

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19.March.2014

Snap same age that my son wet my couch cushion and I layed it on the floor knowing the gas heater would dry the cushion. But my son decided to tip it forward onto the face of the gas heater. Of course I was sitting on the other couch cushion but had my back to him. He saw steam or smoke pulled the cushion away then touched the melted fabric and ended up having some fabric embedded in his skin. As hed had a bath just before his hands were wrinkled and this prevented the fabric from burning into his skin. all this happened in arms reach with absolute silence. The shock is both about cushion and what could have happened if it caught alight and caused much more harm.

Toddlers so curious so smart so quiet so scary at times.

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19.March.2014

So glad this story has a happy ending! That chair is gorgeous! I do think it’d look good two-toned if you were to reupholster the old cushion though.

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Wow. Talk about customer service. I thought for sure you were going to have to get creative. It really pays to ask!

And I had to laugh at the wedding story. Sometimes its the things that go “wrong” that leave us with the best/funniest memories!

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replied on March 19th, 2014

Lots of funny memories from that day. Steve completely faltered while exchanging vows. And a groomsman passed out cold at the very end of the ceremony as we were announced Mr. & Mrs.! (and it’s all on video) We’ve been laughing together ever since.

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Also… do you ever plan on sharing your wedding day? Some may find it too personal to share on a blog but I would love to see pictures!

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replied on March 19th, 2014

You mean you want to see that eruption on Steve’s face? Haha.

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replied on March 20th, 2014

I guess everyone here would love to see you in a wedding dress … ^_^

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19.March.2014

I have been reading your blog for a couple years and never really comment, but I laughed out loud HARD for several minutes about the wedding story face. Almost in tears, that was great! Love your house, keep it up!

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19.March.2014

What a GREAT chair…..bookmarking that site! I’m loving it. Glad everything worked out with getting a good replacement cushion. I probably would have cried.

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19.March.2014

Too funny Dana. And I’m sorry! Two extra questions. #1 where are those black and white striped bean bags from! Do you have a link? I’ve been on the hunt for non-fluorescent/Disney one! Also since I can’t get enough of your blog I just dug into your archives and came across a few maternity wardrobe posts when you were prego with Mabrey. Girl, update us with your current wardrobe faves. Every time you post a pick of yourself casual or dressy I want to know where you got every piece of your outfit from.

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replied on March 19th, 2014

The floor poufs came from West Elm last year on sale. I don’t think they’re available anymore (try searching zigzag pouf) but I’ve seen similar ones at Target and Land of Nod for less money.

I’m working on sharing more non-house-related stuff like my wardrobe faves. It’s hard though because houses are definitely my passion – not fashion!

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20.March.2014

I’m glad to hear that things out out! I really like that chair. I was wondering, were did you get that cream & black pillow that you have on your chair? Thanks!

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replied on March 20th, 2014

It’s actually navy and white. I got it from Crate & Barrel last year. I love that their pillows come with inserts and are relatively affordable.

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20.March.2014

What a truly awesome chair! I checked out their website and found a video how they make that chair.
Cool craftsmanship! I would looove to have that chair in my new house! I asked them if they ship to Germany – lets hope so! Sunny greetings from across the ocean : )

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Omg this story reminds me so much of when I spilled milk on the couch when I was a kid. I was worried my mom would be mad at me, so I got out the blow dryer to dry the area before she got home. Unfortunately, the heat from the blow dryer MELTED a giant hole into the fabric!! It all happened so fast and I tried to cover it up with a pillow, but my mom noticed it as soon as she got home and was not pleased! The cover wasn’t removable, so my grandmother just patched it up.. and my mother swore that she wouldn’t buy new couches until we were all gone for university. Justifiably, when I moved out for university that ended up being the couch that I inherited and brought with me to my first apartment and it served me well for about 5 years lol. It all comes full circle :P

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20.March.2014

It’s the WORST when you make a dumb decision and you can’t even be too mad at the kid because it was your own dang fault. We bought a gorgeous mirror for the bathroom in the house we were building, and I left it propped up in a stupid place. Our 5 year old OF COURSE knocked it over and broke the mirror. He was so upset that I couldn’t even get upset – it was my fault for creating the situation anyway. It turned out to be a happy fix, too – only $35 to replace the glass.

