WSU Interior Design Students Restore Chairs for Charity

OGDEN, Utah – Architecturally significant chairs, refurbished by Weber State University interior design students, will be available for auction April 20 at 6 p.m. at the Copper Nickel in Ogden (2450 Grant Ave.), during the seventh annual Charitable Chair Event. Proceeds will benefit Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah.          

Tickets for the evening are $15 and can be purchased at from March 25 until the night of the event. A silent auction will take place at 6 p.m., with a live auction beginning at 7 p.m. Those who cannot attend the event but wish to bid may contact Kristen Arnold at or 801-690-0809.

Students from five WSU interior design courses participated by designing or refurbishing 24 chairs of historical influence or significance. Though the chairs can be student-built, they cannot be purchased new — the goal of the final project is to design or refurbish the chairs to create pieces that are functional, well-crafted and an accurate representation of a specific time period’s style.

“Students can go to antique stores, go online or even look in their grandma’s attic for chairs,” Arnold said. “People donate chairs each year as well.”

As part of the process, students solicit community sponsors for services, products and funds to aid in the restorations.

One student team, Kelsie Jones and Carter Lenox, teamed up with Heritage Restoration in Kaysville to work on their chair. While the students directed the work and made all creative decisions, they felt they needed the help of an expert to fix the structural issues of the chair.

“One of the arms was loose and needed to be reattached to the chair,” Jones said. “The other arm had bite marks from a dog that needed to be filled in.”

After the chair was structurally sound, the team selected a custom-mixed stain that accentuated new upholstery fabric.

Interior design assistant professor Kristen Arnold envisioned the event as a way for students to apply their classroom experience and collaborate with the community.

“The project gives students an opportunity to use design skills, learn the design process and network with professionals in the design-build industry as they refurbish the chairs,” Arnold said. “In addition, students get hands-on experience and contribute to the community at the same time.”

The Charitable Chair event has raised $30,000 for local charities and to support Weber State student scholarships.

Visit for more information about the event and photos of this year’s chairs.

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Kristen Arnold, interior design assistant professor
801-690-0809 •


Ivonne Dabb, University Marketing & Communications
801-626-7925 •