There’s something magical about a wonderful chair. Straight, proper, formal; or sensuous, curvy and ornate, or simple and muscular. Some, you can curl into and stay all day, or for a lifetime. Some, you can barely stand to perch in for a minute, while you tie your shoe. The best ones stop you in your tracks, or make you laugh out loud. I think of some of the chairs that have passed through my life as old friends I”ll probably never see again, but remember fondly. Those two Windsor chairs I bought at auction to carry us through when we were starting over, from scratch. The set of six dining chairs, Queen Anne-ish, from the forties, that I had refinished black, with coral silk seat covers. Very eighties! Paid $80 for the six, plus a pretty table, as I recall. Gone, but not forgotten.
Love this little piece of art that Elise made for us, which for me signifies a long and happy friendship. What better way to spend an afternoon than in a comfy chair, with a pal, on a porch, or in a kitchen?
This little beauty, the white rocker, belonged to my Aunt Frostie when she was a little girl. It’s now in our guest house, Casa Chiquita, and I’ve never done a thing to it, because I find it absolutely perfect, with its homespun seat cover and hasty paint job.
The big chair in this pair is one that my pal M had in her house in Los Angeles for years, and before that it was I think in her Granny’s house in Des Moines, Iowa. It recently got reupholstered with the melon and cream-colored indoor/outdoor fabric made by Nomi in Watsonville. I had carried a swatch of the fabric with me for months because it made me so happy to look at. Finally, Kelly, H and I went to Nomi’s studio for a visit, and I got the last 5 yards she had of the fabric. It’s now Mr. Pirate’s favorite landing spot in the kitchen. Next to it is a very, very old child’s chair that Deidre thought should live with us now, and we wholeheartedly agreed. Its loving little arms are frequently full of a certain small blonde ballerina these days, who thinks it’s the most wonderful chair, ever. Maybe it is.
This Victorian “Nursing Rocker” was my husband’s grandmother’s, then his mother’s, and now it occupies a place of honor in Miss H’s room. The seat is too narrow for most of us. The needlepoint seat is a bit faded, but it’s otherewise pretty much the way it was made in, maybe, the 1880s.
In the category of “makes you laugh out loud,” we have a pair of wacky, mirrored sort-of Gustavian characters I saw one day shopping in Culver City with M. Instantly smitten. Had to have them. Didn’t know why, or where they’d go, but they came home with me. Not especially comfortable, but, hey. Everybody needs a pair of silver foiled, mirrored chairs, right?
Then there is this gorgeous little princess of a chair, another treasure from my mother-in-law, which belonged to her mother. I did nothing to it except put it upstairs in Casa Chiquita where it might hold some clothes tossed off before diving into the bed.
Another bedside chair, this one in the Master Bedroom, doing hard duty in a white slipcover on the Mister Master side of the bed. It’s another old treasure from M, originally hailing from Des Moines, IA.
And for our big finish, here’s a French settee, given to me by my French sister-in-law. It was her mother’s, and I’m happy to say that the gorgeous carved fruitwood has survived all its travels intact. A few years back, I decided that some deerskin inherited from my father-in-law was the perfect counterpoint to the settee’s prissy victorian lines.
The pillow says “Amour.” That’s exactly what a chair should say, don’t you think?
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