Anyone who comes to my house knows that, if possible, we will sit in the sun room. It’s my favorite room; I love feeling like I am outside, while still being protected from the weather. Even at the worst of times, my garden energizes me, it reminds me of how lucky I am to be able to sit and watch the world go on around me.
That being said, the table in the sun room is surrounded by wonderful, old folding chairs. They are about 50 years old, folding in and out of zig-zag shapes; sometimes it takes time just to figure out how to open them. Age and paint have made them look equally charming (my words) and disgusting (a dear friend’s).
Because of their age, they are very small. The seat barely 12 inches square. However, with my ample bottom I know they are far more comfortable and sturdier than they look. Despite their look, lead paint chips do not attach themselves to your clothes, and they do not collapse at the slightest glance. I sit on them all the time. I work out there sometimes; I often sit at the table for hours, writing or dreaming of what I am going to do next.
The last week or so we have had several people over for dinner. Each time, as we go to sit down at the table, I see the sideways glances of the adults. Looking at the old, wooden chairs, trying to decide which would be the safest (and cleanest) one to sit on. I always laugh, and show people the chair that I think suits them the best. One of them is covered in layers and layers of very old green paint. I often approach the chair, with new paint or polyurethane, but I just can’t do it. The paint tells it’s story, and I don’t want to erase the most important part. Sometimes, noticing their hesitation, I will run and get the chairs from the dining room and bring them out for us to sit on. But, last week I knew it was time to face reality. Three dinners in a row, with friends and family, convinced me that making my guests uncomfortable, time after time, was not worth me sacrificing function for character.
I don’t like to buy new furniture (unless I really have to), so it was with a lot of reluctance that I went looking for chairs. Many hours later I came home with dark red, outdoor, wicker dining chairs that I had fallen in love with. Of course, they needed some tweaking once I got home (ie. redecorating the entire room around their red “newness”…) but as I see them, settled, in the room, I know it was the right decision.
p.s. I’m not really letting them go. They are going into my office where I can still sit on them. I love them so.