The other day it dawned on me that every chair in our home is preloved or vintage. Whatever the correct term may be, not one was purchased at a chain/ big box store. If you have read any of my other blog posts you know that I love to mix it up with pattern, colour, art & vintage accessories. My husband & I purchased the leather sofa in our living room from a store I worked at when we moved into our current home two years ago. Before that we have had a collection of vintage sofas. Vintage chairs are easier to find & re-upholster in my opinion & you can usually find somewhere to put them in your space. My husband supports my chair obsession & I thank him for it.
I received Emily Henderson's book Styled for a Christmas gift. I am not a stylist but, I did study Interior Decorating in College and I think I have a good eye for putting eclectic looks together. Your space should reflect you & those who enter it hopefully will feel that connection as well. All of our chairs have been collected over years from auctions, estate sales, thrift shops, kijiji, & my parent's house.
My mom is my partner in crime; she knows my taste well & will often find me a deal. Now that we live in the same city we are able to shop with one another which is fun. 2015 was a good year as I was able to find a lot of pieces & rugs to finish off decorating our home.
When I discovered this beauty my mother-in-law was driving me & my girls through a small town called Bobcaygeon. If you're Canadian you all know the Tragically Hip song...sorry if you can't get it out of your head now. I seriously yelled "Stop the car... back up" Just like the lady in the Ikea commercials. When we pulled up in front of the thrift shop my mother-in-law asked me what I was interested in? When I showed her the chair she looked at me with a strange face, it was so rusted & grungy. It had previously lived outdoors, but I saw the potential. Hours of scraping paint off in the garage & a few cans of spray paint made it come back to life. My oldest daughter has it in her room. It's not a cuddle up & I'll read you a book kinda chair but, it's comfy when I need to relax & blow dry her hair.
When we first moved into this home I browsed Kijiji (similar to Craigslist) on a daily basis. We had sold stuff before we moved, which allowed me to find some pieces to fit in where I needed them. This ad appeared & I couldn't call the lady quick enough. She lived right up the street from us & was moving so everything was being sold. No bargaining done, I gave her what she was asking as I knew I was getting a deal. This chair sits in our living room, it's comfy too you can ask my husband!
My mom got this chair for me probably 15 years ago from an estate sale, I think she paid $10. When we moved my husband didn't want me to sell it & it now sits in the corner of his office. I chose a microfibre material as it is durable & it used to be a popular choice for fabric where I worked. It has a tufted back & a retro style, it makes a great extra chair if you need another seat while entertaining. I also want to tell you that two years ago I scored that Jonathan Adler inspired needlepoint pillow at a church flea market...$2, score of the day! I am not sure what I was thinking when I painted that bentwood stool years ago, first it was orange & it has been yellow for a while now. It was a thrift shop find for $5 I think.
My mom got this pretty much for free at an auction. She had it in her shed in the backyard for a long time before I even saw it. At the time we lived in Burlington & I had no space for it. It sat in the corner of our basement with toys & junk on it for a long time. It now fits perfectly under the window in my youngest daughter's room. I'm glad I held on to it, it feels like it was meant to be in that space. It usually has a lot of her favourite stuffed bunnies on it (she let me move them to take the photo!).
I have worked in a number of furniture & design stores that have sold knock off Eames Chairs. My husband has always wanted one. He watches Mad Men folks and he knows what good design is. One day I found an ad on Kijiji for a chair an ottoman under $200 & I emailed the seller without checking with him first. The colour is perfect as black would not fit in with our colour scheme. He was on board with it & the seller lived down the street from my parents. How easy was that?! She said they were passed down to her from a family member & she no longer had room for them. Lucky us, as they now sit in front of our television in the basement.
Check out a Law & Order episode & you'll see this chair. It's the go to interrogation chair for the television & film industry. My husband & I were on vacation in Pittsburgh years ago & instead of me dreaming of our trip to see Falling Water, I remember telling him that I really needed to go back to the Goodwill Shop we stopped in the previous day. There was a group of these chairs, I chose my two favourite's...$5 each! We drove & didn't have kids so there was room in the trunk. The metal was the same grey but, the upholstery was a dirty green shade. I used so many of those Mr.Clean magic erasers to try & clean them. I think they were in a school as someone has scratched their name on one on the top at the back. My parent's neighbour is an upholsterer & he did these in a white vinyl for me. The material was cheap as I worked at the store where I ordered it from. They now flank a teak console in our laundry room, the lighting was too dark so I brought them upstairs to capture this shot. They are so versatile, extra seating in the living room or as end chairs at the dining table.
Stools at our new home were tricky as everything I liked was either the wrong height or too expensive. The previous owners were tall & the counters are not standard height. They left us the three vinyl ones they had with cat scratches on them. So we used them for a year and a half until we got these. I'm crazy & search for stuff online in cities I don't live near. These were in Hamilton (a 2 hour+ drive) & my girlfriend who also loves a good deal picked them up for us. My husband saw the photo of them & said "where are the backs?". Turns out they are comfy as well. I have to supervise my youngest daughter when she climbs up on them but, eventually she'll be able to do it on her own. They were $45 for the set & the caning is in perfect shape. I gave them a fresh coat of black paint & think they add the perfect bit of vintage to our kitchen.
My mom has kept a lot of things from my childhood including a kid's table & two chairs. This is in the girls' playroom & the pink colour I painted them really updates the set from the traditional dark wood they used to be. Note the candy machine which has candy in it that is maybe 10 yrs old. Doesn't everybody pay a huge fortune for decorative candy no one is allowed to eat, or is it just me? I grew up with that in my parent's house. I painted it turquoise as I am not a fan of red... oh the memories.
I was driving home a few weeks ago I noticed the wood shell on this chair sticking out of the back of my neighbour's pick-up truck. I asked him what we was doing with it & he replied that they just got a new office chair & he was taking it to the dump. Timing is everything & luck has a big part of thrifting as well. He is a great guy & even carried it into the house for me. My husband's back was sore from his other chair, so he welcomed this into his office quite easily. It's in pretty good shape other than the piping that is coming off on the arm pads. Maybe one day we'll fix it...maybe not.
Im excited to share more of our home with you in 2016. A house tour is in the works that I'm excited about. I love design blogs & seeing what stuff strangers have thrifted or found on the side of the street!