This is a story about relationships, furniture, patience and the pursuit of that perfect piece to finish off a spot in your home. The answer is, we found it!
My husband’s grandmother was a feisty little woman of Scottish descent. She had a circle of lady friends she played bridge with once a month. These bridge games were an special evening they all looked forward. One of those bridge players became ‘gram’s’ dearest friend. Both gram and her friend, Eleanor were widowed many years and became close confidants, travelers, and more like sisters than simply friends. Our extended family always included Eleanor at holiday gatherings and special events. Eleanor never had children and treated all of our family as her own.
The above photo is how my living room looked after we first moved into this house, just putting furniture in spots we thought might work. After gram passed, Eleanor stayed in our family circle and as she aged, my dear mother in law stepped in and helped her out, driving her to doctor’s appointments or bringing her to holiday gatherings. When Eleanor passed away, my mother in law was tasked with distributing her household belongings. I was given some of her beautiful tablecloths and napkins, all ironed crisply and pinned with a tag noting the size of the tablecloth and how many napkins were among the set.
My husband and I became the caretakers of Eleanor’s pair of rattan chairs and set of nesting tables. I went online and found out they were made by the Ficks Reed company of Cincinnati, Ohio and are actually made of bamboo with rattan accents. I don’t know how old this furniture is, but I know Eleanor likely bought it back in the 40’s or 50’s. I treasure these, not just for the pieces of furniture they are, but because of their provenance.
We have never had a strictly mid-century styled home, but managed to find a spot for these chairs in our past home, a California-contemporary styled ranch. When we moved to Florida I couldn’t find a spot in this house for those chairs. In the meantime, my ‘coastal style’ home was getting a little stuffy and dark with my chesterfield sofas in the family room. I decided I really needed something slipcovered in white. I considered all kinds of white slipcovered sofas for my living room when it dawned on my I already owned the perfect furniture, I just needed the slipcovers made!
When the the chairs dressed in their new slipcovers everything was perfect…EXCEPT…we needed a lamp on those little nesting tables, something that would coordinate with those chairs and keep true to my design style.
It is coming along, isn’t it? There were still a couple of things missing…My husband spotted these really inexpensive pillows on one of our shopping excursions. They were the perfect pop of color in their multiple shades of blue. What my dear hubby really wanted to complete this look was cypress knee lamp. His parents had travelled from Ohio to Florida on their honeymoon back in 1957 and brought back a cypress knee lamp from their visit to Cypress Gardens. This seemed like the perfect vintage piece to complement this seating area. The challenge was finding one!
Yes, you can find plenty of cypress knee lamps online, but my husband really wanted to see it in person. Off we went to antique stores, resale stores, big extravaganza sales, you name it, but there was not one lamp to be found. We have been on the hunt for over a year. Then, on Saturday, there it was! Did I think to take a picture right then and there of the dusty old lamp? No, but here it is!
That lamp, those slipcovers and the pillows have brought the living room together! Now, if I can just get my curtains and new blinds!
Here she is, the new addition to our family, all aglow in the evening. We might change out the shade, but we won’t part with it, that woven wooden shade is original! Have you been looking for that perfect item for your house? What is it? Have you found it? Let me know the story of your hunt!