Sunday, April 29, 2012

20 Year Old Resin Adirondak Chair

I was sitting outside enjoying my garden when I realized the resin Adirondack chair I was sitting on is 20 years old. I was hit with "wow this chair is really old". And then with "and I'm even older".
Outdoor furniture is an adult item that you buy when you are out your own with no intentions of moving back in with your parents. Many of us find it difficult to picture ourselves as real adults. It's strange to be old enough to own such an adult item for so long. I have been an adult for a long time. Weird. 
I bought these two chairs in 1990 or 1991. I got them at Carrefore, which is the Walmart of France. In the late 1980s, they attempted to colonize US retail, using the Philadelphia area as their entry point.
Carrefores are giant stores which supposed sell everything. Everything except for umbrellas for some reason. In effect Carrefore, was a super market with lousy selection, combined with a discount department store with lousy selection, all contained within a gigantic building. The employees wore roller skates to get around the store. Customers were forced to walk the whole thing. 

Carrefore gave up when the leases were up on the two stores. They are long gone from the USA, but I still have the chairs. 
I paid about $20 each in 1990 dollars for them. You can now buy resin Adirondack chairs for  $15 in 2012 dollars. Economics is a strange thing. Either way, I definitely got my money's worth.

I was really wowed with these chairs when I bought them. I placed them the back yard of my rowhouse in Frankford. Back in the early 90s, I even wrote a little song about my then contentment, which included owning resin Adirondack chairs. (I will have to find that). 
Eventually they moved to a small roof outside a window in my apartment above the Grey Lodge. That set-up looked really cool and urban, but in reality it was a pain to get out the kitchen window and onto the roof. Also black tar roofs are not very pleasant places.

Then they moved to house on Passmore Street, where for whatever reason I didn't sit outside much. Part of the reason was the chairs had become chalky. 
Finally these resin chairs have been here at ranch for the last 5 years, where they now get as much use as the ever did. 

While at Passmore Street, I bought two cheap wooden Adirondack chairs that were supposed to replace the plastic ones, as they were 1) chalky, 2) plastic. The wood chairs sat in the garage unassembled for several years. When I bought the ranch, I finally had the inclination to put the wood chairs together. I primed and painted the wood chairs to help them last. While I was painting the wood chairs,  I decided to put a coat of exterior paint on resin ones while I was at it. I thought if it didn't work,  I wasn't out much. I only painted the exposed sides, so it went very quickly. The effect of only painting the exposed sides worked out too; you don't notice. They take paint surprisingly well.

So there you have it, a lot more words than I would have thought possible for two $20 plastic chairs.

As to the wood chairs, they lasted two years after which they rotted out and had to get tossed.

Cozy Reading Knook, Net Cost: Zero

I greatly enjoy reading outside in the garden in my resin Adirondack chair. I was disappointed that I didn't have an equally cozy place to read indoors when the weather was cold and/or rainy.
 I have a reclining leather(ish) wing chair in my living room, which would be the ideal reading chair. But somehow the living room didn't feel like a cozy place to read. I thought it would probably take money to make a cozy place to read.

For the last 5 years, since we moved in, the chair has been perpendicular to the window bay, parallel with the two sofas. 

I turned the chair diagonal to the window bay, giving views of outside, also creating its own sort of space. It is now very cozy while also still being a potentially social part of the living room. 

Maureen and I now both find this a great place to read. 

Cost to turn the chair, zero.