I’m glad it worked out and you have a new (better!) cushion. My kids are the same ages as yours (two boys and then a girl), so I love your kid posts. It’s like you’re living my life!

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20.March.2014

OMG thank you so much for sharing this story. I was laughing so hard at “All three of my kids were frozen in fear of what would happen next.”. and then the zit story too. I had to read the whole thing out loud to DH because I was laughing so much. Thanks again! :-)

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20.March.2014

I LOVE the chair and LOVE the rug. Where is the rug from?

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replied on March 20th, 2014

Rugs USA!

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Dana..Dana..Dana..Girl! I would’ve completely Lost it! Like for real lost it. While it is JUST a chair at the end of the day we get attached to the things we invest in. Especially ones that are such a big part of our daily lives. I’m so glad you were able to get it fixed. And your images look perfect as usual. That’s is a really f&@$ing awesome chair!!

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20.March.2014

As I sit here reading, with a one of those just under the skin pulsating chin pimples, my heart goes out to Steve :)

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I’m the same way after 5pm. I think it’s the introvert in me. After a long day with young kids I just want a quiet space to be alone and do what I want. I also loved the squeezed zit part, totally something my husband would have done! The new cushion on your chair looks great, definitely looks a lot thicker. It all worked out for the best! Good thing those toddlers are so cute because they are rotten!

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[…] for Dana at House Tweaking, this is a before picture. This awesome chair had a little mishap with the gas fireplace screen. No […]

21.March.2014

Oh I’m so glad it all worked out. I’ve been coveting that chair since you got it. In fact, you inspired me to pull the trigger on getting my own Thrive couch, which I ADORE. And on which my 2-year-old recently spread half a jar of Vick’s Baby Rub. I almost died. Fortunately I was able to get it out (I think…it looks okay) but I’m glad to know I could order new cushions if I needed to. Dang kids, stealing our brain cells and ruining stuff because we make dumb choices like leaving the Baby Rub within reach.

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21.March.2014

If you think that it is super gloomy, you should try Seattle weather. We expect sunshine to arrive right about July 10th!!!

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21.March.2014

It sucks when these things happen, especially when in retrospect you can’t help thinking, “Durrr! How did I let that happen?!!!” We got a new rug last week that I had been coveting for ages. It was a super soft shag and I was so happy with it. However, I nipped out to the grocery store and when I got back, the dog had peed on it and one of the (teenage) kids had spilled juice all over it. They were busily trying to rescue it before I got home and, in their words, “Got cranky!” The joys of parenthood, eh?!

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Wow. I’m glad it wasn’t more serious. This reminds me of the time my grandmother put my brand new pink Reeboks (I was 5, please don’t judge!) in the oven to dry them off. That ended well as you can imagine. And yay for the replacement cushion because the chair is awesome.

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26.March.2014

not gunna lie I felt like crying when I saw the picture of the chair ruined!! haha I just kept looking at it thinking SHE JUST GOT THAT!!!! glad everything turned out perfectly!!! totally unrelated question… where did that wood framed circular mirror come from?? the one in you shelf. I NEED it!!

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replied on March 26th, 2014

Target!! Picked it up on a whim. It’s so awesome.

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02.July.2014

[…] *http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/03/19/its-just-a-really-awesome-chair/ […]

30.July.2014

I remember emailing you Dana! Nice article!

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14.May.2015

Does this chair really fit 3 people? I LOVE it!! I’ve been looking for something smaller but that can still sit 2 adults so ill have to look into this one.

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06.November.2016

Love your house and this chair! In ordering fabric and wood samples online I don’t see the expectation grey on Thrive’s website. Was yours a custom fabric? Also, I noticed you said the felt doesn’t pill, is it a felted fabric? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks

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replied on November 16th, 2016

Sadly, it looks like the expectation grey has been discontinued. I’d suggest ordering the samples. It looks like there are still several great non-felt grey options.

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