Direct from Provence

I was stunned last week to see a Bonne Femme French provincial chair on Craig’s list–even more stunned at the price.

I went to see it today and little did I know the wonderful story behind it. The lady I bought it from is truly a kindred spirit who has created an indescribably beautiful French-Italian garden at her home. It took my breath away. Her rose standards were beyond my wildest dreams.

She arranges specialty travel and has been to Provence many times. She had a shop at the local designers International Market Square (you have to use an interior decorator to buy there), right next to the shop of a woman who imported furniture from Provence. They got to be friends and on a day when the French woman was very low because of few sales, this lady bought the chair to help cheer her up. It had the original, worn, crushed-from-being-sat-upon cushions–but the buyer had new cushions made and then changed her mind about her home’s decor so the cushions didn’t work.

She put the chair on Craig’s List for more than I paid. But no one understood what the chair was, so when I made a lower offer, she accepted. I still can’t believe it. It’s absolutely gorgeous. These chairs sold for $1,500 10 years ago in catalogs like Rue De France or Pierre Deux. (And I’m not even sure those chairs were truly made in France.) This is exactly what my heart longed for as a companion to the leather settee in front of the fireplace on the lower level. I would have happily settled for a reproduction, but to get the real thing gives me goosebumps!

 

2014-09-05 00.28.46

2014-09-05 00.28.35Now for the punchline. I paid $100.

Of course, I’ve once again condemned myself to cushion making!! As lovely as the orchid damask is, it doesn’t fit well with the chair’s design and origins. So, I will recover the cushions (and probably increase the size of the back cushion) with a warm floral print a la Provence. The upholstery fabric hunt begins!

And tomorrow I’m looking at a Craig’s List rush-seated bench, which will nearly finish the lower level off! If I get it,  I’ll post. (Gasp–MORE cushion making….)

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