Tag: chairs

Breaking the Rules: 10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Fantastic Indoors

I’m a law abiding citizen.  I never went through a rebellious teenager stage.  Perhaps that’s why I get such a thrill when I see conventional decorating wisdom cast aside.  Following are 10 rooms that disregard “the rules” and feature outdoor chairs inside.  They range in style, but in all of them, the unexpected inclusion of outdoor furniture provides a jolt, added interest, and elevates the overall room.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

This Spanish home is monochromatic and wrought with quiet eclecticism–from the opulent lighting choices to the surprising glove molds displayed prominently on the mantel.  Weathered garden chairs blend into the scene beautifully, accompanied by potted palm trees.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

In the dining room of Michelle & Yvez Halard (found via architectural.com), the overall feel is maximalist and formal with the scroll-backed patio chairs adding a welcome dose of character.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

An unmatched pair of chairs by Junya Ishigami add a sculptural element to this marble-clad bathroom.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

In the bedroom of this Sydney flat, an ornate patio chair echoes the railing on the balcony and acts as a foil to the Japanese artwork it sits below.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

Informal and unpretentious, a trio of distressed red outdoor chairs surround an indoor dining table, creating a relaxed yet stylish scene.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

Garden chairs are an unexpected but no less beautiful addition to this French-inspired space with checked floors, toile-palened walls, and an imposing chest of drawers.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

In a polished living room with so many right angles, delicately scrolled patio chairs both soften the scene and add interest.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

Outdoor peacock chairs are right at home in this rustic and welcoming dining room.

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

A vintage patio chair works well as a vanity stool in this bathroom.  (I had a similar thought when I refinished a flea market find that now sits in front of my bedroom mirror.)

10 Times Outdoor Chairs Looked Great Indoors | Breaking the Rules | Motley Decor

A little greenery and some gorgeous garden chairs can go a long way in creating the illusion of dining al fresco in your centrally heated and/or cooled dining room, as evidenced by this home.

Do you use your patio chairs indoors?  If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

A Pair of Chet Beardsley Chairs Get an Update

I first saw these Chet Beardsley chairs on Craigslist, advertised by a local thrift shop.  I had been on the hunt for a pair of vintage chairs for  a while and they had all started to look the same–but not these.   These chairs had alluring curves, elongated backs, and generously proportioned seats.  I was enamored and rushed over to the store to see them in person.

Pair of Chet Beardsley chairs

Truth be told, they were in horrible shape with badly stained mustard-gold upholstery and honey-stained oak legs that–while period appropriate–made me cringe just a little.  Still, they were too unique to pass up, so I paid for them and took them home.

It wasn’t until I had them in the house that I looked under the seat and saw the Chet Beardsley sticker.

Chet Beardsley for Living Designs sticker

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find any information about designer Chet Beardsley online.  From what I’ve read, he was a Danish designer influenced by Adrian Pearsall and active in the 1950s-1970s.  A friend put me in touch with a mid century modern furniture “expert” who assured me that Chet Beardsley’s designs were “good solid stuff”.

Then came the difficult decision of how to refinish them.  Updating them for today while respecting their original era launched me into a tailspin of indecision and paralysis.  But, when I saw this fabric swatch featured in an issue of House Beautiful, the incessant internal debating came to an end.

Robert Allen Fabric Malakos Ink

I knew that the elongated, marbled pattern would suit the unique shape of my Chet Beardsley-designed dining chairs.  From there, all of the other decisions came easily.  After having lived with the wood stain of the swivel base, I was ready to compromise on period correctness and go with something darker.  Because many of Chet Beardsley’s similar chairs had a wood back (instead of fabric on both sides), I thought it was appropriate to employ leather on the backsides (matching the new wood stain as closely as possible) and securing it with brass nail heads.  This was the result…

Updated Chet Beardsley Chair

My husband and I eat dinner of these every night and I absolutely love them.  Perhaps I took too long deciding how to refinish and reupholster them, but in the end, it turned out all right.

Hutton Wilkinson’s Coral Dining Chairs

Few designers embrace maximalism and exoticism with the zeal of Hutton Wilkinson.  His interiors are luxurious, over-the-top, and downright exciting to behold.  The coral, cobalt, and gold dining room of his Beverly Hills home is a stunning example of his aesthetic.

Hutton Wilkinson's coral dining room and chairs.

Hutton Wilkinson’s dining room featured in Harper’s Bazaar boasts a set of stunning coral dining chairs.

