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Living Room Chairs

Ideas for decorating with the living room with chairs.

Chairs for the living room, drawing room, sitting room or library are not very difficult to select. In a small house there is no necessity for a set, and in any house, large or small, antique chairs of different design offer greater variety and interest. For example, a small sitting room may contain three single chairs, one easy and one armchair. Two of the single chairs may be early Georgian, and typical examples of the transitional period from Queen Anne to Chippendale, and the remaining single chair can be a rush-seated Queen Anne model in walnut.

There can be a grandfather easy chair, with a plain walnut under-framing, and a Chippendale armchair. The other furniture may consist of bookshelves in mahogany, a Chippendale bureau, a semi-circular Sheraton table in mahogany, and a moderately-sized double gate-leg oak table. This description will probably horrify devotees of period furnishing, but the general appearance of such a room is very pleasant and the cost extremely moderate. It is far more interesting to choose odd chairs here and there for a small sitting room than buy reproductions or modern types.

Chippendale Armchair
Chippendale Armchair

Windsor chairs come to our notice directly we get away from sets and suites and other furnishing conventions, and their extreme simplicity recommends them. They may appear in company with oak or walnut period chairs, and painted or polished they are excellent in simple rooms in country houses. A Windsor chair makes a good seat for a writing-table. One of those rather high stools with cabriole legs in walnut or mahogany looks better with a fairly large bureau, but for a small table in oak a Windsor chair is quite satisfactory.

For walnut tables or desks a stool or chair, preferably of the same period, may be used with equal effect; and for a knee-hole or pedestal desk a stool is excellent, since it can be pushed beneath the desk when it is not in use and saves space without creating an impression of untidiness.

The term sitting room should be understood to apply to any room in which leisure is to be spent in comfort, and in such a place a stool can play an important part. After the oak joint stools already mentioned we have long, low stools, with twist legs and under-framing and cane seats, made in all sizes, some being as long as a day-bed. Drawn up before a fireplace they stand slightly above the level of the fender top, and with three or four cushions on them, they can be made exceedingly comfortable, and can give that aspect essential to chimney-piece surroundings which for want of a better word is known as "cosy".

Regency Chair
Regency Chair

When we consider the sitting room or library it is clear that the best and most interesting way of furnishing these rooms is to collect chairs and stools separately, and we can choose them from any period between Tudor and late Georgian, or we may be entirely modern and have painted furniture, or plain chairs in oak or deal. It is unfortunate that many of us still think of a modern chair as something in fumed oak, with heart-shaped bits cut out of the back, and a general air of having begun to be Queen Anne or Chippendale, until someone hinted to the designer that he might combine the two styles and throw in a little distracting originality as well. Such unsightly mixtures of ill-planned design are accepted too readily for modern work. They can be counted modern in the sense that they are made today, but they have nothing to do with modern design, for they are the handiwork of incurable Victorians, who lack the requisite knowledge for the production of good copies of old furniture and whose idea of originality is governed by Art Nouveau.

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