I know, it's a little weird. When I was in design school I was required to take two semesters of furniture history. These two classes covered the history of interiors from early Greek and Egyption days, to the post modern pieces more similar to what we see available today. Up until enrolling in these classes I had very specific tastes in furniture, which was pretty limited, and frankly looking back it was, well, bad. The world of bergeres and feuteuils was unknown to me. I had no concept of the fact that like good art or fashion, furniture went through it's own periods as well. I was clueless.
Those two semesters, which every other design student dreaded, became my favorites. I completely blame our instructor for lighting a fire under my butt, and igniting my passion for unique timeless pieces which I now obsessively hunt down and fill my home with.
Every time I utter the words "Guess what I found?!" I'm pretty sure Nolan curses her name.
About two years ago as I was graduating with my design degree, I was relentlessly scouring craigslist for Chinese Chippendale chairs for our dining room. Never in a thousand years would I have imagined I would be so in love with chairs that appeared on Golden Girls. As it turns out, I'm not the only one. Chinese Chippendale chairs have made a huge surge in the design world over the last five years, and are literally turning up everywhere. Finding one (let alone six) for an affordable price was going to be next to impossible. With a little help from some friends in Texas, and a one armed lady driving a horse trailer, I scored these babies for $100!!
That was four down, two to go. Imagine my surprise when a few weeks lafter I was walking to my car and passed by the window of one of our local Goodwill shops. There, in all their glory, were four Chinese Chippendale chairs. They were awful brown and had terrible 70s cushions stuck to them, but they were there! Because I couldn't convince the store to sell me two of the four, I ended up buying all four. Within a few weeks I was able to sell the two that I didn't want on craigslist for... well, let's just say it was enough to pay for the four chairs from Texas, shipping costs, and the cost of the four Goodwill chairs, with enough left over to take a pretty awesome anniversary trip to Ashland with the hubby. Like I said, they are popular chairs.
Fast forward a few years, and I have found something equally as exciting (to me) to obsess over. I have spent the last year trying to acquire a dresser from the Broyhill Brasilia line which was made in 1962. Thanks to the show Madmen, mid century furniture is fairly popular right now. The Brasilia line is essentially the holy grail of mid century furniture. Pieces are hard to come by, and when they turn up range anywhere from $700-1700 (depending in the piece and condition). For a year I have been roaming thrift stores and scouring craigslist nationwide, hoping to find someone who was clueless to what they had. Then, about a month ago, it happened. During one of my random craigslist scans I found a dresser and hutch from the Brasilia line, in Portland, for (drumroll please)... $80.
After picking my jaw up off the ground and cleaning up the drool puddle on my table, I began frantically typing an email to the seller. My palms were sweaty, my heart was racing (told you I'm weirdly obsessed)... every time my phone chimed that it had a new email I think I had a small stroke. Eventually I was able to arrange for a cousin (who happens to live near Portland) to pick up the hutch for me and keep it in his garage until I was able to arrange for shipping. Monday night, my dresser and hutch finally came home to me. It's in definite need of some love. Someone (I will refrain from name calling) actually attempted painted the thing an awful grey/green color, which I will have to spend hours sanding away. But once this beauty is sanded and stained.... *sigh
Stay tuned! Somewhere down the line I will post my step by step process of restoring Brasilia to her rightful glory.
Thank you (for those of you still reading), for humoring me. I forget sometimes that other people aren't as excited about these things as I am.
See what I mean, it needs some love. The handles have been pulled off (actually it's missing four of them) to sand the drawers, and the hutch is in our garage.
This is what it will look like once restored.
And this is the hutch (top) that came with it. Seriously, $80 for the whole thing?! I don't care how much sanding needs to be done!