April 26, 2012

My favorite heirloom

With my father being an only child, we three kids were the only grandchildren on his side. Right after Jrex and I married, my grandfather, who lived in a retirement community, moved from his two room suite down to the health center. Of the three grandchildren, I was the only one in a house at the time, so he shipped me all his furniture with instructions to pass stuff along to OTRbro and sis when appropriate. (They've never wanted what he left for them...)

Amidst the desk, dresser, side tables and file cabinet was the "Dog's Head Chair". As a little girl visiting them in Florida, I was fascinated by the chair with it's carved hound heads for hand rests. I used to pet the dog foreheads and feel their carved ears and lips.

When my Dad came to visit us after the furniture arrival, he sat in the chair and sighed, "I always thought this would come to me, but now it's passed me by." Of course I told him to take it home with him! He laughed and said, "No, I'll enjoy it when I come to visit you."

For the past fifteen years it's continued to reign in our various living rooms. The upholstery from my Grandmother's era tattered and the seat began to sag. Since moving it here to Dallas, I've become more and more nervous that anyone heavier than Mom K might fall through the seat. I'd hoped to wait to reupholster it until we got our kid (kids?) past the toddler phase, but it became obvious that it couldn't make it.

After finding an upholsterer, I dove into a local fabric store. What a fun excursion that was! Row after row of gorgeous fabrics. Jrex was home with the baby so I sent text messages with pictures so he could help me decide. When he left it up to me to pick between two options, I grabbed an older woman who worked in the store. She shook her head and pointed to a burly guy, "He's the one who knows what goes with what, ask him." With his help, I made a decision. It's really scary to pick a fabric that should last for the next 20-30 years!

Today the woman from the upholster called to say the chair was ready. She then added, "That is a beautiful chair! Wherever did you find it?!"

"My Grandfather was a small town newspaper publisher and ended up visiting many people's houses in the course of his job. He happened to see the chair frame in someone's attic and bought it for $20 bucks. My Grandmother had it upholstered and we've had it ever since."

Anyway, the chair came back today. What do you think?


Aimee said...


Is that sage green? My favorite color!

Mike Scudder said...

What a neat chair!

OTRgirl said...

The diamond shapes are sea foam (?), a bluish sage. The green in the middle is close to the footstool color. Overall the chair feels sage (which is one of my favorite colors, too).

Snickollet said...

Love love love. What a wonderful piece of furniture.

Lil'Sis said...

Looks great!!! Love the dog heads

Anonymous said...

looks great!! Nice fabric choice :)

You need to take that on antiques roadshow someday just to see if you can get more history on it!!


OTR sister said...

Love the fabric! And good for you for fixing it up.

And I've wanted plenty of the heirloom furniture, and received several that Dad passed along. I love my doughboy, english ash sideboard, cedar chest and butterfly limoge. I've just given you the dresser because it would overwhelm either of the kids bedrooms. It looks nice in your house.

NGS said...

Oh, it's lovely. You're so lucky to have such a nice piece!!

Anonymous said...

i remember being at your house 2 cities ago, when ms. g (at the time) was petting those dogs. -jp

Anonymous said...

by the way, it looks great! - jp