Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wing Chairs

I’ve been stalking Craigslist for the last two months looking for wing chairs to add to our living room. I finally found a pair that I loved (Hickory Chair, beautiful lines, detailed wood carriage, less than $300 for the set) but the woman decided to give them to a friend and I was heartbroken. Part of the problem is I know exactly what I’m looking for and I have no idea what I’m looking for all at the same time.

Some days I want Barclay Butera style chairs with traditional carriage legs gussied up in a graphic colorful outdoor fabric. A cross between contemporary and traditional. Young, but classic; practical, but stylish.

Other days I want a petite wing back with Queen Anne style legs swathed in a textured wool herringbone slipcover. Something to just fall into with a good book and a cup of tea after a long day. A piece that will look cozy and inviting but formal and tailored at the same time.

And then there’s the part of me that’s drawn to the androgyny of this chair. Its tailoring, broad wingspan and brass nail heads are so masculine. But the attention to detail, the lines, the low arms are so soft and pretty. It’s classic and beautiful. You could spend a lifetime in a chair like this. I think I'd upholster them in a neutral coarse basketweave linen and throw some vibrant and graphic lumbar pillows in the curve of their backs.

I guess it will just depend on which pair of chairs I stumble onto first. I really want to repurpose used furniture rather than buy new, which makes the decision somewhat tentative (or somewhat definitive, depending on how you look at the situation). I wonder what I’ll end up with?

When a home speaks such volumes about its owners, I wonder if it’s wise to leave the decision up to the randomness of Craigslist. But I just don’t think I could be disappointed with the outcome.

Sources: (1) Tobi Fairley, (2) via Little Green Notebook, (3) Williams Sonoma Home

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