I’ve been wanting one of these wax-print chairs since around the time I discovered Pinterest. So pretty, so fun, so Senegal.

I love these!
Love it!

I’d been toying with the idea of having our well-loved recliner recovered and decided it was time to take the plunge. Danielle and Sarah helped me pick out some great wax fabric at HLM market so all I needed now was an upholsterer. I put out some feelers and heard back from a friend that they had recently given a chair they wanted to have recovered to Basse, our favorite taxi driver, and that he’d found them a good upholsterer at a good price. Sign me up!

Before photo of the recliner we bought second-hand from the Conkle family three years ago.
BEFORE: the recliner we bought secondhand from the Conkle family three years ago. We’ve logged a lot of hours in this chair!

So I called Basse and asked him if he could pick up our recliner and take it to the same upholsterer. When he stopped by to get it about a week ago, I explained in Wolof that I wanted the chair recovered, it reclines like this, you pull the lever here, blah blah blah…

Then I remembered the removable arm and head covers so dug them out of the closet and asked Basse to have the upholsterer do them as well. Basse seemed a bit confused by this request, so I put the covers on the recliner and showed him what they were for. He still seemed unsure. “Right here on the arms? Like this? And this square up here where the head goes?” he asked. Yup. “Just like that,” I assured him in Wolof.

Fast-forward to last night.

Basse called and said my recliner was ready and he was heading our way to drop it off. Cheikh answered the door, greeted Basse and started asking the usual questions about family, work, health… but managed to turn to me quickly between the rapid-fire greetings to say in English, “Get ready – I think you’re in for a surprise.”

You could say that.

AFTER
AFTER

First of all, I’d like to say that Alioune the upholsterer did an AMAZING job. The work is excellent and it far exceeds what I’d even hoped for our dear old chair.

He did a great job… but must think this toubab is crazy!
He did a great job… but must think this toubab is crazy!

Secondly I have to say that my Wolof is horrible. Apparently I told Basse (and then reassured him) that what I wanted was for the old arm and head covers to be permanently attached over the new fabric!! Sigh…

Sewn on. Very securely.
Sewn on. Very securely.

I think we did a pretty good job of not letting on to Basse that it wasn’t what I’d intended and expressing how much we appreciated his help and the work of the upholsterer, which was easy since the work really was exceptionally done. There was plenty to ooh and ahh over, as long as you didn’t look at the top… or the sides. 😉

Did I mention very securely?
Did I mention very securely?

Anyone interested in the contact info for Alioune the upholsterer, just send me an email or comment below. He charged 15,000cfa ($30) for the work and really did a beautiful job.