Designing for a Teenager Part Two – The Perfect Little Chair
As you know, I’ve been working on my teenage daughter’s room.
She has an amazing space and has a grand four poster bed that she absolutely adores. She was into black walls but that was not going to happen in our house unless it was a media room. One day she surprises me and asks politely for a little blue somewhere in her room. That’s where our journey began. And that’s how my search for the perfect little chair originated. It couldn’t be just any chair. It had to be one that was all about her style and one that worked with her bed. I have a saying: What’s interior design if things don’t work together? They don’t have to match but they still need to work together.
We went to local stores, searching high and low for a chair. We looked just about everywhere. I had taken the approach of letting her tell me what her style was and per her request, letting her shop where she wanted to…and she was all over the board. “I like pink, but not in my room. I used to like black but sometimes it’s too much. I like the new stuff (Contemporary and sleek) but I really like big fancy beds and I would hate to not have the one I have now. Do you know I once dreamt of swinging from the posters?” I felt one brow cock upwards as I wondered if she actually tried it. She caught on to it immediately since this is a trademark of mine and quickly changed the subject. “I don’t know, mom, I guess things are changing because I’m growing up. This is hard. I thought I could decide but I think I will let you do it. I think it’s time to let you do it. I trust you. You’re the pro.” Oh, the words we Design Professionals love to hear. Here we were, two weeks in and still no chair. The minute she said that, it was on!
Let the antiquing begin! I knew I wouldn’t find a chair that spoke her style in a new store. She was old-fashioned, favored traditional style and loved solid wood furniture more than she thought. This is what Designer offspring are like. They develop style early but because they are exposed to every trend set into the universe, they love it all and become confused. Luckily, her mother was more disciplined and could set her straight. 🙂
I’ll jump forward a few weeks and admit that we visited New Orleans for a vacation. I took advantage of the time there and did research on our current project. I’ve always been a fan of French Design and incorporated a few hints in our current home design. I knew this would be a wonderful experience for her because I knew more about her current style trend than she believed…
And I was right. She ended up discovering that her truly beloved style was – you guessed it – French! We had a wonderful time looking at all things that French but still no luck with the little chair.
We came home and that’s when the antiquing began. We searched a few places I was familiar with until we happened across a cute little chair that was on sale for $25.00. There was nothing to think about in regards to its purchase. It was a bit shabby, I could see the potential in it. It spoke to me and after a little TLC and a slight makeover, I knew it would look pretty again. It came home with us for an overhaul.
We decided to keep it’s character: what some see as flaws, in our house, we like to think they have a story to tell. Antique pieces do that, you know. There are times where I don’t like refinishing classic pieces and removing the story they’ve carried through the years. This happened to be one of them. 🙂 We added a little silver to the carved detail on it and reupholstered the seat in blue. Then we placed it in its new home:in my daughter’s alongside my daughter’s bed. This little chair marks the day she took the first step in learning whom she was, what she loved, her style and what she could live with. It’s not just any chair. For us, it’s always going to hold the fond memories of traveling to New Orleans, discovering her French sense of style and the bond we created as a family over the design of her room. To us, it’s always going to be known as “The Perfect Little French Chair”.
Here is a pic of my daughter’s french chair. It came from an antique shop and at first glance, I knew it was The One. What do you think?