If you’re looking for inspiration to refinish or reupholster your own dining chairs, why not take a page out of Wilkinson’s book and go coral-on-coral?  No doubt about it: it’s a bold choice, but as they say “fortune favors the bold” and this approach to design has certainly worked for Hutton Wilkinson.

Coral is an alluring color that can’t be categorized as red, pink, or orange.  Rather, it lives at the borders of those colors, occupying a space on the color wheel that is uniquely “coral”.  I have a personal attachment to this hue, because it always reminds me of a trip to Venice, Italy.  In that port, derivatives of coral can be found everywhere: earthy terracotta buildings, delicately carved peach cameos, blood orange Aperol cocktails, platters of blushing crustaceans, and–of course–the fiery sunsets reflected in the waters.  But I digress…[sigh]…

Look for chairs with intricate carvings or scrollwork or that boast a lovely, sculptural shape.  A saturated shade like coral with enhance the silhouette.   Benjamin Moore offers a plethora of paint shades in the coral family.  Try: Picante (006), Fan Coral (013), or Bird of Paradise (1305).

For seat cushions and upholstery there are also plenty of options.  Some of my favorites follow.

coral fabric

Beacon Hill’s Silk Lantern Coral Fabric is a close match to Wilkinson’s chairs…

Fortuny Corone in bittersweet & gold

Or splurge on Fortuny’s Corone

Pamilla Coral

Pamilla is an inexpensive alternative appropriate for outdoor use…

If I’ve managed to convince you to channel your inner Hutton Wilkinson and DIY a set of coral dining chairs (or even tempted you enough to consider it), I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment.

The Easiest DIY Chair Makeover Ever

One foggy Sunday morning, I was doing the only thing I can drag myself out of bed early on a Sunday to do: prowl the Rose Bowl Flea Market. It was still early when I spotted a trio of interesting, outdoor, iron chairs and motioned to my shopping companion.  Unimpressed, she made a face.  Still, I stopped to take a second look and, obligingly, she stopped too.

The design was almost primitive, with skinny, stick-like legs that flared out in contrast to the tall, narrow backs.  The thing that really caught my eye were two brass knobs at the top.

After a moment my friend whispered, “I don’t think they are going anywhere.  We can always come back.”

I couldn’t argue with her logic.  The chairs were hardly the sort of in-demand item that get scooped up right away and there was still so much ground to cover before the flea market started to get crowded.  Somewhat reluctantly, I continued on.

Later that morning, those quirky chairs were still nagging me, summoning me back for another look.  By the time we made our way back to them, I already knew that I would buy one of them and exactly how I would refinish it.  Luckily, the vendor agreed to sell me just one of the chairs (breaking up the set)–and for a steal–only $25!  I handed over the cash, threw that sucker over my shoulder, and we headed towards the parking lot.  I could tell that my comrade still had doubts about my judgement, but my doubts were gone.  I had a plan.

Kelly Wearstler seating

Kelly Wearstler’s Sonnet Chair

Drawing inspiration from Kelly Wearstler’s Sonnet chair (above), I gathered the necessary materials for my easy DIY chair makeover: foam, batting, faux  Mongolian fur in black (with the longest pile I could find), sandpaper, a scouring pad, and black spray paint.  Prepping the chair was easy.  I unscrewed the seat from the base of the chair and and removed the decades-old vinyl covering and padding beneath.  Sandpaper smoothed away the chipping paint and prepped the iron for a new coat.  And knobs I had admired shined again after being scuffed with a scouring pad.

chair seat

The seat turned out to be a piece of circular plywood.  I opted for a much thicker foam than the chair had originally been given and cut the foam to be congruent with the seat.  Then, I stapled the batting around the two and trimmed the excess.  The faux fur fabric went over the batting, following the same method.  Lastly, I screwed the seat back on to the newly painted frame.

And this is how the easiest DIY chair makeover turned out:

Before & After: Easy DIY Chair Makeover

This chair now serves as my vanity stool 95% of the time and pulls double duty as a spare dining chair when I host a dinner.  (I’m a proponent of mismatched dining chairs and made a conscious effort to curate distinctly different styles, but more on that in a future post…)  In any case, I absolutely love my quirky little chair!  Is it exactly like Kelly Wearstler’s Sonnet Chair?  Well, no.  However, it does recall the same slender bars, furry seat, and even has similar brass knobs.

To close, here are a few lessons I learned from this experience…

Listen to my gut–and those nagging feelings.

Don’t let someone’s doubt cloud my judgement.

There’s noting easier than reupholstering a chair with a pop off seat.

Beloved items don’t need to cost a lot.

Embrace the quirky.

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