Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Choosing Chairs and Colors

The most interesting chair to find was our bedroom fireside reading chair. My husband wanted one that was comfortable for anyone, while a focal point in the room. I found this one in a consignment shop in Pennsylvania – and searched for a sturdy upholstery fabric which was blue and white (my favorite colors together). The one I picked was on sale as a close-out at Jo Ann Fabrics, and I bought plenty of it to use throughout the room. It is reversible too, so I used the lighter side on the back of the chair and pillow - for contrast. The fabric pattern is an historic one made by Waverly, featuring twining oak leaves (which are easily found outside the bedroom windows, on an enormous old oak).

The frame of this chair was over a hundred years old and made of hand forged steel. It was the second chair of this type my upholsterer had ever seen and required 20 layers of hand stitching in some places. Body filler was added to parts of the wooden base in areas where it was worn away. The chair came home after stripping in order for my husband to paint the feet and base an ivory color before fabric was added back to it. The frame was so lovely, we felt lucky to live with it awhile to appreciate the handmade joints and curves, before it was all covered up again.

 The bedroom side chair I found in my local “Decorator’s Consignment Shop”. It is an early Danish pegged chair with a flat seat and curves I felt would be enhanced with a wash of Benjamin Moore "Decorator's White" paint. I made a seat cushion with drop sides which is a Scandinavian style.

This Italian designer desk chair was used once in a photo shoot and cost $60.00.

The kitchen chairs are sturdy old plank bottoms that easily fit around a table and are painted bright white.

The two side chairs I have upstairs are antique faux bamboo-style. They were on sale at our nearby flea market.  My husband painted the chairs a gloss black enamel and I painted the ball decorations on them yellow before adding 24 carat gold leaf as a highlight. They also lacked seats, so I had an upholsterer add a thick padded seat to them, covered in a heavy natural duct cloth. Then I ordered 2 yds. of Dupioni blue striped silk from an ebay seller to make the ruffled seat covers with wide ties from it.

 For the living room fireside chair I bought a second, similar, upholstered chair from the consignment shop. This one needed to be smaller, but still able to fit anyone. It also needed arms since the couch we found was a sectional which didn’t have any. This chair is a sturdy one now with new seat springs and was brought home for painted ivory legs too. The cotton fabric came from a Calico Corners sale. Both newly upholstered armchairs were sprayed with fabric protector since they are both all cotton.

The other living room chair is an antique wicker one that I found over twenty years ago and spray painted with mat black Rustoleum. The wicker chair below is in the upstairs loft and was stripped of paint. Both chairs have Sunbrella custom cushions.

 I've added small painted benches upstairs as well...

 Choosing a Couch...
All of my boys requested a sectional couch, which was a challenge to find - and fit, into a twelve foot square living room. This one Alex picked up (second hand) in Boston for us and has been a big hit since it is easy to nap on - for more than one of us at a time! 

Outdoor Seating...

Bill has made garden seats which look so natural in colors and the spaces we found for them at Old Farm.

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