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This Ain’t Your Momma’s Beanbag (or Maybe It Is, Who Knows)

As I said in a once upon a time post, I think of beanbag chairs as being the purview of toddlers and teens. That said, I understand that there are some contemporaries of mine who’d like nothing more than to sink into the engulfing embrace of a beanbag chair at the end of a long, stressful day. But please, if you’re going to do it, at least do it right. Insofar as I can dig on a beanbag chair, I’m digging on the beanbag chairs sewn by a certain Lil Chrissy.

She uses vintage fabric from the 1970s to craft her creations – unless, that is you’d prefer that she sew you up a beanbag chair (or floor cushion or wind break) using fabric that you already have in your possession. As she puts it, perhaps you have the fabric, but not the skills to use it.

Actually I sort of like the second example, possibly because it seems structured? Like it could hold its own against other pieces of furniture around my house. More like a beanbag ottman than a beanbag chair. Less lumpy and frumpy, and not at all as squishy, surely, but certainly more stylish.

Terminology Time: Knole Sofas

Like many people, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the specifics of furniture. I see something, I like it, I can’t afford it, so I write about it here. The end. But a little education can go a long way when one is at the designing stage of outfitting one’s home (which is when one needs knowledge and imagination more than money). With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to go against the grain and spend at least some time thinking about the specifics of furniture. And writing about, since that’s what I do!


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First on the list: The classic Knole sofa (or Knole settee). When I say classic, I mean Jurassic because you don’t see many new Knole sofas in furniture shops. First made in the 17th Century, with the original having been produced sometime between 1610 and 1620 for the Knole House in Kent, it was not intended to be a comfortable seat for one and all, but rather as a formal throne upon which royalty would have sat while receiving visitors.


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The main defining features of the Knole sofa are the adjustable side arms that rise as high as the back, deep seating, and the carved finials in the rear corners. Those are what make the Knole sofa’s side arms adjustable, actually, for the side arms are tied to the back of the sofa with decorative braided fabric, as shown below. It’s quite distinctive, but also quite old fashioned, so I’m not surprised that the Knole sofa is slowly going the way of the dinosaurs.


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Still Feeling Blue

Still moping because I missed snagging one of House Beautiful‘s lovely blue chairs, I found myself face to face with one of these:

The Evitavonni Blue Chair is contemporary and glamorous and gorgeous and I want one. What is it about this chair? It could be the vivid blue leather or the iconic buttons… am I just drooling over something faddish or do you think this chair could last as trends shift?

Ikea Kids – Then and Now

Ikea has been around for a pretty long time, and they’ve been making cool stuff for kids and babies since the 60s. I came across pics of an old Ikea high chair and kid’s table and chair set. Here’s how they compare to their modern counterparts.

The Dino high chair designed by Charlotte Rude and Hjordis Ohlsson-Une was sold in 1969. With its wide base and lack of tray, it was designed to pull right up to the dining room table, much like the Stokke high chair (we have one and loooove it). The ANTILOP high chair is one of today’s Ikea high chair offerings – that and the SPOLING – and, I believe, is meant to be used with the optional tray. Karin Morbing designed the gorgeous red table set in 1963, and I think it’s a hell of a lot nicer than the modern LÄTT set, and not only because the 1963 version was made of solid wood!

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Ah, Well… Now *I’m* Blue!

Oh. Em. Gee. Apparently House Beautiful celebrated their blue issue by scattering a bunch of absolutely divine blue chairs around Manhattan. It was more than a pictorial — it was a game of finders keepers, with a bunch of really lucky finders. Imagine walking home from the subway and seeing one of these:

I am so damn jealous of the person who just stumbled upon a beautiful blue Eames chair and took it home! (Maybe I can have this, instead?)

Purple Chair, Five Ways

As you know, I love purple. I painted my kitchen cabinets a deep, bright purple. Come springtime, I have plans to repaint the trim on my house a sort of eggplant color that will eventually highlight a sort of pumpkin color. Go, Team Purple! So when I came across a beautiful purple chair at a local consignment shop, I was inspired to see what else is out there. Here’s a sampling:

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Cool Crafting, No Hot Glue In Sight

I was all set to post about a cute little crafting project that lets you make a ‘please remove your shoes’ sign because, hey, no one wants beach sand or road sand tracked all over their floors. But as I was poking around the Intertubes wondering what else I could include to flesh things out a little, I happened upon a much radder DIY project that is as cool as the other was country-ish.

DIY pacman chair

I won’t say this is an easy DIY Pacman couch project — think woodworking and upholstery shaping, not Mod Podge and a couple of minutes with a cordless drill. But for those with the time, energy, space, and materials money to give it a go, I say try it! Then (whether or not you’re successful) send me a link so I can feature it here, of course.

NtB Loves: Anthropomorphic Furniture

Anthropomorphic furniture? Yes, please! How adorable are these chairs? They make me want to sit down and stay a while.

face_chair

The Face Chair, designed by Bora Çakilkaya for P-ARCH, is definitely cute and right up my alley, whether you’re talking about the happy chair or the sad chair or the chair that looks a little irritated.

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There’s not much out there about the Istanbul-based Cakilkaya, but I can’t help but think he must be a pretty playful fellow to have made simple seating into something so fun.

NtB Loves: Somewhere to Sit While You Remove Your Shoes

Whatever one calls them — hall trees, entry benches, or furniture for the foyer or mudroom — there’s nothing quite like a bench where one can remove waterlogged boots and ice encrusted mittens after slogging through a weather-ridden world. Those who have the space for a hall bench or a hall tree are lucky in that they can keep street detritus corralled in an easy-to-clean spot in their homes. The rest of us have to find the space, but making room for at least a hall bench is oh so worth it. Right now, I’m digging on these hall benches from German firm Car Möbel.

hall bench

The pretty blue color on this hall bench makes it perfect for not only an entryway, but also a kid’s room, where it could double as a toy box and a spot to curl up and read on chilly Sundays.

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Clean lines and neutral white make this hall bench versatile. At home in modern or beachy decor, it offers plenty of seating and storage potential… think a spot for shoes or a place to stash baskets of hats, gloves, and scarves.

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Great for a beach house or country cottage, this hall bench is everything the one above is with the addition of a sweet wicker storage basket that keeps clutter out of sight (and possibly also out of mind).

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Hall benches are country? No way! This one would feel right at home in a mod and minimalist house or apartment as a temporary space to stash things like those organic apples from the farmers market.

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unfinished wood means this hall bench could work in a variety of settings, though I like it in a primarily white space without a lot of other furniture. It would also be sweet in a dressing closet (for those who have them) or a laundry room, so one could sit and fold in peace.

Life, the Universe… and a Chair

Regardless of how you feel about the legitimacy of the sixth installment of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, I think we can all agree that this is a pretty sweet chair.

HITCHHIKERS GUIDE CHAIR

This take one the iconic Egg chair designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 is being produced in a limited run of, you guessed it, just 42 numbered chairs. The design pays homage to the Hitchhikers Guide series with a beautifully rendered hand-finished embroidered exploding earth on the back. The front of the chair features optical white hide with a cowhide seat cushion (which frankly, I could do without, but I suppose one could remove it).

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