Blog by Beebe Cline

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Why Your Room Wants a Small Chair

One of my favorite designers is Charles Faudree in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I especially appreciate how almost every room he designs includes a small-scale — sometimes even child-size — chair. For our 41st wedding anniversary this summer (I was a child bride), my husband and I bought each other just such a chair. "Wow!" you may be thinking. "Is that what I have to look forward to if I am ever married that long?"

In our defense, it is a marvelously old and quite petite Eastlake-style piece. And we bought it even though it did not seem to fit in the furnishing floor plan for our diminutive living room. No problem. I crumpled up the floor plan and tucked the chair right up next to my coffee table. And you know what? It's the chair our friends and guests invariably go to first. It's firm, it's light enough to readily move anywhere in the room, it has a straight back, it's easy to get in and out of, and it's the closest seat to the wine and hors d'oeuvres.

The lesson for me? Don't let your quarter-inch-scale floor plan have the final word. And consider that an undersize chair may be just the thing your room needs.
Here it is: our anniversary Eastlake chair. We found it at a secondhand store, piled with junk and with its fabric falling off. No problem; we loved it. We reupholstered it using a budget remnant from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft. It cozies right up to my coffee table when it's not needed, preening. But move it a few inches away, and I cannot get people to stay out of it. When I inquire anxiously if they are comfortable, they wave their wineglasses at me and mumble through full mouths that they're just fine.

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