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.
Neirmann Weeks

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.

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14 thoughts on “Join the Club

  1. A long time ago, my bfferer (hey, I’m the mother of a 16 year old girl, give me a break) came over and started counting chairs in my house. It was over 30 back then, boy was I shocked! I had no idea!! scared to do a head count these days, it might be in the thousands. I’ll join you at that meeting: my name is Joni Webb and I am a chairaholic.

  2. I’ve got something of a chair addiction myself – to Louis chairs – although I don’t own any as yet. I saw one about 3 months ago and have been waiting for it to go on sale. This is the week, so I’ll be going on Wednesday to (hopefully) buy it or one of its friends. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the cool chair images and great blog!

  3. Cat sits in the sun.
    Dog sits in the grass.
    Turtle sits on the rock.
    Frog sits on the lily pad.

    Do all these chairs make you a Sitting Duck?

  4. Informative and humorous all at once. You helped my Monday morning get off to a great start. Love the chairaholic comments.

  5. First, love the leopard chair in the Banks Pye image.

    I used to be really fixated on chairs; now I think I’m transferring a bit to benches and ottomans 🙂

  6. Ooooo — yes — my husband has to drag me away from some chairs in lovely stores OR found treasures at thrift stores — because there isn’t another inch of space at this little house! Of course I prefer cozy comfy chairs AND a table to put down a drink or cup of tea. And lamps …. And rugs …… Drat! LOL!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage who can no longer count her weaknesses — especially after a martini …

  7. I am a chairaholic too, but feed my addiction through painting them. Cheaper than buying them and you never run out of space!

  8. Than you for the chair inspiration! So lovely! I’m a bit of a chair addict myself. I love that you can combine different shapes and fabrics, and move them around easily unlike with a huge sofa.

  9. I will see you at the meeting! My FAVORITE class in school was Chairs 101. (Though I am sure the course had a more scholarly name). I am anxiously awaiting the return of my last chair project from the upholsterer.

  10. Chairs are like people, with arms, legs, backs, shoulders. Which likely accounts for my fascination with them. And likely why I avoid pairs of chairs at all costs; I want them to be different, individual, singular. I have more chairs than I need, honestly, but cannot stop myself from buying them. Or finding them and bringing them home for rehabilitation through paint and upholstery. Which reminds me: I have to pick up a couple I recently had redone.

  11. I know that you are a big fan of Mariette Himes Gomez, who admits (in both of her books) to having a serious chair addiction.

    The chairs that I am currently remaking were in the attic for years, but I knew their time would come, eventually. Their time is now. I can’t wait to get them back from the upholsterer to join the house in a more prominent role!

    P.S. – I love that Niermann Weeks ad (the last picture). That is my mirror on the wall. I considered getting those sconces pictured with the mirror, but instead chose some others that are on order right now.

  12. you sure have made be hanker for a pair of klismos chairs for my living room. or better yet, a set of my favorite version, the donghia anziano chair, around my dining table.

    nice post!

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