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The Ghost Chair

I call myself a home blogger, but here’s a trend I have completely missed: The Ghost Chair.

Actually, I had noticed these translucent chairs all over, mostly at social functions, but I hadn’t known that they’re called ghost chairs, and I hadn’t known that Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair was considered one of the “iconic chairs of the 21st century.” I just thought they were cheap, injection-molded plastic rental chairs provided by wedding planners for receptions and engagement parties.

Who knew that they were so trendy, showing up in all sorts of places, from trendy kitchens, to newly remodeled offices, to fancy bedrooms in swanky homes.

Ghost Chairs in Dining Room

The Ubiquitous Louis Ghost Chair

Now that I’ve noticed that this is a thing (several years too late, apparently) I know I’m supposed to admire the clever way the chair makes me think of more substantial and elegant pieces of furniture, while (almost) disappearing into the woodwork.

I’m not buying it. I don’t really want that much plastic in my house, and I don’t want that much plastic touching my bare legs in the morning when I’m sitting at the dining room table drinking coffee and reading the New York Times. You can count me out of this trend, in fact, I’d like to go back to the period when I thought these were just cheap chairs you bought at Wal-Mart, for $19.99 each.

Bakokko: Lessons in Style

As in many areas of style and fashion, the dividing line between exquisite good taste and execrable bad taste is remarkably thin. The same company that produces achingly beautiful objects one day, can produce items that are almost comically over-the-top the next.

Take, for example, the Italian furniture manufacturer Bakokko, producer of this beautiful, restrained, classical love seat (found at the LA Furniture website):

Bakokko Loveseat

I love everything about this piece of furniture; the green leather, the curve of the legs, the figured wood with that finish. I want this piece for my house so bad it’s making my teeth hurt.

Now, consider this divan from Bakokko, the San Marco in green and white:

San Marco Divan from Bokakko

It’s ponderous, squatting on the floor like an upholstered chest freezer, dominating any room that’s smaller then a squash court. Worse, the busy pattern of the fabric and the gilded filigree on the frame are both fussy and old-ladyish, like something your great aunt would choose for window treatments.

I wouldn’t want this piece of furniture, and I probably wouldn’t want to live in any house that this divan was appropriate for. It’s just not my style, no matter how well made and richly upholstered it is.

Ultimately, I suppose what I’m really complaining about are the vagaries of personal taste. I’m clearly not the market for that white and green divan. Bakokko is aiming to sell furniture like that to people with more baroque sensibilities, perhaps someone like a Russian oligarch, who appreciates heavy furniture, brocaded fabric and ostentatiousness. So, one could say that it’s not Bakokko’s fault that they occasionally make furniture that seems over-the-top, because they’re catering to a clientele that likes over the top.

The Mid-Century Moment

Looking through the catalog of an furniture company called FusionLiving, I came across this bookcase:

Libra Furniture Retro Bookcase

Look at those legs. Some of you might be too young to remember those legs, but for those of us who grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s those tapering legs, part Danish Modern, part George Jetson, were on almost everything from television sets to dining room tables.

I can’t say I’m a fan of that look, but apparently many of you are, because all of the style blogs are talking about a return of mid-century modern.

Here’s another example from the same company, Libra Furniture, this time a geometric-style retro wing chair.

Libra Furniture Retro Wing Chair

I know, it’s supposed to make me think of Mad Men, but it doesn’t. It makes me think of the furniture that used to be in my parents’ living room and how I was glad when my mom finally threw out that giant console combination hi-fi stereo and television that used to dominate one side of the room.

Inspiration: Buffets and Sideboards of the Modern Variety

Ever wondered what the difference between a sideboard and a buffet is? Me, too. The thing is, we needn’t have bothered ourselves about it. A sideboard and a buffet are basically the same piece of furniture serving the same purpose. Some people consider the buffet to be simply a smaller version of the sideboard, but in terms of functionality? No difference.

Others assign a name to this particular piece of furniture based on the room in which it resides – in the dining room, it’s a buffet, while in the living room, it’s a sideboard.

Sideboards and buffets have both traditionally been used as a place to store dishware and silverware (and sometimes linens) while food was displayed and then served on top. But today, a sideboard or buffet might be used for almost anything. And even back in the day, my grandparents’ beautiful buffet held not only linens and napkin rings, but also records.

Whatever you call them, sideboards are buffets can be very useful pieces of furniture, especially if you are the sort of person who has a vast collection of cloth napkins and pretty tablecloths and themed table runners for every season and holiday. Why? I’ve found that unless you have a great big linen closet, those sorts of things end up sadly tossed in a basket in pantry or tucked into a kitchen drawer without much thought to how wrinkled they’ll become.

But whatever you keep in your sideboard or buffet, here are some pictures of modern furniture buffets and sideboards that would look great in just about any room of the house. Enjoy!

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Inspiration: Just Chairs, All Kinds

Wire chair is pretty with a touch of the industrial.

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Daybeds By Chic Cham

As I’ve mentioned before, I do so love daybeds for their versatility. Bed for a single guest? Check. Proper seating? Check? I comfy spot to curl up and read? Check and check. As a tot, I was desperate for one – and truth be told, the ones I lusted after were most definitely girlish and juvenile. But daybeds aren’t just for little chicks, as these two daybeds by Chic Cham certainly prove.

Amazing what a cushion, some feet, and a platform can become

Daybeds can be so many things, especially when gorgeous

Chic Cham uses natural materials to create beautiful things for the home that are handmade in India by people who earn a proper wage, no less. Isn’t that fantastic? Have a peek at their promo video to see some of their employees making rugs and cushions and curtains and so on. Basically, all things textile.

There are more collections to come, so keep an eye out. If you’re in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe, that is, since I believe that’s the limit of their delivery area. Ah, well. Still, it’s fun to look and be inspired!

Spring by Wildspirit

The Spring tabouret created by Dutch designer Erik Jansen for Wildspirit is a simple and elegant seating piece that is most definitely eye-catching.

The Spring tabouret, has the shape of a beautiful flower and is made out of bamboo stripes that have been cut and bowed in a very special way. This nice experiment results in an extremely flexible and functional sitting pouf decorating your kitchen, lounge bar, living room,…

The Spring stool is a flower, made out of a bamboo strain, cut in a new way. It is a nice experience to be carried by this flexible and comfortable stool. When looking to the “Spring”, you always get an optimistic and sunny feeling.

In my house, Spring would look lovely in the living room in those spaces that are too big to stay empty but too small for something like a table or armchair. But is Spring comfortable, as Wildspirit claims? Have a look and decide for yourself. My guess is probably not as comfortable as they’d like you to believe.

Check the unique interplay between the classic table and modern chairs

Spring: Durable bamboo in a beautiful and unique shape

In conclusion: I love the look, but would still rather have one of these.

Inspiration: Birds!

Birds as decor… what do you think? I’m not suggesting that anyone go out and go crazy with avian accessories. Collections, especially those centered around animals, can sometimes diminish the value of the items within it. Instead of being the person with the wonderful collection of curious, you become the Bird Lady. That woman with all those birds. That’s not where I, personally, want to be, and my guess is you don’t want to be the Bird Lady, either. So buy a bird or two in cushion form or a wee adorable figurine, but don’t go overboard with the bird decor (as opposed to decor for birds) lest you find yourself pigeonholed for life.

A beautiful handmade rocking bird from BODIE and FOU

A birdcage cushion from Rose and Grey

A unique decorative birdcage photographed by Tamar

Snow Bird shelves by Marisko Studios

Barn swallow cutouts by Hammerpress

A lovely bird duvet cover

Bird plates from Areaware

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