Funky Frugal: A place to gather

by Tanner Cangelosi

For as long as I can remember, I have loved dinner parties, brunches, showers and any excuse to gather and celebrate. We are never really fancy and have always used dishes and furniture for these gatherings that were given to us or found at a yard sale. I love to piece together a patchwork quilt of eclectic items for people to gather around.

Well, I was finally about to get rid of two old maroon wingback chairs. I had tried in vain to beautify them with slipcovers from Amazon. I’ve decided I need to declare that slipcovers are never a good idea — unless they were specifically made for that piece of furniture, which mine were not.

As I priced replacement chairs, my breathing quickened. Yikes. No wonder we have always used hand-me-down furniture; we have six mouths to feed. Luckily, my neighbor told me about Countryside Upholstery (501.701.0276). I called the owner, Linda, and had a good chat. I discovered it would only cost $150 per chair to have my current wingback chairs redone. Now, I always thought having furniture recovered was for the rich and famous, so I was thrilled to hear Linda’s estimate, knowing that new chairs would cost me about $300 more per chair.

I quickly ran to Hobby Lobby to get my fabric (with my 40 percent off coupon, naturally). My heart nearly leapt out of my chest when I found a vintage rose pattern and a Moroccan pattern for the seat.

I decided to save money and ask Linda to use part of the beige slipcovers that I had already tried to use. After drawing a little sketch of what I wanted the chairs to look like, I went to bed and waited for Linda to come pick up the chairs the next day. Did I mention that she picked up and delivered the furniture at no extra charge (score for the mom of 2-year-old triplets)? So, if you’re in the Hot Springs area, you must give her a call.

She promptly returned the chairs a week later, and it felt like Christmas morning for me. She did such a good job at such a reasonable price. I really haven’t loved furniture this much, ever.

They inspired me enough to clean up my dining room. Placing my new lovely chairs at the heads of the table, I wiped off watercolor paints the kids had been into earlier that day from the “door table.” We have a table made from a door. Cory is from a suburb of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, we asked his favorite coffee shop owner if we could have a door that had blown off his building, and he gladly gave it to us. He also gave us a few of the shop’s chairs, which we painted white and placed around the table Cory built out of the door.

Finally, I painted a piece of art that would coordinate with the floral fabric on the chairs. My friend, Patti, also took the remnants of the fabric for the chairs and made me a few pillows for the adjacent living room couch. Matching sure makes me happy, whether it’s coordinating fabrics/drapes/pillows or six little loves in matching outfits. I love matching.

But what I love even more is six little loves gathering around a table they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.


A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Tanner Cangelosi owns
her own business – – and has done a variety of projects, from individual home décor items to painting murals in private residences. For more information, Tanner can be reached at 501.908.1338 or[email protected].