October 1, 2015

Thrift Score Thursday: Brno Tubular Chairs

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I know I say this every time I score something awesome from the thrift store but this may be my best find!



Last week, I spotted a pair of simple gray chairs at Saver’s.



I liked the cantilever style and clean lines:



The upholstery is in great condition but it's not my style. It's good enough to live with for now though!



Unfortunately, there was a woman sitting in one of the chairs sorting through her finds on the other chair so I didn’t get a great look at them.



We walked around the store hoping she would get up so we could get a closer look at them (and possibly buy them) but she wasn’t moving. I thought she was planning on buying the chairs so we left and went to a movie.



I couldn’t stop thinking about the chairs (I had already started making them over in my head haha) so I got up early the next morning to go back and see if they were there. Thankfully they were!

I love how the stainless steel tube wraps around the back of the chairs:



It's a perfect handle!



They were marked $5.99/each but Saver’s was offering 25% off everything just for having their store card. That discount brought the price for both chairs down to $9.71 (after taxes) or $4.85/chair!



My husband didn’t like that they looked like waiting room chairs but I told him we could use them as our new office chairs since I’m pondering an office makeover.



When I loaded the chairs into my car, I noticed a tag underneath that said “Gordon International”. It didn’t sound familiar so I did a little Google searching when I got home to see if I could dig up any info.



A few clicks later, I stumbled upon Gordon International’s website and found our chairs!

They’re the tubular version of the Brno Chair and were designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1930 for the Tugendhat house in Brno, Czechoslovakia.


[ Image via Gordon International ]


Knoll, Inc. is currently the only licensed manufacturer of the Brno chair. They’re having a 15% off sale right now but the chairs are still $1,400+ for one.

Several other people are selling the chairs anywhere from $689 for 1 chair to $9,600 for a set of 8, 10, or 12 chairs:


[ Image via Google Shopping ]


Crazy, right?!

Before I knew anything about the chairs, I had planned to paint the arms black and reupholster the seats in Braemore’s Jamil leopard fabric so they’d look like this Photoshop mockup:



Now I don’t know what to do!

Part of me wants to update them to make them more my style but the other part of me knows they’re valuable (not that we’ll be selling them) and doesn’t want to alter them (other than cleaning the fabric)!

What would you do?

23 comments

  1. Can you tell me what a chair like that would cost to be reupholstered? It's so hard to know what a good price is. Thanks!

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    1. I'm not sure Rachel. I'm assuming $100 each + the cost of fabric? It doesn't look like it'd be too difficult but who knows what you could find once you start taking the chair apart!

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  2. I also love the gray! And I think what you did with the faux sheepskin and the pillow totally update them. I can't believe your score!!!!!

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    1. Thank you! The gray is nice and the blue square pattern is hardly noticeable unless you're super close. I might clean them up and keep them as-is! :)

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  3. I love them! I would 100% leave the chrome- that's the valuable part! I think they would be fine to reupholster. Maybe you can even keep the original fabric underneath? Such an awesome find!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! I might try to reupholster them myself. It doesn't look like it'd be too hard but I've never reupholstered anything before so I don't really know haha

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  4. I've found some Gordon International pieces before - they're knockoffs, but definitely high-quality and expensive ones, haha! And $9,71 is such a screamingly incredible deal! I wouldn't be too worried about destroying value, just since it's not the Knoll licensed version - I love the leopard velvet! Maybe leopard + the original chrome? Great find girl!

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    1. Dang it, I knew they were too good to be true! They've kind of grown on me as-is so I might just toss a sheepskin over them and call it a day! I think I can find something else to use the leopard on :)

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  5. Amazing! Agree with other comments to definitely leave the chrome. I'd love to see them reupholstered in a dark velvet (but I'm on a velvet kick so take that with a grain of salt).

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    1. Thank you! Dark velvet would be nice! We love our navy velvet sofa :)

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  6. Leave the chrome. It's beautiful. and that pillow! I just saw that at IKEA yesterday.

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    1. Thank you! Isn't that pillow cute?! I have two of them and I want to get more haha I love the little doodles!

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  7. I think they're gorgeous the way you styled them w/ the sheepskin& cute pillow! Looks great that way. Love love love chrome!=^_^*=

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  8. Such great finds! The price for both is unbelievable!! You scored!!

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  9. Such great finds! The price for both is unbelievable!! You scored!!

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  10. If you're not reselling, do what you want! Maybe change the fabric but leave the stainless steel?? Whatever you do, they will be great!

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  11. If you have a chance to get to the Phoenix area, Tempe Sales is a great (cheap) place to get things reupholstered. And a few blocks away is S.A.S., which is great for buying fabric on the cheap.

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  12. You find the most amazing deals! Love the chrome. If they were mine, I would make a slip cover that fits over the original upholstery. I have chairs from IKEA that have them. They fit snug so you can't tell that they zip off. Great find!

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  13. Those are fab! What a deal! I say go for it! I love your vision for the chairs!!

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  14. Leave chrome, but do a removable cover in the print. That way you are actually preserving the original upholstery AND get your style in.

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