The papa-what? This would probably be the reaction of most young people today when they hear about papasan chairs. It’s perfectly understandable though because papasan chairs are not that popular anymore these days, unlike in the 1970s when practically every home in the United States had at least one of these chairs.
If you are one of the millions of people who has owned a papasan chair for years and is now trying to decide whether to sell it at an online auction, donate it to charity or simply throw it away, you might want to stop for a minute and reconsider your options. Although there are people who are convinced that the days of the papasan chair are long over, there are also those who believe that they can still be used as a major feature in modern interior design.
There are actually several things you can do to update the look of your papasan chair so that it will fit in nicely in any room of your house. Here are some of the easiest makeover suggestions that you can follow:
- Stain the base a different color. Most traditional papasan chairs are made of rattan and are treated with clear lacquer so that the light brown color of the rattan shows through. You can considerably change the appearance of your chair by re-staining it with a darker shade like mahogany or even black. This will not only make the chair look new but give it a more elegant and sophisticated look as well. Painting over the rattan base is not usually recommended but it can work if you are planning to move the chair to your kid’s bedroom or the playroom, in which case a brighter color could certainly be more fitting.
- Make a new slipcover for the cushion. By changing the color, print or fabric of the cushion of your papasan chair, you can easily make it look like a completely different chair from the one that you had been using all these decades. An easy way to do this is by making a new slipcover for the cushion. The options are practically endless because you have all the fabrics in the world to choose from. While you’re at it, you may also want to make several extra slipcovers so that you can change the look of your chair as the seasons change, for instance.
- Simplify the design. Many papasan cushions from years ago have rather gaudy prints and loud colors. These may have worked perfectly with the design trends back then but now, it’s more about elegance and sophistication in simple elements. So if you are going to change your papasan cushion covers, it would be a good idea to stick to plain, preferably light, shades. A papasan chair with a luxurious off-white cushion and a dark stain on the base would certainly look very chic, indeed.
Of course, before you follow any of these papasan makeover tips, you should first check that the chair is still in relatively good condition. If there are minor repairs that need to be done on the base, you should take care of them before you start painting or staining. If the cushion has already thinned out because of age and excessive use, it might be better to throw it out and just buy an entirely new cushion.
On the other hand, if you are not trying to dispose of an old papasan chair but are actually in the market for one, you are in great luck because there are so many of these wonderful chairs being sold all over the country for extremely low prices. Used ones can be obtained for just ten bucks if you are a talented negotiator, while new ones can be bought for $50-$100.
When buying a brand-new papasan chair, one of the most important factors that you should consider is the quality of the craftsmanship. Papasan chairs are made by hand and most of them are imported from South East Asia where native workers expertly create these works of art. These chairs go through an intensive quality check procedure and you can be certain of their excellence and durability.
However, there are also some papasans that are not as high-quality as these authentic pieces of furniture. The rattan or wicker may not have been treated properly and will be prone to rotting or other types of damages within a few months after purchase. You can avoid such problems by making sure that you only buy your papasan chairs from a reputable dealer or retailer.
Whether you are repurposing an old papasan chair or buying a completely new one, you can be sure that these chairs will be able to provide comfortable seating to you and the other members of your household for many years to come.