A House of Chairs…

August 03, 2021

A House of Chairs…


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Working From Your Beach House? Here’s Your New Office!

Unusual architecture allows for inviting nooks. It’s light and bright, feels like you are right in the center of the garden. Great place to sit and have your morning coffee or an evening meal. Better yet if you are working from home, put in first dibs on this vignette - could work here all day long! For me the pièce de résistance is this pair of de-constructed chairs, distressed grey white wood finish, upholstered in Design No. Five’s horseshoe crab large in black on natural linen.



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Upcycling Reduces Our Carbon Footprint!

The same Design No. Five horseshoe crab large in blackbrings an original Danish mid-century 1950s chair right up to date. Saved just in the nick of time as this chair was on its way to the dump. Given my predisposition to upcycle in combination with my Father-in-law’s talent for refinishing, this 1950s treasure was brought back to life. See our Journal post An Affair With A Chair.

You may have guessed it by now butthere is another theme running through this post and that is upcycling… most chairs that I add to my decor are hand-me-downs, repurposed or upcycled. Nothing is more eco-friendly than reusing a piece of furniture versus buying new.



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Sally King Benedict Has Gone Coastal!

Every time these chairs show up in any of our posts or photos the emails start coming in asking if this pair of split reed antique chairs are for sale. The set has been in my husband’s family for well over 100 years and we were the lucky recipients when Phil’s Grandmother passed away some twenty years ago. We had just purchased our first summer home, a tiny little cottage in Cotuit - their size was just perfect… however, the bright orange corduroy fabric and rock hard cushions were not so perfect. Over the years they have gone through a few renditions of fabrics but most recently reupholstered in Design No. Five’s horseshoe crab floret in reverse black. Mix and match with any of our DN5 pillows…adding some red for a little Feng Shui.

Feeling pretty good that our Sally King Benedict art purchased for our new Studio back in 2018 still fits right in with a coastal decor.

Hmmm, what do you think - black & white may be the new coastal blue & white?



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Arts and Crafts Morris Chair + Design No. Five Fabric = Coastal

An olde but a goodie! This Morris reclining chair with little rolled bun feet was purchased at a Church yard sale and joined our family about seven years ago. It was in okay condition, nothing a little glue and TLC couldn’t fix. Its small footprint makes for a great side chair and is part of our American furniture history. We use it in my daughter’s bedroom, flanked by her Wellies and basket of bouys. This is an easily achieved beach house “look and feel”. Adding Design No. Five’s Painterly Stripe in Mariner’s Blue transformed this Adirondack style chair to a treasured coastal cottagecore aesthetic.



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Vintage Meets New Has Never Been More In Vogue!

HEPPLEWHITE-STYLE WING CHAIR. Late 19th/Early 20th Century. Linenfold front legs. H-stretcher. Back height 42.5". Seat height 19.5".

This was the description of the chair I received from Eldred’s Auction House. Auctions are a fabulous way to acquire authentic pieces with provenance that will mix and match so nicely into your coastal beach house decor. Scalloped back, slightly turned arms and hepplewhite straight legs fit right in with our coastal theme. The fabric is 100% Belgian linen printed with our eco-friendly Cape Cod Grey ink in the inverse allowing the Seaweed XL (enlarged 4.5X) to bleed through in the natural linen. Environmentally friendly, sustainable with only responsibly sourced materials.

Keep checking back over the course of the next month as Design No. Five will offer special pieces such as this Wing Chair on our Vintage section online at www.designnofive.com.



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Looking For A Conversation Piece?

Nothing ordinary about this Robin Bruce chair that was in desperate need of a face lift. Newly slipcovered in Design No. Five’s mermaid’s purse in nantucket red it was brought back to life. No doubt this fabric will be a conversation piece, I can testify to this as a fact! What we call Mermaid’s Purses are skate pods that are washed up on beaches around the world. You know, little black matchbox sized shells with four twisty legs attached at each corner. Some call these ominous looking wash ashores devil’s purses, but our Studio is in Cahoon territory so we have opted to go with Mermaid’s Purses. Famous for their topless Mermaids carrying these little creatures as purses, Ralph and Martha Cahoon lived and painted in Cotuit - about a mile from our studio.



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Coastal Meets Cozy!

Canvas sling chairs are perfect for coastal living. They are amazingly comfortable, light in weight so easy to move around.

Who says the combo of black and off-white isn’t beachy? Great little spot for the kids to hang out or curl up and read a book.

The hand-carved black lab coffee table kind of steals the show…oh well the chairs are still very very cool!



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Ten Slipcovered Dining Chairs and Counting!

A spectacular 12’ table custom made by French craftsman Michel Ferrand requires chairs… we opted to use simple parsons chairs slipcovered in Libeco Linen’s winged flax. The chairs being neutral in color are a nice complement to this “wow” table and being only 18” wide they are perfect for adding more seats as the guest list grows…always happens at our house, how about yours? Again Libeco’s story of flax in field to fabric is most interseting.



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Cottagecore Aesthetic?

Cottagecore aesthetic is a new term for me but I am learning that my style is quite apropos to the movement. Starting in 2010 with teenagers the notion was formalized with Tumblr in 2018. As a concept, it embraces a simpler, sustainable existence that is more harmonious with nature. Aesthetically, it’s a nod to country living layered with romance and nostalgia. Cottagecore and a coastal lifestyle are not so dissimilar.

This wood framed chair (no longer offered by Stanford Furniture now Gabby Home) is a fan fav in our cocktail room! Cottagecore decor came to mind as this chair has a very handmade look and feel with the distressed rustic white washed finish. The nostalgic and romantic look of our Design No. Five Seaweed XL in Waterloo Blue rounds out the concept. The painted rosy-red table was salvaged from an old barn on our property several houses ago. Despite it’s tattered appearance and rough construction the bench, now coffee table has ben front and center in many of our living rooms - even serves as additional seating.

Our daughter Charlotte often takes this seat with her morning coffee and a good book. The book du jour is The Secret of CHANEL No 5by Tilar J. Mazzeo.



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Did You Know that Linen is Kid and Pet Friendly?

Linen is made from flax which is the most durable of natural fibers - long and sturdy so it makes a very rugged fabric. Linen also breaths, meaning it doesn’t hold moisture so perfect for coastal living. The weight of the linen we use for our Design No. Five fabrics is perfect for throw pillows, upholstery, slipcovers and upholstery. Our pug Dexter selected the Painterly Stripe in Black as his go to pillow perched up on top of the seat of the Bright Blue Chinese Barber Chair. Just behind Dexter’s head is a wooden head support that pulls up from the back of the chair allowing for a place to rest your head while receiving a hair cut. Very ingenious. We have a pair and these chairs and they are so very very very comfortable! Surprising I know! Again, they are great for adding a few more seats to the party and I can guarantee they always add to the conversation!


“Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois.” - Le Corbusier



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From Me To You…beach house dining room decor ideas