January 31, 2010

Dining room chairs dilemma!

For the longest time, I have been searching for a set of dining chairs. I first had my heart set on Louis XVI chairs like these below:

I love these chairs. I searched high and low- ebay, craigslist, you name it. Sadly, in London I cannot find them at an affordable price. I have found a few antique ones here and there, but never a set of six or even four. I found some great reproductions at Restoration Hardware in the U.S., but I cannot get them shipped to London. So, after about a year (yes, almost a year) of searching, I've had to give up on the Louis XVI's and move on. (photos above from "The Well-Dressed Home" by Annette Tatum and Cottage Living Magazine, now out of print)

(photo from Traditional Home)

I'm now getting used to the idea and the practicality of slipcovered upholstered chairs (like these above). I love the slightly rumpled linen look above, and think I could stand them if they were comfortable. Would love to find some. Anyone know where something like these could be found?

And I am quite liking low-backed padded armchairs too. It all started when I sat in some low-backed upholstered chairs at a restaurant recently and found they were just sooo comfortable.
photos above from Decorpad.com. Anyone know the original source?

I'm thinking of adding an upholstered bench to one side of the table, with low-backed chairs, for the ends and the other side. (photo from Cottage Living)

I like these button-back slipper chairs too, however the ones I find are in the pretty high price range (about 600 GBP each). (two photos from Domino and House Beautiful)

(photo: Cottage Living)

I simply threw in this photo because I love this table scene and the rustic upholstered French armchair pictured here. I'd add this armchair to any simple set of chairs because I just like it.

Anyone know of sources in the UK to find chairs like these above (the low-backed armchair style or the slipcovered ones pictured above)? I though it would be simple, but am having the hardest time. Basically I've found that London doesn't have anything like the mid-price yet decent quality furniture sources like Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma (love their dining chairs, though a bit pricey). Sure you can find great European antique chairs here but not in my price range for the types of chairs I would like. I've looked at places like Graham and Green, Oka Home and Sweetpea and Willow and haven't come up w/the look I'm going for. Would love to know of any London furniture sources I'm missing!

I'd also be up for buying in the US from one of the places I've mentioned and having them shipped here - if anyone has a tip on how to do that, I'd be grateful.


CreamyLife said...

These chairs are just gorgeous! Love Louis XVI chairs, they're so stylish! Love your blog, definitely adding you to my blogroll on CreamyLife.com!

la cabeza de maria antonieta said...

I love Louis XV Chairs they´re classy and never go out of style!

Lynne said...

great pics - i love that rustic setting too - i think you should keep looking - your blog is fabulous btw!

naveen said...

that was really beautiful interior designings

Patricia Torres said...

Oh my!! the chairs are just gorgeous... so classy and the rooms look amazing!!

Jessie said...

Sigh, I too am in a similar pickle (being also based in London and dining chair-less). I have been through all of the sources you listed also, but am also utterly stumped. If I have a breakthrough i'll be sure to let you know!

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Mag said...

Good morning,

I'm updating the blogroll for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. We'd love to add
you to our list of favorite blogs; can we be added to your blogroll as well?

Best regards,

Katy Wharton
Editorial & Design Intern | Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles
1100 Johnson Ferry Road | Center Two, Suite 595
Atlanta, GA 30342
W: 404 965-4471 | C: 601-760-0917

mn said...

Thanks, CreamyLife!

Jessie, yes keep me updated. I've just got no more good ideas except to keep digging around online & in 2nd hand shops that have furniture (of which I've found few here in London)

Katy, thanks for the mention! Yes, I'm happy to add your link.

Anonymous said...

The chairs in the third (and 4th?) are from www.leeindustries.com
Slipcovered High Back Campaign Chair

It appears their products are available in the US and Canada and other than that, you'd have to contact them.

I only recognized them because they're the chairs I want.

Good luck in your quest. Wish I could help.

walrus studio said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who obsesses over furniture!! Good luck darling!

mn said...

walrus studio: yes, it's become somewhat of an obsession, and it doesn't help that there are so many great blogs to encourage it!

lynne: thanks for the compliment!

Cassandra said...

Hello there
You need to get yourself down to Kempton Antiques market or go to www.deorativecollective.com - this has links to deals uk wide. I hope that helps.
All the best.

mn said...

Cassandra: you're awesome. Thank you and I'll take your suggestions!!

mn said...

Anonymous: thanks so much for the lead on Lee Industries. They have so many great chairs online! I'm going to see if I can find a retailer over here for them.

Araceli said...

Hello! Really like your blog - my sister sent me the link this morning. As to finding chairs in London, there is this fantastic auction house called Criterion Auctions that every Monday holds an auction of antique furniture and bits and pieces. There's a lot of junk, but treasures can be found. Their website is www[dot]criterionauctions[dot]co[dot]uk


MB said...

I'm in the same boat as you. New country and new shopping experiences! Sometimes I miss all those convenient shops like Pottery Barn, WS Home and yes even Target! But there is an adventure to be had...

I was just in Paris at St Ouen and it was amazing! Long way to go but if you ever find yourself in Paris, I would highly recommend a visit.

Love your blog! Thanks to Cassandra for sharing! Kempton Market sounds fantastic!

Karina Gentinetta said...

I always have french antique chairs upholstered in burlap or muslin or some other simple fabric at my shop and I can ship to the U.K. If you don't see anything on my Etsy shop, shoot me an email and I can find the slipcovered chairs for you.

red ticking said...

there is a great store in the hamptons schorr and dobinsky and they sell these at a reasonable price. they might be able to help also with a shipper. please email me if you have further questions. i also have a few other ideas... robinson_pamela@msn.com
it will work out... it always does! xx pam

Things That Inspire said...

I just found your blog, and knew that you were a kindred spirit when I read that you have been searching for a year for dining room chairs. I totally relate!

I look forward to exploring your blog.

mn said...

Araceli, thanks for the lead on Criterion auctions. I used to look there every week for about a year when I lived nearby the place but I'd forgotten about it since I moved. Maybe it's time to look there again!

Karina, thanks I'm going to look at your fabulous Etsy store. I so appreciate it.

Pam, Thank you so much for the suggestion! I had a look at the store you suggested- lovely things. I might email you for any ideas!

Things that inspire: yes, it sort of became an obsession! I've been staring at 4 mismatched & uncomfortable dining chairs for, oh about 3 years now. It's driven me mad and now I want to get something I'll really love- I guess that's why I'm so particular- but being so particular has its pitfalls.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hello. I have 8 Restoration Hardware dining room chairs that I would like to sell. They are armless with an oval back and are very dark wood with tan linen upholstery. I bought them about 3 years ago, and they are in almost perfect condition. I live in Atlanta, Georgia.

sideboards said...

Wow!i love this chairs really beautiful look amazing!

contemporary furniture said...

I had a friend who loved to find Louis XVI chairs too, but she also said how difficult it was to find them in sets.
Right now I'm also looking for some low-backed padded armchairs that are reasonably priced (quite a difficult task, as you know). If I find a good supplier I'll make sure to post it.
Thanks for the images, you have great taste in furniture.