Monday, December 30, 2013

Pull up a Chair

Right before I left for my trip to Europe, I received an e-mail from a rep at One Kings Lane, the online furniture and home decor retailer. I was asked to write a blog post about statement chairs that I have in my house and how I use them. That was exciting, but I knew there was no way under the sun I would be able to photograph and write a  post before I left. So, I've had this self-imposed deadline of getting it written before the first of the year. 

In total, I have over 20 chairs in and around my house. To be honest, I was shocked when I counted them all, having no idea that I kept such a large collection in a relatively small house. 



If you visit knot too shabby, you should know how much I love chairs. We boast over 50 unique chairs in the shop, that hang on the walls just waiting for paint and upholstery. It's no wonder that I maintain a diverse collection of my own at home.



I bought this chair at a yard sale years ago for just $5. I added a burlap sack to the seat cushion, toss a throw pillow on it and call it a day. It's my husbands TV watching chair and provides for an extra seat in the living room when we have company.



This delicate chair also sits in my living room. I bid on it at auction several years ago. I was drawn to its petite size and the beautiful wood tones. I've had several different upholstery treatments on it, but right now it also has a burlap sack on the seat cushion. This one I nabbed for $20. 



My desk chair is another great $5 yard sale find. It is a simple design, but sturdy. Perfect for a chair that gets used all throughout the day by the entire family. I liked the dark wood on this chair.



I've had five or six different chairs paired with this desk, but this one has managed to stay the longest.

I am particular when it comes to selecting the perfect chair. 



1. Chairs need to be versatile. My kitchen sits right off of my living room, so I want all of the chairs in the two rooms to have dual functionality. When we have a large party and need to move chairs from the kitchen to the living room, I want them to match and look as though they belong even though they are my "kitchen" chairs...and vice versa. We pull chairs from the living room to the kitchen table often.



2. They need to be kid friendly. For years, I had upholstered chairs around my kitchen table. After about the sixth upholstery change in two years, I finally sold them and settled on ones that are easier to clean. Really, it wasn't worth the frustration toward a two-year old who was slopping spaghetti all over the place just to keep  the upholstery clean. It was a battle I was never going to win. 


3. For my style, I am drawn to chairs with an old world patina! And, in keeping with the kid friendly theme, there's no scratch, stain, nick or ding that is going to make this chair look any more worn than it already does.  


4. Whether it's a chair or any other piece of furniture, I like it to have a story. In this case, my 93-year old Grandfather pulled a set of these chairs out of the trash on his street. I was so taken that he went through the effort of not only hobbling over to the trash to get it, but to store it and save it for me for my next visit. The sheer fact that he would think of me when seeing those chairs was special. It's not a family heirloom, but I like knowing that my Papa salvaged this chair specifically with me in mind. 


5. Don't be afraid to defy design standards. The only common denominator among my kitchen chairs is that I like each one individually. They don't match in style, color or finish. But, I like them all for one reason or another and I'm okay that they look a little querky. 


6. Chairs are such a great accent to fill an otherwise empty space. 


Few things look better wedged into an underutilized corner of a room than a nice, decorative accent chair. Add a pillow or throw blanket and you have instant texture.


7. Incorporate pieces that make you smile.


No matter how old I am, I will always have this hand painted children's rocking chair that my Aunt painted for me when I was a baby. I smile when my kids use and will be sad when they outgrow it. 


8. Lastly, be daring with color. There is no better way to incorporate bold colors in your home than with a chair. A brightly colored chair won't typically overwhelm a space, but adds just the right punch when you need a little color. 

On the flip side, if most of your furniture is painted, chairs that are kept in their natural wood add a touch of warmth to a room design. 

Hopefully this finds you inspired to try out some different chairs in your home! 





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