A pair of tubby armchairs. That’s how 1stdibs had listed them when I first added them to my portfolio. Before all the restoration work, I had lived with a lot of traditional hand-me-downs and antique mall finds. In other words, my décor suffered greatly from the brown furniture syndrome in an out-of-date arts and crafts style. It was time to grow up in a timeless manner, since I no longer needed trendy objects to disguise a house that desperately needed structural updating. The key words that must apply to any new object chosen for my house are: timeless, integrity, functional, quality, quiet, sophisticated, and gracious.
These two chairs were my first step in the new direction. The original pink wool tweed had been badly moth eaten and needed to be replaced. Charley McKenney, my designer and architect, selected a french damask from Cowtan and Tout. Here in Dallas, Culp Associates represents this line. We both felt juxtaposing a historical motif such as damask — albeit a contemporary graphic version — with the mid-century modern lines of the chairs would be fun and quirky. And who would be the reupholstery artisan? Julian Vargas is his name, and he has done several pieces for me with more to be worked on in his shop. Some have been completely custom created, and I will be posting about them in the near future in my peekaboo series.