Crush of the Week: Wishbone Chair by Hans J. Wegner

Hans J. Wegner’s 1949 Wishbone Chair is this week’s Crush of the Week. Like a favorite movie, I never get tired of this piece. Wegner designed the CH24 Wishbone Chair for Carl Hansen & Søn in 1949, and it has been in continuous production ever since.  At sixty-seven years old, its clean, graceful lines and simple design attest to its longevity.

The Wishbone Chair is lightweight, has a characteristic Y-shaped back and a seat made of about 400 feet of  hand-woven paper cord treated with wax. In fact, making one chair is a one-hundred step process.  The frame is made out of sustainable hardwood and available in a several different wood species and finishes.

Oak species in soaped finish

Oak species in soaped finish

The Soaped Wood Finish has a close appearance to raw wood and is made by mixing vegetable oil-based soap in water and rubbing it into the wood and wiping it off.

Walnut species in oiled finish

Walnut species in oiled finish

With a darker, rich patina, the Oiled Wood Finish is  a hand-rubbed vegetable-based oil which will heighten the grain and character. Oil finishes will darken over time.

wegner-wishbone-blue

If color pulls at your heartstrings, there are twenty-six eye-popping painted finishes. A few favorites include Orange Red Lacquer, Spring Green Lacquer, and Black Lacquer. Shown above are some blue options, but here’s a link to all the available hues.

Each chair costs between $600 (for painted) and up to about $1,450 for lacquered walnut. While it’s nothing to sneeze at, for hand-crafted, high-quality iconic furniture, the price is warranted.

Wishbone chair detail, frame shown in Orange Red Lacquer color

Wishbone chair detail, frame shown in Orange Red Lacquer color

Beware of the many knock-offs on the market. One of the most telling signs of a fake is the woven seat material. Cheaper replicas often use synthetic cording, like nylon. The weaving should be tight and at near 90-degree angles balanced on all sides, like shown above.

Detail of authentic chair label

Detail of authentic chair label

Authentic chairs are also labeled. This is the current label, but older models are slightly different.

Pattern Focus: Greek Key

Greek Key

via Cindy Rinfret

The Greek key pattern was an important symbol in ancient Greece. It signified infinity, eternal flow, friendship, love, waves and the four seasons, to name a few of its associations. With its bold, twisting design, the Greek key pattern is the epitome of an enduring classic. Click HERE to read more about using this timeless and surprisingly flexible pattern.

 

Beyond the Bed: Hudson’s Bay Point Blankets

Hudson's Bay point blankets are sold in the US by LL Bean

Hudson’s Bay point blankets are sold in the US by LL Bean

If it’s possible to have a blanket crush, mine is on the Hudson’s Bay point blanket. A high school friend had a pea coat made out of a Hudson’s Bay point blanket, and I’ve never forgotten about it. Nothing short of awesome, I loved the its heft and candy-colored stripes.

Unfortunately, the coats are no longer made, but the blankets have been in production for centuries. If you love them as much as I do, here are some ways to show off your blanket not just during the winter, but all year long. Hudson’s Bay point blankets make great upholstery and more.

Hudson’s Bay point blanket history

Hudson's Bay Company logo

Hudson’s Bay point blankets have been in production since 1670, and were aboard the ship Nonsuch when she sailed to Canada’s Hudson Bay on a speculative voyage for fur trading.

The blankets were desired by Native Americans because they hold heat, even when wet, and were easier to sew than animal skins. They later became a main source of trade. Although the blankets are associated with Canada, they are actually made in England!

Blanket stripes and colors

The blankets are made in solid colors of red/black, green/black, white/black, and a two-tone brown, but the multi-stripe is the most popular. According to Woolrich Inc., holders of the exclusive license for Hudson’s Bay blankets in the U.S., the multi-stripe’s four stripe colors (green, red, yellow and indigo) were chosen because of the quality colorfast dyes available at the time the multi-stripe blanket was introduced, around 1800.

However, for Native Americans these colors had symbolic meaning; “Green is taken to mean ‘new life,’ red often stands for ‘battle’ or ‘hunt,’ yellow relates to ‘harvest’ and ‘sunshine,’ and blue represents ‘water.’”

Points – what do they mean?

“Points” are the thin two or four-inch long black lines woven into the blanket. (You can see them in the top image). They represent a system developed in the 18th century to indicate the finished overall size of the blanket.

