Monday, January 14, 2008
Join the Club
There are people who have a natural attraction to chairs. One of my friend's husband says he's afraid without intervention and a little personal fortitude he might live surrounded by dozens of individual chairs. I don't want to disparage the sofa, but sofas are mostly functional. They can be stylish. But they don't have distinct personalities like chairs.
Mark Weaver in Rooms to Inspire, Annie Kelly.
Sometimes it's not so much of an attraction as an obsession. Not so much a club, say, as maybe CA. Chairaholics Anonymous.
Rooms to Inspire, Annie Kelly.
I went to an estate sale with a neighbor one time. We both spied the funny, vintage wing chair that is now in my office at the same time. She said, "You get it. If you don't have a place for it, I'll take it." Yes, maybe to her attic. To be friends with the other chairs there.
Patrick Naggar and Terese Carpenter in House and Garden, Book of Style.
I'm not throwing stones. I have some chair issues myself. My problem is, I don't want to stop. Even though I know it's not healthy to have three pairs of chairs in the basement, well, you never know when there will be the right place. You might never come upon a good chair again so you better get them while you can.
The late Roger Banks Pye, Colefax and Fowler Interior Inspirations.
One of my favorite styles of chair is the klismos. The Greeks dreamed this baby up in about the 7th century B.C. and it's been making comebacks ever since.
Michael S. Smith in his book, Elements of Style.
Klismos chairs are characterized by legs that curve out, a back support of a rectangular panel that curves to hug the body.
Stephen Sills and James Huniford in their book, Dwellings, Living with Great Style.
Beyond that, the maker can do any crazy thing he wants to it. Widen it. Deepen the seat. Craft it from metal, aluminum or wood. Gilt, wicker, carvings.
Banks Pye, again.
Still klismos. You can see the style has quite a following. Klismos chairs work well as side chairs, desk chairs (careful about arm height) and dining chairs.
Steven Gambrel, above, his own home, Elle Decor. Below, in House and Garden.
Hmm...dining chairs. That would be a nice excuse to acquire ten new chairs. Nice upholstered seat. Perhaps even the back.
Perfect spot for a meeting. "Hi. My name's Mrs. Blandings...and I'm a chairaholic.
Image, top, Albert Hadley for Mr. and Mrs. Michael Druckman in Albert Hadley, The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer, Adam Lewis.