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Tolix: One Cure for the Boring Dining Room

Let’s say you’re bored with your current dining area outfit: a wood table, four wood chairs that feature precisely the same shade of stain. It’s basic, maybe there’s a padded seat or cushions, but nothing to showy. And let’s say, too, that you’re looking to get away from the whole matchy-matchy thing in your entire home. Your newest obsession is mismatched…everything, from mismatched bedside tables to mismatched headboards and more. First step? Lose either the table or the chairs – and right now, I’m thinking it’s the chairs that have to go. You can replace them with these:

And just what are they? Those would be classic Tolix chairs – Chair A, specifically – designed by Burgundy artisan Xavier Pauchard in 1937 for the Tolix brand he himself launched.

It was the fifth time that day that Xavier Pauchard had left his office and headed – impatiently – to the workshops. Walking towards his foreman’s workbench Xavier Pauchard pushed back the black beret that seemingly never left his head and examined with his expert’s eye the prototype stackable chair that was the object of the team’s unstinting endeavours. “This will be the Model A” he said to himself. Tinsnips in hand he deftly began to fashion a new seat base from a sheet of steel. Working on his tinsmiths block he then started to hammer away, curving the steel to the exact shape he wanted. “Tack it together please,” said Xavier Pauchard, who was keen to see a trial assembly. Pierre Moreau roughly assembled the various elements with a few dabs of weld. “That’s enough for today,” Moreau said as he left the workshop, glancing as he went at the strange metal chair that so obsessed Monsieur X.

That’s a pretty romantic backstory for a chair, non? And why not? It’s a rather romantic chair, appearing as it has in just the sort of French bars and brasseries that you and I would no doubt like to be sitting at right at this very moment. But let’s get back to that wooden table of yours. There’s nothing wrong with a nice sturdy wood table that will last for decades under the stresses of both dinner parties and children wielding crayons like daggers. It just so happens that the strong straight modern lines of the Toilix Chair A look amazing next to an old wood table that’s a bit beat up. You could go scouring the world for originals, but they’re not easy to come by from what I’ve heard. It will probably cost you less in the long run to get the re-issue, which is sold in lots of places in various colors and finishes.

(For those who, like me, can’t afford a set of Tolix chairs just at this moment, there are always basic brushed aluminum chairs to fill the gap until the money rolls in.)

NtB Wants: A Couple of These for the Bedroom

I’m not sure anyone will remember my mentioning it, but we had one our upstairs rooms done and it’s finally finished. Well, structurally, anyway. At this point we have the paint sitting in the landing, ready to go (two shades of gray, one light and one dark, for those curious). We just need to actually find the time to throw down tarps and tape up and paint. No easy feat when your family is comprised of two professionals and a toddler plus five cats who’d like nothing more than to track paint through the entire house.

At the moment, I’m trying to avoid thinking about when we’ll get around to painting so we can actually move in – this is our bedroom I’m talking about – and instead I am actively thinking what I am going to put in there! Right at this second, what I’d really like to put in there is at least one of these:

Walnut and powder-coated steel come together in a vintage-look side table that would look so gorgeous with the pair of low slung mcm-era Danish dressers my grandparents gave me who knows how long ago now. The designer is one Joel Nolan, and he is happy to recreate this side table in custom sizes and finishes in case the teal legs and interior just aren’t doing it for you like they are doing it for me.

Sometimes You Need a Little Reminder

So as first posts of the new year go, yesterdays was a little tongue-in-cheek. Not that I have anything against New Year’s resolutions… but as it turns out, science has determined that people who fail to meet their new year goals are no less happy than those who succeed. My resolution? To keep finding beautiful and fun furniture and accessories to share here, along with some lifestyle tips and the occasional oddity. But since I was so snarky yesterday, I thought I’d make it up by offering up something a little sweeter from various shops around the net.


via Barn Owl Primitives

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Could Slightly Uncomfortable Chairs Lead to a More Productive Year?

For the new year, a time when everyone’s hopes are high, I thought what better way to get all those resolution makers off their butts than some slightly uncomfortable chairs. The Slightly Uncomfortable Chair Collection was designed by the Sid Lee Collective, part of the notable Sid Lee advertising agency, and features seating designed to promote shorter, more efficient business meetings. I’d add shorter procrastination sessions, less time spent in front of the computer, and more time spent on one’s feet.







A Rug for Philatelists and Anglophiles: The Queen’s Head Stamp Rug

Talk about majesty of design! Rug Maker was officially granted a license by Royal Mail to manufacture the Queen’s Head Stamp Rug, a larger than life version of the Queen Elizabeth II stamp that’s suitable for hanging on a wall or *gasp* laying on the floor.

Hand knotted and woven in Nepal from 100% New Zealand wool, these rugs come in a various sizes and colors. The best part, in my humble opinion? The scalloped edges, so like an old fashioned postage stamp just torn from its sheet.

The Art of the Popsicle Stick

About a gazillion years ago, the lovely Gina sent me a link to a photo spread in the L.A. Times about David Hrobowski and his RiffStick Furniture. But while Hrobowski’s solo MorYork Gallery exhibit has come and gone, I think the idea is evergreen. Or as evergreen as popsicle sticks can be. Because, you see, that is Hrobowski’s chosen medium: the humble popsicle stick.

My guess is that very few among us can’t look back to childhood and to the creation of a popsicle stick picture frame or dream catcher. Maybe even a little house or a trivet. But my guess is that nothing we made came even close to the somethings that Hrobowski makes.

I don’t know about you, but my afternoons at summer camp were not spent making Shoji screens… coffee tables… chairs that can support the weight of a man. Amazingly, though, Hrobowski made his first popsicle stick lamp when he was only 9, even if he abandoned the medium for a few decades thereafter before returning to it.

Doesn’t seeing this sort of thing make you ask yourself what you could do with a little hot glue and some time?

Mushrooms, Three Ways

While a dish called Mushrooms Three Ways would indeed be divine, I am of course talking about mushroom themed decor. Now, no one is suggesting that you fill your home to the brim with mushrooms like the mother of an ex of mine did with country-style ducks (again, not a dish, sadly) all year round and in the wintertime, snowmen. But a mushroom as a showpiece? It’s just unusual enough to work! Here are three examples that I found in my virtual travels and loved enough to bookmark:

In designer Masako Sato own words: “During the rainy season, it’s very humid in Japan. One day I found moldy wall in my room. I was worried if mushrooms were coming up. But at the same time, I imagined how funny mushrooms are growing on the wall. Some people drive nails into walls, but I don’t like it. It may damage my clothes and myself when get caught on and even looks painful. Mushroom Hook is made by silicone rubber. It is soft and welcome your return home.”

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Lovely In Natural, Lovely In Color

Since 1958, Ercol has been bending thick wood laminations to create the beautiful curves of their famous butterfly chair. Some people consider this chair a cousin of the Eames LCW Wood chair, but many other see it as existing in a class of its own.

I like to think it has its own charm – the beech and elm Ercol Butterfly Chairs are particularly striking with their extreme wood grain detailing on the backs. The vintage set above was sold by Love Vintage Furniture, which has so many great photos of mid-century modern furniture on its web site.

Then again, here are some more modern Ercol Butterfly Chairs, in dazzling special edition colors made for Tent London 2010. I would just go crazy for one for my daughter’s room, but in this point in her life she’d probably just chew off the finish.

Which Ercol Butterfly Chair do you like best? Au naturale or colorful?

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