Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Victorian Chair



I love Victorian furniture. I love the ornate lines. I love the rich hue of the dark wood. I love that each piece possesses such intricate carved detail.



I purchased this Victorian chair for just $62. When I look at this chair, I see a work of art no different than a piece of artwork hanging on our wall. It's absolutely beautiful.

The fact that this delicate chair has 'lived' for over a hundred years is just fascinating to me, especially seeing that it's in pristine condition. It must have known some very loving homes along the way.



The needlepoint is in good condition - just a few thin spots, which I think come from moths rather than wear. The preservationist in me says leave it alone. But in my effort to blend my passion for antiques with the modernity of our lives, I thought of perhaps brightening the chair with a nice light velvet, which was also popular during the late 1800's.

Alternatively, for a more contemporary juxtaposition, I thought a nice botanical fabric could also be quite beautiful and honor the Victorian era's love of nature.



I've placed the chair next to my bed, in place of the chair that was already there. It goes just so beautifully next to the Eastlake nightstand, as they share the same intricate carved detail and the same lovely bird's eye maple veneer.

Considering the placement of the chair, I'm leaning towards brightening it with a soft, light velvet as I think it would best match the feel of the bedroom. If I do this, I will preserve the original needlepoint - perhaps by covering over it.

What do you think... leave it alone? Or do you like the bird toile, or the light soft velvet fabric?

26 comments :

Martha said...

I'd leave it alone -- I like the black with the flowers against your wall. I think that is stunning!

I, too, like Victorian furniture and chairs . . . I actually have a chair fetish, I think!

I must say I covet your chair!

Martha said...

I love your chair as is -- I like the black background and colorful flowers against your white walls.

I love Victorian furniture and have several "singles" although your $62 is quite a bargain!

Your chair is stunning!

tracigood said...

The chair is beautiful! I love the idea of covering it with a light velvet that coordinates with your bedroom. And you can cover right over the needlepoint to protect it.

I really enjoy your blog, by the way! Your home is beautiful.

A-M said...

I love both. It looks so pretty in it's original state next to your gorgeous nightstand but I am also a sucker for toile. Sorry not much help. I love the history that the original form suggests though. Original perhaps? A-M xx

Lisa said...

Hello, I'm new to your blog and have introduced my best friend to it as well. We love your home!

I think a light velvet would be lovely on the chair. Also, if you were willing to remove the needlepoint from the chair, it would be nice framed. Just a thought...

Thanks, Lisa

Anonymous said...

I love the chair!! But I agree with you about the velvet...maybe a lovely light "warm gray" velvet would look absolutely stunning agaisnt the beautiful wood. I think it will breath new life into it. You could always carefully take off the needlepoint work and make it into pillows for the bed/sofa or frame them in your lovely gilded frames. I think that would perserve the past beauty of the chair! Terri

Anonymous said...

Leave it alone. I try to think you will honor the history of it. That has most meaning than a new fabric on it. Sorry my english...

Camilla at home said...

It`s beautiful as it is, but I think I would go for the toile fabric anyway.. Maybe that would look even better in your beautiful white surroundings?

Have a great day :O)

Linden Townhouse said...

Oh, I love the bird toile! It is so light and airy, and you can rest knowing you have preserved the original beneath. I stumbled upon your blog recently. It is simply lovely!

Seagrass Interiors said...

I love the bird toile. It would be a little nod to your bird dishes!

the gardeners cottage said...

Hi Trina,

Boy this is a hard one. The image of the chair on my computer screen is exquisite. I love it just the way it is. But I know it would also look great in either a velvet or the toile. I guess I lean towards leaving it as is, but I know in the end whatever you do with it, it will look amazing.

~janet

soilmama said...

What a great deal! I think it looks beautiful as is, but then I adore needlework. What happened to the little embroidered footstool that was in that spot (I think?) at one time?

Jules said...

I would leave it alone, but if the fabric was too worn, I would replace it with a light velvet. A warm gray, as someone already suggested.

You have a beautiful home!

Marla in Columbus said...

The chair as is is beautiful. Another idea that I don't think has mentioned - make pillows out of the needlepoint. Just an idea. I'm sure whichever direction you go it will be stunning.

Anonymous said...

I like the thought of the light colored velvet. That would be lovely, especially since it will allow protection for the needlepoint. That's smart thinking. Enjoy your blog!

Windlost said...

Hmm...I adore the bird toile. And like the idea of removing the existing needlepoint and maybe framing it elsewhere.

Then again, it is a classic as-is but if you are not feeling the colour/look, you will never be 100% happy.

Velvets are also nice. I am upholstering a chair now in a velvet and will do another, more an armchair style, after Christmas with either a natural linen or cream velvet. I find velvet or chenilles so inviting!

I envy that you don't have patterned carpets, from what I have seen anyway. I did patterned rugs in a few places and it really restricts what you can put on adjacent chairs, etc. From now on, I will try to do solid rugs so I can have a little pattern on pillows or furniture!

Great find!

xo Terri

RLG said...

The toile or velvet. Fresh and lovely for your bedroom. I don't think recovering the needlepoint is at odds with its preservation. If you were going to paint the wood, that would be a different story. I like recycle and reuse as much as the next person, it feels good. But your own personal expression of a piece, modern day, is just as important. HTH. xoxo

Sharon said...

I love Victorian furniture also ... imagine some woman sitting in her parlour doing the needlepoint to cover the chair.

On the other hand .. today is today ... I think the black toile would be beautiful on the chair ... but I would either try to upholster over the needlepoint or remove it and save it. It's so beautiful.

Wendy said...

I'd definitely say go w/velvet. I think that would look great w/this chair. I think the flowers take away from the beauty of the design of the chair. Can't wait to see what you end up doing!

Anonymous said...

I too love the chair. I really like the floral on the back of the chair, it looks like a picture. Just a thought if you pulled a color from the flowers could you redo only the seat in a color that would compliment the top? Then you could redo the edging on both top and both in that color to pull it together. I drive myself crazy with this kind of project.
Kathy

Jennifer said...

it's pretty as is. if you wanted to update it, you could take off the needlepoint and have it framed or something?

farmgirl said...

I just love the idea of the velvet...
xoxo MC

Kelly Galvin Robson said...

It's gorgeous... the needlepoint looks GORGEOUS in the photos by the way. Really, what a stunning piece. Great find!

atlanticart said...

The dark value of the wood and the needlepoint make the entire form of the chair standout against the light value of the wall. The round shape of the needlepoint flower clusters also nicely echo the round medallion shapes on the back of the chair and the "knobs" at the top of the legs. In this situation, I think it's as best as it can be. In another situation, I might like to see the chair painted white with cow hide upholstery.

Anne said...

It's such a beautiful chair and perfect vignette, I'd just let it be as-is. Love it all together.

Would you share what toile fabric that is? It's very pretty and I've been looking for something like that.

A Country Farmhouse said...

Hi Anne,
I found the fabric at Interior Mall (www.interiormall.com). I received the fabric sample last week and hope to post on it soon! xoTrina

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