Posted on Jun 16th, 2012 by Jeanne Golan

When one lives in a compact Manhattan apartment, big renovations come in small packages.  For me, it was reupholstering the few pieces of padded furniture I have.  Kitchen chairs from my parents’ house – plastic yellow on black metal frames that speak of the 50’s and provide the most comfortable seating I’ve ever had at the piano.  Perfect back support and seat height; lean enough to allow centeredness with freedom of motion.  Aand the Victorian divan from my great-uncle Harry.  Beautiful carved wooden rosebuds frame the curvatures of the piece, which is whimsical and sweet.  But these many years later, each deserved to be revitalized.

So I searched for materials that would let these pieces shine, honor their era of origin while also giving them a fresh start; fabrics that would wear well and thrill the senses in look and touch.  Settling on sensuede(!) and some mixtures of shabby chic cottons, I called Victor, my reupholsterer in the Bronx.   It had been 15 years, but he was just as wonderful as I’d remembered, artful in his craft, prompt in his work, and straightforward.

The word victor started ringing in my head in various permutations – Viktor, Victor, victorian, victory… and my apartment is a home to all of them!  I love the symmetry of Victor providing for my furniture what I hope I provide for Viktor’s sonatas.   Many of the issues are the same – something of another era that is strong enough in it’s own right that it remains relevant through time and worth saving.  So when I look up from the keyboard, I now see my version of a victory garden, and it makes me smile.

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