Monday, November 9, 2009

So the Thing That Separates Me From Fred Sanford is What?

My name is Anna See and I have a problem with CHAIRS.

Today we will take a tour into the seemy underbelly of the See household to discover just how many chairs I've accumulated over the years. Prepare yourself for lots of dog hair, Legos, bad paint jobs, bad judgment and even worse photography.

Note: no dust bunnies were harmed in the making of this blog post.

I would like some lovely new chairs. They should be comfortable and stylish. Slipper chairs from Target, perhaps?

The problem is, this house is already full of chairs. Chairs seem to seek me out wherever I go. You may have already read about these chairs I found in the trash and fixed up:

They have two buddies--adirondack chairs-- chipping away in the yard and a few more "finds" on the back porch which, thankfully, can not be seen too clearly in this photo.

The suede chair I snagged out of the trash and spray painted is suffering right now. Her legs have started to separate from her body. Not sure what to do about that.

And you remember my thrift store dining room chairs. I bought 7, but only 5 survive. Not the most comfy things, but I LOVE how they look with their fresh coat of heirloom white.

But there's a lot around here I haven't shown you. The 6 Ikea dining chairs I got for $3.00 each are scattered around the house with various slipcovers and degrees of dog hair. They are comfortable and versatile.

I want to stain or paint the grungy legs of the ones that are in the kitchen, but I haven't gotten motivated to do it.

They can also be found in my office and our bedroom.

Also in the kitchen is this bench. It's an old church pew. It used to be in the front hall of my home growing up. My mom would hide her Tab and Coke behind it so we couldn't drink it. Now I use that same space as a pseudo-pantry. It's probably the only piece of furniture in the house that is safe from a can of white spray paint.

When I think of getting a nice built-in window seat here, with drawers underneath, I can't bear the thought of getting rid of this bench. This is where you will find Shadow perched (!!!!) waiting for me to get home from work.

"Pantry" view:

Then there is this elephant in the room, the dining room to be precise. Remember how I told you my grandparents were furniture people? Well, in addition to the broken settee and chair I have waiting for a new home in the basement I have this huge chair in my dining room, one in my bedroom, and a corner chair in my upstairs hall, all from the same Victorian furniture set. That pea green upholstery from the 70's is a terry cloth towel, I believe.

Wouldn't they look fun and funky painted a dove gray with black and white and hot pink upholstery? But that still wouldn't make them any more comfortable.

There's also the one that represents my first foray into spray painting and recovering furniture using a staple gun. This one is hanging out in a corner, looking for a new home.

Then we have these 2 wing back chairs. When I was growing up they were green and gold velvet. I had them covered in denim about 15 years ago and they could use some sprucing up again. Silhouette pillow courtesy of my super-creative friend Theresa. Every Thanksgiving my parents sat in these at either end of our really long dining room table.

What about my mom's little cane chair next to her antique desk? I remember her sitting there in our old house paying bills and writing notes on thick correspondence cards-- all January Jones-like with her blond hair and housecoat. Later, this became a good spot for me to sit and talk to boyfriends on the phone until the wee hours.

Do we dare venture upstairs to the top of the house?

This dainty chair was used by the smallest relative each Thanksgiving. I was the youngest, so that was usually me!

What about this one in Jake's room? It is huge AND uncomfortable, but for some reason we all love it. I'm mad at myself for getting rid of the slipcover my grandmother made for it in the 50's. Darn. How do you like all the crap on it? Keeping it real.

In fact, I'll admit that there's no way we could possibly SIT on all of the chairs I'm showing you, given their varying degrees of uncomfortableness (?) and disrepair, but they do make good holding areas for stuff.

Guest room time. This old chippy wicker rocker was on our screened porch growing up. It's the chair I rocked (and rocked!) my daughter in when she was a baby.

I love this armless rocker in the basement. Unfortunately, it got punctured in the moving van (by another chair!) and has a hole in it. My grandpa tried to talk me through how to re-cane it before he died, but here it sits. It was in my bedroom growing up.

Any tour would not be complete without a peek into the creepy unfinished basement area:

A favorite platform rocker from my Dad's parents. It needs a new arm.

Yes, those are stacks and stacks of other chairs. I do believe these pictures clearly illustrate the dangers of having storage space. Thank God I don't have a garage.

So, I guess it's beginning to become clear why there are no new Target slipper chairs in my future. I really do want fresh, stylish furniture, but I can't help but be drawn to the Charlie Brown aspects of hand-me-downs and cast-offs. I feel like they can be redeemed. And if not by me, then by whom?

