Let me tell you the tale behind these lovely four antique French chairs.
Yet another bargain from Facebook Marketplace! I bluddy love Facebook Marketplace I do. I bought them from a lovely chap who did upholstery as a hobby. He was retiring from his job as a Postman to move to France. A dream come true. When he was sorting his shed out for the move, he found these little beauties at the back. He had completely forgotten he had them. (This happens to everyone who does upholstery). He had bought them at a Brocante and brought them home to the UK, but he didn’t really need any more chairs in his life and he certainly didn’t want to take them back to France.
We did a deal, shook hands a la Francais and I loaded them in the car and wished him Bonne Voyage!
They are lovely – excellent quality – built to last, dating from the Napoleonic era. I love their shape, their elegance, the detail on the carving to the back and their very ‘Frenchness’.
I started by cleaning up the woodwork with my Dad’s secret recipe, (he was a French Polisher by trade). After removing layers and layers of grime, the natural patina of the wood was revealed and restored to its natural beauty. Take a look at the cloth to see just how filthy they were.
Each chair has been stripped down – some right down to the frame due to serious saggy bottoms, then webbed and upholstered using traditional methods.
I wanted to keep the integrity of the chairs and be true to their French origins, but at the same time give them a new lease of life so they could fit into a more contemporary setting. After all, we don’t all live in chateaus do we? Inspired by Angel Sawbridge from one of my favourite TV programmes ‘Escape to the Chateau’ I went for a classic striped fabric from Laura Ashley, but added a bit of an artistic twist.
I went for a nautical theme by adding a nautical inspired motif to make each chair unique and the whole set totally original. Using a mixture of applique and hand embroidery, I added anchors, boat, mermaid and a sea horse.
Then a friend pointed out that they are also happen to be my favourite pubs in Norfolk! (They know me so well).
I love the result, they are bright and fresh. Antique but contemporary at the same time, but most importantly utterly unique.
As they are quite dainty in size, they would be perfect as dining room chairs in a smaller dining area or perhaps bedroom chairs in a coastal inspired home? Secretly, I am hoping they will find a new home somewhere by the sea.
If you would like to buy them you can find them for sale here Remember, the price includes FREE shipping to the UK (mainland only) by a reputable independent courier.