Pull up a CHAIR, let's sit for a spell and chat, shall we?

checked chair








You may collect vinyl records, baseball cards, old books or black shoes.

Lionel trains, binoculars, figurines (oh please, not those), salt and pepper shakers or bird houses.

Or nothing at all.

I collect chairs.

Chairs, you ask? Who collects chairs? They are a functional piece of furniture to sit on and nothing more. You probably don't think twice about a chair unless it's your favorite, old comfy chair to sit and read or take an indulgent nap. A recliner to watch HGTV and Bears football games. Or the chair at your desk that's not at all comfortable and hurts your lower back. The chairs you sit on to eat exist only to pull you up to the table.

Take a moment to look at your favorite chair. Is it upholstered and worn out from age and the dog snoozing there? Has the cat clawed the back so badly it looks like shredded cheese with the batting peeking out? Could it be the rocking chair you lull your baby to sleep in?

Everyone has a favorite chair. We plop down into the seat and it feels like an old friend wrapping its arms around us as we put up our feet after a long day. Some people are so territorial, no one else is allowed to sit in "their chair."

Do you cover it with a throw to hide its stains and flaws because you can't bear to part with it? Don't we all?

Learn to appreciate the lines of the legs, a decorative back, natural texture on the seat or sublime fabric. Not one to believe that furniture should match, I like to mix things up and go for a more eclectic style.

A good chair is a work of art in sculpture form.

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin. What else does a man need to be happy?

Albert Einstein

Some of the chairs in my home are never sat on.

Grandma Bessie's chair was passed down to me and is at least 125 years old. Standing only about three feet tall, its cane seat is quite fragile and I doubt would hold ninety pounds. Americans were much smaller back then, before drinking Diet Coke made us all fat. It functions as a piece of sculpture in the living room and not a place to sit.  Aboriginal women made the accent pillow and I think they contrast well together.



This beauty was made in Mexico. It's rugged, distressed, chunky and makes you sit up tall. My husband hates it, but he's overruled. He doesn't even remember buying it for me on my birthday one year when I drooled over it in the barn at Ginger Blossom in Richmond, IL, just south of the Wisconsin border.  http://www.gingerblossom.com/

It would look handsome in any room, even in a bathroom with a stack of towels folded on the seat. It's NOT going anywhere. Kept in the dining room for extra seating, it makes me smile every time I stroll past it.


A house that does not have one warm, comfy chair in it is soulless.

May Sarton

Found at a flea market twenty five years ago, this green giant is chipped and covered in multiple coats of paint. When I bought it, people suggested I strip it down and refinish it. Why would I do that? I love this chair just the way she is. That's what makes her so interesting.

Why is this chair a female? How in the hell am I supposed to know? She just is.

When I taught Art, my students loved to draw her. Look at those graceful lines, can you blame them? She can function as a bedside table, hold a stack of books or simply spice up a room with that shocking pop of almost hideous color. Currently by the back door of the kitchen, it's the perfect place to sit and put on your shoes.


Old empty chairs are not empty in reality; memories always sit there.

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Another flea market find, this old chair has been resurrected, painted and reupholstered. It caught my eye in the middle of a parking lot and it was love at first sight. This chair could be right at home in a bedroom, dining room, living room or even one of those huge, luxurious bathrooms I read about in decorating magazines.

I imagine a woman lounging on this chair in her robe, waiting for the tub to fill, in her sumptuous, spa bathroom. Only in my dreams.

You'll find this one at the head of our dining room table. NO, the chairs do not match, and that's a good thing.


Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend, a can of glossy spray paint is. Watch out if you see me with a can of Rust-Oleum 2X Ultracover. Nothing is sacred. It comes in every color imaginable and turns a dull, drab piece of furniture into a saucy conversation piece.

It's the cheapest and easiest way to shake things up in a room that needs a little pazzaz. Be bold and paint a boring, lifeless chair orange and cover the seat in modern, graphic fabric. Go ahead, you won't regret it.

A garage sale bargain for a few dollars, this feisty little number was spray painted white and then I stretched a new, black and white cotton fabric onto the seat. It holds pillow shams in the bedroom during peaceful slumber.


Vincent Van Gogh thought enough of his chairs, they often became the subject matter of his paintings. I felt a bond with Vincent that we both admire the beauty of a simple chair.

Recently on display in the "Van Gogh's Bedroom" exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, this painting shows a rustic, rush seat holding his pipe and tobacco. Painted in 1888, during one of his most creative periods in Arles, France, it's in the permanent collection at the National Gallery in London.


Oh, and that black and white, buffalo checked chair at the top of this post - it's "my favorite comfy chair." I'll lie sideways on it with my feet dangling over that curvy arm like a lazy slob and read, listen to music or just do some deep thinking.  Grandma Bessie would be shocked it can hold two adults. You really sink into the seat like a hummingbird's egg in the tiny nest, and never want to get out.

I'm glad we could sit for a spell and have this little chat.  I hope you were somewhat inspired to appreciate your favorite chair or perhaps, rescue an old one that needs a new beginning.

Recycle, repurpose and reboot a chair that will add character to your home and tell the story of your life, one layer of paint at a time.


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