12.22.2013

My Favorite Chair






The folks from One Kings Lane reached out to me and asked me to feature a seat from my home on my blog, so here it is:

A favorite chair in my house is a hollywood regency styled, barrel backed club chair which I call my "little tub chair."   I found the pair a nearby thrift store and it was love at first sight when I saw those upholstered legs.  Yes, I picked them up for a song, but I made up for it in reworking these babies to be as comfortable as any chair can be...  We placed it right in front of our fireplace with its mate --  a favorite spot for reading, relaxing and having a nice cup of tea.  This chair is the perfect size for my modest house; the mid-centrury proportions are comfortable, inviting and wonderfully scaled to our room.

Hollywood Regency styles can go really big (think Dorothy Draper) or small, intimate and portable.   My Mid Century barrel club chairs are smaller in scale, have feminine lines, low backs with arms that scoop around to the front encircling the seat and slope gently downward with a slight flair.

To say that tub or barrel chairs have been around for a long time is an understatement -- below is picture from an Etruscan throne room from 650 BC. The chair was used in the French courts of the 18th and 19th centuries, but in recent history, the chair found popularity in Art Deco through the designs of Josef Hoffmann who designed a chair to inspire furniture makers for a century.

There have been quite a few modern incarnations of the barrel chair, but they were really popular with the second wave of Hollywood Regency Style in the 1960-1970s, which is origin of my chair...
 A not very cushy chair from the Etruscan Tomb of the Shields and the Chairs, Cerveteri, c. 700 - 650 B.C.
Venetian Painted Wood Tub Chairs, circa 1750-1760, remarkably restrained for the period


A pair of Vienna Secessionist lounge chairs designed by Josef Hoffmann and made by Wittmann of Austria. Originally designed for the Villa Gallia in 1913






1940's chairs attributed to Dorothy Draper

Barrel/Tub chair attributed to Billy Haines c1960s


Mr. & Mrs. Harding Lawrence residence designed by Billy Baldwin, there is a lovely skirted barrel chair with feminene lines
Harding Lawrence Residence by Billy Baldwin and another rounded back chair


So I think my chair is Hollywood Regency in style, with its curved lines.  The current Hollywood Regency style had its modern origins (lets not hearken back to the 18th Century or ancient Greece) in the glamorous golden age of Hollywood movie sets and was initiated by actor turned decorator, Billy Haines.  This style evolved from the 1920's to 40's and saw a second wave of popularity in 1960-1970s -- think Karl Springer and Billy Baldwin.  Classical lines and furniture styles, as well as bold color and Chinoserie accents characterize the movement.  Popular enthusiasts of the past few years are Kelly Wersler, Johnathan Adler, Miles Redd and Meg Braff.

If you like reading about the historical significance of furniture like I do, then be sure to check out One Kings Lane Home Decor Resource page for some fascinating facts about chairs styles through the ages.

By the way, I would probably have more items from my own house on my blog, but I am like the cobbler, my house is always the last on the list for attention as I am always working on someone else's pad.  One of  my New Year's resolutions is to finish up some rooms in my own home...I do have DADD (decorator attention deficit disorder) -- the urge to redecorate when everything seems "finished" because I am sick of it all already.  My sweet husband thinks I should exercise my demons by limiting my services to others. Hah! Not likely.


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