Friday 11 March 2011

My New Old Armchair

In my blog, I have shown pictures of my flat before, so some of you are quite familiar with my living room, even though you have never literally set foot in my house.

A few days ago, though, I have acquired a new old piece:
One of my grandparents' armchairs.

It is part of a set of two, identical but for the colour of the upholstery fabric. My grandparents bought those armchairs, a coffee table and probably a few other pieces of living room furniture (obviously) in the 1950s; until then, they did not have a living room, but the family gathered round the dining table, and living rooms had been mostly understood as something posh people would have in their homes, not your average working class family.

My mother kept this armchair when her mother died and used it until very recently in my parents' living room; it is in very good condition, whereas its twin is stored in my sister's cellar and will probably need a bit more work than merely a bit of beeswax polish and a good dusting.
My mother also told me that she remembers how proud she was when her parents chose and bought the new furniture; and I of course remember it well from my earliest childhood.

Ever since moving to this flat in October 2003, I have been using my grandparents' original furniture: the two sideboards / cabinets from the 1930s, bought when they got married, and the 1960s coffee table, bought when they felt the need to modernize and spruce up their home a bit.

Now, this armchair is the perfect complement, with its wooden frame and the colour of the fabric. Look how it was made - in those days, furniture was not just glued or stapled together like bits of cardboard.

After I was done with the cleaning, I took my first break in my new old armchair, reading the paper and having a sandwich.
And of course I will eventually add the second armchair, too.


  1. Its wonderful! And looks very comfortable.
    seems to that you found the perfect spot, where the sun comes in, and the heat comes from the radiator. very cozy

  2. Your "new" chair is beautiful! We have some furniture from my hubby's family that's still going strong. The only thing we did was make slip covers for them! Enjoy! Will you sister give you the other one?

  3. Thanks, Julie! Indeed, that is why I chose that spot - good reading light, or I can just lean back and let the sun shine on my face, plus the radiator close by.

    Mary, yes, my sister has offered me to have the other one a long time ago; it is simply up to me to arrange time and date.

  4. I love this chair! You are lucky to have it and the prospect of the matching one. 50s furnishings are very collectible here.
    What is the dark 'thing' on the wall, under the window and beside the radiator?

  5. Jill, that's a speaker, part of the "home cinema surround" sound system my husband was so proud of and which I hardly ever use these days... but I dust it every Saturday :-)

  6. This is a wonderful chair! I've never seen one like it. Those really are arms, aren't they? Ready to enfold you and relax you. I love that you showed the inside of it. And I'm glad you'll get the matching one.

  7. Thank you, Nan! Yes, it is a wonderful chair; I love having things around me with a certain history, and I've "known" this armchair for as long as I can remember.
    It's very nice to take a break there, reading for a while, or simply enjoying the sun from the window while I am having my lunch.