Which may explain why I did not hesitate before picking this up at the thrift shop on Thursday for $2.00.

Yes, I know, Tom is a saint.


PaperCourt said...

I love the white dining chairs!

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Yes, you of have a lot of chairs! They are hard to resist, because it's easy to find cute cheap chairs. I love the white French style chair near the top and your "pantry" is a riot. You've gotta get storage wherever you can, right? Thanks for sharing some reality.

Heidi said...

That is a SERIOUS collection of chairs. You have some great finds there and some serious creativity to go with them. I don't think I would be able to resist at 3 dollars apiece either.

Anonymous said...

wow. and they are all so fantastic!


Anonymous said...

How on earth did you find a thrift store that sells chairs for $2. Jealous!

Sokphal said...

You need your own tv show. I think HGTV is hiring. You have great taste!

Lynn Kellan said...

Anna, I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself, but I think you may have a wee bit of a chair fetish. :)

Shana said...

The first step is admitting you have a problem. Well done.

Christy said...

You are HYSTERICAL! My favorites are definitely the white dining room chairs, and the armless chair in the basement. Too freaking funny. And the ending? Priceless! He is a saint!

K A B L O O E Y said...

Love the 50's final purchase with the groovy floral fabric. You know, kudos to Tom, because my partner doesn't tolerate my penchant for street finds or $3 fix-me-up thrift store finds. Then again, he post-dates the only slightly broken bentwood rocker I dragged across Greenwich Village and up to my walk-up years ago. That might have swung him to our cause. Nah, who am I kidding?

Mel said...

I'm not sure what separates you from Fred, but I do know that you are both hilarious.

I LOVE the dining chairs.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

You are sooooo funny. I love all of your chairs. I would have a hard time getting rid of them - it's almost like each has a story. But really - it's time to stop now.

Unknown said...

I have to tell you, I love reading your blog! You crack me up! I also LOVE those white dining chairs.

Gretchen said...

Um, girl, is there a program for people like you? You definitely need a program.

Just kiddin.

Momastery said...

Yes, I agree with Texan Mom. You need a program, Anna.Or perhaps you could start your own Chairity.

You know, for people who don't have enough places to sit.

Love G

Ms. Molly said...

Dang Anna you have a lot of chairs! I too am guilty of inheirting chairs. I have a set that desperately need to be reupholstered but I haven't gotten around to it.I love your dining room chairs & the metal patio chair!

L said...

I'm pretty sure that the only thing separating you from Fred is that you do not (as far as I know) occasionally stagger around clutching your heart, calling out to your deceased wife and saying "It's the big one!"

anymommy said...

Would you come to my house and help me? We have to move the office chair into the dining room if more than four people want to eat.

Yours are lovely.

bernthis said...

You need help. I'll come over and SIT with you and we can talk about it. said...

Holy cow. I TOTALLY need new chairs. Care to share?!?

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

You hear that Elizabeth? I'm coming to join ya!


Rebecca said...

HGTV would be lucky to have you! ;)

Anonymous said...

Anna, as I read your blog on chairs I couldn't help thinking of a story about my mother-in-law. She took an antique chair that had belonged to her mother to a place to recover it. She was explaining how she remembered Nana sitting in the chair sewing or something like that and how long it had been in the family so even though it wasn't VALUABLE it was valuable to her and she wanted to preserve it. Another customer had been listening to all of this and came over and gushed, "It's not a chair, it's a DOCUMENT!" We now call this particular chair (which is still at the family cottage in Nova Scotia) The Document. I bet you know exactly what she meant!

EatPlayLove said...

oh my goodness gracious, you have a chair thing! Wow! Loved the tour. Fab, fab, fab.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing all your goodies. Nothing wrong with having chairs in storage. When my storage (areas) are found by Family members
(no names mentioned) I always repeat what my Dad always said, you never know when you might need it. You have found some really good deals, and have allot of creativity.

Carlina said...

Ha, so I'm not the only one that feels drawn to chairs! I loveeeeeee that velvet looking green corner chair & also the wood chair with thin spindles. I have to stop myself from buying chairs just because they are kind of cool and only 3$. It's hard though... I currently have 4 that I need to finish revamping.

Carlina said...

PS. For the uncomfortable chairs is there no way you could add new cushions then batting then reupholster them?