The Life of Furniture

A little while ago, when I was meeting with clients Debe and Adam, I mentioned that it was unusual for me to receive true handed down antiques like theirs to work on. Surprised, they asked why. I answered, “Because who wants to give fine heirloom pieces to someone called ‘A Chick & A Chair’, and has a cartoon character for their logo? It doesn’t exactly say ‘fancy furniture’.” 😆

So today, while digging around in their antique chair, and tearing back the layers, I realized there was a common theme in the antiques that I DO work on:

They’re lived in.

They’re not the types of pieces that great grandma kept under plastic in that room that nobody ever sat in. They’re pieces that are in the middle of the spaces we use most – and they get used as well! Kids jump on them, people sprawl in them, clothes get thrown on them, TV gets watched in them.

They’re doing what they were made for. They’re functional. They’re not art pieces made to look at and admire. Sure, they can be pretty, and I think they look amazing when they leave the Henhouse, but they’re USED daily!

In Debe and Adam’s chair, (which had exceptionally tight spaces, explaining why these things were never found), I found all sorts of YEARS of life happening: a pen, chop stick wrappers, receipts, an orange colored pencil, Monopoly money, the back of a remote control, a single pick up stick, a straw wrapper from Arby’s, a dog biscuit, an aspirin, clothing tags, a penny, a bubble gum wrapper, a Cabbage Patch Kid tag from 1984… LIFE!

I can easily imagine the events that took place in this chair over the years: New clothes being tried on, a puppy jumping up, a game that someone tried to win by making a stash, the person frustrated by the remote that always lost its batteries, a TV dinner of takeout, someone with a headache trying to find a dropped pill, grandpa with the coins in his pockets that always jingled… LIFE!

So while my business doesn’t say, “Bring me your fine heirlooms,” it certainly says,

“Bring me your well-loved pieces that you do life in, and I’ll make them ready for more.”

And I’m totally okay with that.

Joyfully yours,

A Tropical Tale

Before and after!

This very cool wooden rocking settee once belonged to client Suzan’s former mother in law. It originally had a very busy, very 60’s print on it, along with a skirt.

However, by the time Suzan acquired it, it had a different fabric on the seat, springs were missing, one had been replaced by another spring that was completely different from the rest and ill-fitting, and the skirt was gone.
She loved the settee and its gentle rocking with the slight wooden creaks as it moved, so she tossed some outdoor cushions on the back and called it good.

Cue to current day: Suzan was thinking about making a move, and she wanted the settee to come along for the ride, wherever that may be. She contacted me, and we started to unpack the vision she had…

Blues, she said. Teal, to be exact. I pulled out the plentiful books with the popular color, and we began a search. It quickly became apparent that the solids and simple textures were not enough for Suzan’s tastes, so I pulled out one of the Greenhouse Fabrics vignette books with the beautiful combinations of patterns and solids.

Almost before either of us knew what was going on, Suzan’s eyes fell on things altogether lovely, altogether beautiful, altogether… completely not what we had been looking for!

Her eyes had been drawn, almost irresistibly, to the undeniably provocative call of the tropics. A beautiful textured fabric called Watermelon had been perfectly paired with a floral linen aptly name Island Green, and her mind was made up. Completely decided. Teal was forgotten, and been usurped by this come-hither combination. Her heart wouldn’t consider any others. Her breath had been taken.

Her new home still in limbo, but a gorgeous settee waiting in the wings, Suzan’s future space will be looking bright with this little isle in the midst of even the dreariest of Minnesota months.

Joyfully yours,