Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the hoop chair challenge

I picked up this child-size metal hoop chair from a local antique market over a year ago.  I removed the awful, reupholstered seat and back cushions soon after bringing it home, but I've been a little stuck on what to do with it now that it's been stripped down to it's beautiful frame.  I originally thought I would create a new seat and back cushion and upholster them in some vintage teal fabric I saved from my Great Aunt's house.  But, the more I looked at the empty frame, I decided that the chair would be most comfy if I could utilize the entire hoop to create a new seat.

These woven wicker hoop chairs are a mid-century classic.  I love how the entire hoop is used to create an all encompassing seat.  Unfortunately, my hoop chair frame does not have the same structure as these chairs.  It is missing what I am now calling the smile bar that all of the wicker material connects back to in order to create the seat pocket.  But I am almost positive that I can come up with a way to weave material in and around the components of the frame I do have and create a seat that's just as comfy.  So I've been experimenting.

I tried using some sisal rope first.  It's not at all stretchy and so holds it's weave nicely.  The thickness of the material also lends itself to stacking without slipping back down over itself.  But it it so scratchy!  I'm not sure I'd enjoy sitting on it and my texture sensitive two-year-old most likely won't go near it so I'm on to other options.  I also tried using some cotton rope I dyed teal, mixed with a bright white bleached cotton rope.  The cotton material is just too stretchy to use as a seat but it's a lot softer and would allow me to play with color in the overall composition.  I think a nice mix of materials would be pretty great.  Something like in this chair from Urban Outfitters.

I hope I can come up with something and get this little chair finished before our move.  I'd love to unpack it and get it settled in Ella's room right away - a small moving surprise for her new room.   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

the center hall colonial

Many of the homes in the areas we've been house hunting are center hall Colonials.  These are homes that have a center hall in a usually symmetrical floor plan that contains the main stair and a foyer.  The rooms that flank the center hall are most typically a living room and a dining room.  When given the choice between a Tudor and a Colonial, we seem to be most attracted to the Colonial.  All things aside though, this wouldn't be my first style choice.  I really do love a good bungalow or even a nice modern, but with zero moderns and few bungalows large enough to fit the bill, I've started gathering some inspiration for what we might do with a center hall Colonial.

I'm completely taken with some of the renovations I've found and seriously excited to get started on the next house, when we find one of course!


I love the eclectic mix of furnishings in these rooms - a little bit of modern in spaces with lots of traditional details.  They all feel comfortable but polished; put together but not stuffy.  Perhaps that is my biggest fear when looking at this style of home, that I won't be able to create the casual spaces that  match our family's lifestyle in rooms with such formal detail.  These images reassure me that it is, in fact, possible to do just that.
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