Before & After: A Bertoia Chair, from Cold to Cuddly

Before & After: A Bertoia Chair, from Cold to Cuddly

Nancy Mitchell
Apr 1, 2013

I own a pair of Bertoia side chairs, and they are lovely to look upon. But as beautiful as they may be, comfort-wise they leave a little something to be desired. (My friends have dubbed them the 'waffle-butt chairs,' for obvious reasons.) You can purchase covers for the chairs, but a little searching online revealed that these would set me back about 400 bucks a pop. So I decided to try out a more economical, and much more adorable, solution. 


Yes, Pandas. 14 of them, to be exact. Have you ever gone to IKEA and purchased 14 pandas? It is a highly entertaining experience. And the best part is, the 14 pandas, at five bucks a pop, only set me back 70 dollars, a real bargain compared to the full seat cover. So let's recap. My solution: cheaper, equally effective, made of pandas

I wish I could say this was my idea. Designers Fernando and Humberto Campana created this panda chair for Moss years ago, and I am in awe of them, although their version is a little less plebeian and will set you back $85,000. (It also comes in dolphin and alligator versions, but pandas were what I found at IKEA so that that's what I went with. Also: pandas.)

How is this achieved? — you are probably wondering. I'm glad you asked. Attaching pandas to a wire mesh chair is actually super easy. I picked up a bag of black zip ties, which helpfully are the same color as pandas. Starting at the bottom of the chair, I worked upward, attaching the pandas to the mesh by their arms and legs and little panda tails, as required. Keep in mind that as you work, you'll want to slowly rotate the pandas to achieve an even texture. 

The advantage of the zip-tie method is that it doesn't require any sewing, and that the pandas remain unharmed, so if you get tired of having a panda chair you can remove them later and find them good homes. But honestly, who would ever tire of having a panda chair? That is absurd. 

The whole thing only took about half an hour, and I'm very happy with my work. Now, every time I sit there are 14 adorable little bears, bravely standing between me and the curse of the wafflebutt. 

And my cat likes it, too. 

(Images: Nancy Mitchell)

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