On a recent Saturday morning expedition with Mattie Windsor and our friend, Shawn, I discovered an antique settee in the dreary basement of an otherwise boring estate sale. Overall it was in an excellent condition and already stripped down to the wooden frame. It wore a price tag of $35, but I was able to quickly negotiate a more attractive price of $20. After lugging it home, I came to the realization that I wanted to keep it for our house and just needed to find a place for it.

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Jed brilliantly suggested that it would look marvelous parked at our dining room table and the rest is history.

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After giving the frame a thorough scrubbing, I was ready to shop for fabric. I chose a natural linen printed in French for the seat, arms, and outside back. For the inside back, I selected a brick red velvet that compliments our new suzani drapes. I was so excited, I could not wait to get started. And then tragedy struck …

In my attempt to reinforce the bottom of the seat, I added a bit too much tension and … POP! The front board snapped and so did I.

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After a range of emotions to include frustration, rage, and despair; I was ready to scrap the whole thing, return my supplies, and move onto the next project. Luckily, Jed arrived home in time to talk me off of the ledge and the settee suddenly transformed into a family affair. In true Hurt fashion we decided this piece needed a name, and from there, Houseman was born.

I went to work on the inside back, outside back, and arms in order to complete all of the unbroken components. I built them up with elastic straps, burlap, batting, and finally fabric.

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I finished them with trim to hide the staples.

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Then Jed went to work repairing and reinforcing the frame with a 2″ by 4″ and slats.

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With the new boards in place, the frame was stronger than ever and I was back on track.

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From there, the rest of the upholstery process went with relative ease. I built up the seat with layers of batting and thick foam to create a firm place to sit.

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I finished with fabric, trim, and bronze tacks.

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The settee is officially done and ready to dine with us. All we need is a few guests.

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Care to join us?

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