Don’t let this fading summer pass you by…*

*Lyrics from Neko Case’s “Magpie to the Morning on her album Middle Cyclone. Which is amazing, by the way.

Recently, whilst lamenting that there’s nothing worth buying in thrift stores, craigslist, or what have you in our less than cutting edge used furniture market (come on, locals, you know I’m not lying) I happened upon a listing that seemed too good to be true. Button-tufted swiveling barrel chairs in their original “gold” upholstery for $20. Total. Well, turns out the listing price was a mistake, and the listing was removed. Boo.

I moved on with my life, as anyone would, and was delighted to get an email about a week later from the seller saying that he was sorry for the confusion, and that the chairs were still available, but at a new price. $50 for the pair. Seriously. Where on earth can you find two upholstered chairs for $50, let alone ones that swivel? You can’t. Unless your local comrades decide they actually don’t like the mustard-olive (they saw it as gold) faux slub silk (polyester) fabric that’s still on them from the late 70’s. Well, I don’t like the fabric that much, either, but I don’t mind paying to have them reupholstered. (I say that now – check with me once I’ve actually gone through the process and am crying about how expensive my little craigslist chairs actually cost what new ones would.)

Two little guys fit right into the back of the car. (I doctored the image a bit to showcase the features for my mom.)

A closer look at them inside. The color is a bit more mustardy than this, but golden 70's mustard should tell you what you need to know about the color.

But, they’re really not for me. Yet. I mean, I originally saw them and thought of them for my mom. She likes an eclectic mix of things, and needs more seating. These were proportionally the right size for her teeny living space, and give her the option of positioning herself in front of the (sun or other) light exactly where she needs it to read. So I thought they’d be a perfect investment. Mom could use them for a few years, and we could have them reupholstered to suit any of our tastes for long, long-term future heirloom potential.

So I got to thinking: what is mom’s taste? Recently we’d been talking about what her style is, and aside from the obvious (and completely unhelpful) “eclectic” descriptor, we came up with two styles that she likes: Danish modern and French country. So, mixing them up Hollywood-style gets me Danish country and French modern (or Daco and Fremo, if you’re all Brangelina and Bennifer about it). I can work with that. The chairs speak to the French portion of that style, but where’s the Danish? I’ll have to find just the right fabric to bring out that crafted, casual, but classical and rich style that she likes.

House Beautiful March 2009, via

Sisal on the floor and pale patterned textiles turn the classical features of the room – the fireplace, with mirror, the symmetrical furniture placement – into a more inviting and modern version of a French sitting room.

From, via

Weathered touches, like the leather on the sofa, mixes nicely with clean, pale floors, and bright, un-treated windows.

House Beautiful March 2009, via

The bold pattern on the rug modernizes the classical French chairs, and wakes up the rustic setting making it feel fresh.

Found on, from

A bright burst of color, with natural wood tones and soothing neutrals pulls that modern Danish country feeling into the space.

House Beautiful March 2009, via

A new take on toile with palm trees and pink with hand-woven (looking) bedding take the formal out of the French here.

House Beautiful March 2009, via

The striped flooring, the painted wood, the bold patterned chair – these all work to turn something classically formal into something welcoming, soft and touchable.

Perfect inspiration for my mom, don’t you think? xoxo

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