Antique table and chairs – Photo Courtesy: Thomas Quine
In country homes from days gone by, there used to be a mixture of chair designs around the dining table, handed down by family or locally crafted gifts. And in the living spaces, snug handmade and upholstered armchairs nestled around the fire. Recreate this elegant and homey look with vintage and antique finds.
Vintage Dining Chairs
There are so many different dining chair options available at thrift stores, antique sales or vintage shops – and most for a very reasonable price. Simple wooden vintage dining chairs are perfect for creating a simple country home kitchen.
For a childish treat, invest in some vintage high chairs that you can sit on whilst the chef of the family cooks up a delicious lunch – a great seating option for a growing family, as places to sit become harder to find. Buy two, painted in eau de nil and place next to a wall, and as close to the oven action as possible.
Metal vintage chairs are perfect for dining or placing in the conservatory. Make sure that they aren’t horrendously uncomfortable by padding the seat and the backrest with some homemade embroidered vintage cushions.
Relax in a Chaise Longue
Or as it has come to be known; the chaise lounge is the most luxurious place to relax. Half way between a chair and a sofa, the original French chaise longue is a classic piece of rococo design. Although now you can find so many different types of chaise, there’s bound to be one to suit your style. For a true country home look, find a chintzy, floral print with a very comfortable base and a right hand arm: just perfect for reading from in your summer house!
Retro Chairs & Sofas
It might not be to everyone’s taste, but a vintage bubble chair is a cheeky and fun piece of design, perfect for your children’s bedroom or an office perhaps. Get one in a complimentary color that will blend in with your surroundings, so that it adds a little something extra to your home.
Another interesting chair to help define your style might be a vintage rattan egg chair, lined with a sheepskin for extra comfort. Or maybe a vintage Knoll seat to bring a bit of comfortable, yet chic class to your office.
How To Upholster
You might not want to do this yourself, but knowing the ins and outs of furniture upholstering will help you make an informed decision when you are looking at antique furniture or vintage chairs.
Living Room Chairs and Sofas
The perfect addition to any living room area is a fantastically large leather button armchair. It looks perfect next to a fire, and is great for sleeping as well as reading the morning paper. Choose one that is slightly faded and crinkly, but not holey. And check the legs and feet are in good condition too.
Maybe you’re after something that would suit a snooze after a big dinner…then a rocking chair might be the best thing to put you to sleep. Also great for getting that farmhouse look, a vintage rocking chair is a stunning piece of furniture that will suit any room, or situation.
If you’re inspired by classic European design, then an 18th century Louis XV French salon chair is a luxurious way to add extra seating without taking up too much valuable space. Get them upholstered with silk, with gilt wood arms and carved scrolling on the top for the ultimate in chic.
For great vintage finds or replicas, check out these amazing stores:
The Swedish Chair – Excellent quality 18th century Gustavian style reproduction furniture, all made in Sweden and then shipped internationally. You can find some very unique pieces here, from chairs and sofas to dressers and cupboards.
Favorite pieces: the Carl dining chair and the Gripsholm armchair with footstool
14 feet – Specializing in one-of-a-kind vintage mid-century pieces, including furniture, textiles, pottery and lighting, as well as new designs by quirky artists. They also make custom furniture, if you have a particular design you would like to see created!
Favorite pieces: a velvet 60s swivel bucket chair and a pair of vintage brass dragon lamps