Over the centuries the sizes of blankets have changed, particularly during the 20th century as beds became larger. Blankets of 2-1/2, 3, 3-1/2 and 4 points were most common during the fur trade era. Today, blankets are made in the following bed sizes: 3-1/2 (Twin), 4 (Double), 6 (Queen) and 8 (King).

A twist on tradition: Hudson’s Bay blankets as upholstery

Hudson's Bay Point sofa via Sit and Read

via Sit and Read

Hudson’s Bay point blankets look superb installed as upholstery fabric. The simple, linear lines of mid-century modern furniture, in particular, work well with the stripes of the blanket. This fetching sofa was made by Brooklyn-based Sit and Read.

Hudson's Bay point blanket chair via NuBe Green

via Pinterest

Hudson's Bay point blanket ottoman via Homestead Seattle

via Homestead Seattle

Mid-century modern furniture not your thing? Hudson’s Bay point blankets cover the traditional side of things too, like this demure ottoman.

And this old wicker rocking chair wrapped up in a point blanket couldn’t look cozier.

Pillows!

Hudson’s Bay, the store associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company sells a bunch of point blanket products. One of my favorites is this multi-stripe chevron throw pillow.

via Hudson's Bay Company

via Hudson’s Bay Company

Hudson’s Bay point blankets can be purchased in the US at:

LL Bean

Woolrich

Do you have a Hudson’s Bay point blanket that you’ve repurposed – or just plain love? Please share your story!

 

Must-Know Furniture: The Grandfather Clock

Grandfather clock in modern home

via Peacock Builders

What we refer to today as a “grandfather clock” is more accurately called a longcase clock. Created in 1670 by English clockmaker William Clement, the grandfather clock has changed little in appearance in nearly 350 years. But don’t think grandfather clocks are only for olden times. Referred to as the “heartbeat of the home”, click HERE to learn more about making one work for you.

Must-Know Furniture: The Tulip Chair

Tulip chairs work great with banquette seating

via Niche Interiors

Designed by architect and designer Eero Saarinen, the Tulip Chair is an American furniture icon. Saarinen designed the one-legged chair for Knoll in 1958 because he was put off by the “slum of legs under every table” created by traditional four-legged chairs.

Saarinen’s training in sculpture informed the chair’s clean lines and curvaceous form. Its sleek futuristic aesthetic has carried it through from the 1950s to today. Here’s a closer look at the quintessential chair and how you can use it in your home, no matter what your style. Click HERE to read the full story…

 

Must-Know Furniture: The Hoosier Cabinet

Hoosier Cabinet

A Hoosier cabinet is a freestanding kitchen workhorse that was popular in the first half of the 20th century. The Swiss Army Knife of the kitchen, they’re much more than just a storage cabinet.

This freestanding cabinet handled all the kitchen bustle in the early 20th century, earning it the motto ‘Hoosier saves steps’.

Click HERE to read the full story about this classic piece.

Must-Know Furniture: Bergères and Fauteuils

Fauteuils via SoHaus Interior Design

via SoHaus Interior Design

Bergères and fauteuils are two classic French chairs that are frequently confused and (mistakenly) used interchangeably. However, they are indeed two different pieces. Learn the difference, and how you can use these pieces in your home. Big on comfort and easy on the eye, click HERE to read the full story….

 

Must-Know Furniture: The Wingback Chair

Wingchair

Design by James Thomas LLC

The wingback chair, also known as a wing chair, an easy chair and a grandfather chair, is a late-17th-century piece designed with side wings that partially enclose the sitter’s upper body to protect the sitter from drafts and capture heat thrown from a fireplace.

But don’t let the wingback’s traditional stereotype make you believe it belongs only in formal spaces. With a design that’s lasted four centuries, wingback chairs are surprisingly flexible. They’re a great addition not only to a living room or study, but also to a dining room, bedroom and more. To read more about how to introduce a wingback into your own home, click HERE.

Must-Know Furniture: Get Close With a Tête-à-Tête

via Martha O'Hara Interiors

via Martha O-Hara Interiors

A tête-à-tête is an S-shaped French seating creation that encourages two people to face each other and engage in conversation, yet still be visually tied to their surroundings. This classic 19th century piece is as useful in homes today as it was back in the day. Click HERE to read more…

Back Problems? Try Putting Your Feet Up

Consider these to that one-size-doesn’t fit-all sofa to avoid slumping and spinal stress.

Much has been publicized in recent years about how poorly designed office chairs can encourage bad posture that leads to neck and back problems.

While ergonomically designed desk chairs may help support us at work, how can we keep ourselves healthy when we’re trying to relax at home? The answer may rest with your feet. Click HERE for the full story.