Before and After: This Old, Busted IKEA POANG Chair Gets a Brand New Life

published Sep 11, 2018
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This sad chair—IKEA’s ubiquitous POANG—was languishing on a curb, doomed to rot away, dreaming of those good old days when it was useful. Fortunately, someone with a vision (and 20 meters of rope) happened to walk by and oops-a-daisy!

Britt Winter of Regroovinator on Etsy describes happening upon this chair, and the makeover time crunch:

This sorry-looking IKEA POANG was a curbside find: bare bones and a ripped-up seat. However, those bones were good. The frame was intact and, after some Allen wrench action, everything was strong and sturdy.

However, the chair was taking up valuable storage space and, as just another potential project waiting to happen, it was a bone of contention with my partner. Unless I came up with a solution quickly, poor POANG would be back on the street. And it had to be a cheap solution too. So yeah, no pressure.

So far, all Britt has is a deadline, an unusable hair, and a lot of rope:

I also had a heap of nylon rope that I had bought purely for its color. It is red and blue but from a distance it looks a shimmery shade of purple. Old frame and loads of rope? It was a bit of an arranged marriage. And a shotgun one at that.

Here’s how Britt approached the project:

I gave the chair a wipe down and removed the torn seat. To simplify things visually, I also removed two of the back ribs. Then I wove the rope around the frame. Done! It took about three hours and cost nothing. The only issue was keeping the rope taut and evenly spaced. I had to go back and tighten the whole thing several times to get an evenly tensioned result.

Now, time to admire the fabulous results of all that work:

I love the juxtaposition of the bright, colorful rope with the natural, minimal chair frame. And if you’re familiar with the POANG, this is an especially delightful surprise, as it generally comes in neutrals like black, navy, gray, and beige. The straight lines of rope also contrast nicely with the curved wood of the chair, and the whole thing looks as comfortable as it is fun.

Now that this chair is complete, Britt Winter seems to consider the project three hours well spent:

I love how light and bright the chair looks. Now, its look is less ‘ubiquitous IKEA standard’ and more ‘unique, designer classic’. I wouldn’t do anything differently at all!

I’m including these detail shots because they show the care that went into this DIY, as well as the inherent beauty of the rope, especially when it’s lined up all nice and neat like this.

If anyone does a similar project, please make a time- lapse video because that seems like it would be so soothing to watch—and maybe even to do? It’s unclear if Britt found the process relaxing, but it was definitely satisfying:

Go for it. There’s so much “Gosh, I’m a bit clever” satisfaction in taking something broken and discarded and bringing it back into the light. Good for the soul I reckon?

Thank you, Britt Winter of Regroovinator on Etsy!