Photos and Story submitted by Aysha Tayab-Ratsep
The combination of living in different places over the years and having family scattered across Southern Ontario has led me to believe that home is not just a place but a state of mind. There are many places where I feel at home. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to still connect with my first home in Fort Erie, Ontario. One of the spaces that is much loved and honoured in this home is my mother’s kitchen. While I come from a large family, there’s always the need to pull up another chair at the table. My mom loves to entertain family and friends and just make everyone feel welcome in her home.
Everyone has a seat at this table. I decided that for this Mother’s Day, I was giving my mother a chair that I revamped. The workshop to paint and reupholster a chair held at Possibilities in Marmora could not have come at a better time! I had never seen Marmora before, and I enjoyed its the quaint and quiet atmosphere.
The Workshop & the Store
When I arrived at the store, I had no idea how large it would be.
It is wander-worthy. The open space, filled with beautiful furniture and furniture accessories made me feel like a kid in a candy store.
The store is owned by two sisters Lisa and Wendy who have a shared interest in seeing the possibilities in so many pieces of old furniture. With Lisa’s love of paint and Wendy’s love of fabric, their partnership could not be more perfect.
The workshop started off with choosing the paint and fabric for this chair.
Truth be told, this was part of the workshop that had me the most nervous. When it comes to choosing colours and patterns, I tend to be indecisive. I love too many colours, and I love too many patterns. However, maintaining a focus on my mother just made the decision making so much easier. In fact, the combination of paint and fabric just struck me immediately. It was probably one of the quickest design decisions I have ever made.
Next, it was time to get to work on the old chair. I have painted a lot of furniture, but I have to say this was one of the most enjoyable experiences. I learned a lot about the best techniques and the best paints to use. Plus, this rotating stand for the chair was just brilliant! Since this paint dries fast, it was helpful to have this stand to catch every spot possible.
In between allowing the paint to dry and upholstering the chair seat, I wandered around the store and basked in the beauty of the items and the preserved features of the building itself. The building had a feature that I absolutely loved. If you have read my previous stories here, you will probably guess which one I am referring to.
I’m a serious ceiling fan. Another feature that I loved was the staircase.
No amount of photos or videos can truly capture the amount of beauty and grandeur this staircase has to offer. You will have to come into the store and experience it for yourself. Also, there’s so much more at the top of this staircase.
Here’s where the upholstery magic happens. Wendy taught us how to reupholster a chair the right way. After the second coat of paint, the chair was ready to make its way home!
Giving the chair to my mom
The finished chair stayed in my home for a week until I gave it to my mom. I was so excited to give it to her. I knew it would be like nothing she would expect to receive as a gift, but I also hoped that she would love it.
It was a beautiful and emotional moment that I will always remember. As my mom’s trademark saying goes “these days will never come back.” She could not be more right. Even though I cannot always be there to see her, I know that this chair will still be a reminder that I will always come back to share a meal along with many memories to come.
I am so grateful to my mom for all she has been to me in my life, and I hope that one day to live up to everything she has taught me and so much more.
Have you been to Possibilities before? If you haven’t, you absolutely need to! It is a beautiful space to feel inspired and share the love with those you love!
Story and photographs by Aysha Tayab
As one of our six Local Wanderers exploring Hastings County, Aysha enjoys Arts and Culture, Agri-Tourism and Paddling adventures.
She grew up in a rural community, suffers from an incurable travel bug, and is an ambassador for the road less travelled.
Learn more about Aysha and her adventures as well as the other five Local Wanderers and the excursions they've experienced across the County here.