Saturday, November 6, 2010

When Home is... a piece of furniture

After talking to owner of Armchair, Pip Robb, about the personalities of her many armchairs it made me think more about furniture and how strongly it can relate to home.

Is there a piece of furniture you would rush to save in a fire? Or if you were moving overseas would there be a piece of furniture that would have to go with you to make you feel at home?

Have you inherited special pieces from your family or your partner’s family? Have you invested in a special piece that you plan to have in your home forever (and perhaps hand down to your children?) Or is your most precious piece of furniture something you’ve kept from your childhood home or something you found on the side of the road and restored yourself?

Ok, I’ll go first.

For me, and not because I am copying Pip (!), the piece of furniture I can’t imagine ever being without is an armchair. Favourite because of its history and the story it now has to tell.

When I was pregnant with my first child, like many mothers, I loved the idea of having an armchair in the nursery. My grandparents lounge set, which they had owned throughout my lifetime at least, had an armchair which in recent years my grandfather had stopped using. Its fabric had worn out, one of the legs was bent, it was now squeaky and uncomfortable.

He happily gave it to me and we had it reupholstered and restored. Not knowing what this baby was, I decided to go for a red fabric and knew also that it would be a fabric that could move beyond the baby stage easily.

It was perfect for feeding and then as my daughter grew older, perfect for reading bedtime stories. As each child came along, the chair moved in with the baby. Now that there are no babies, the chair has become the reading chair. Often I will find any of the children sitting on it while looking at books and sometimes all three there together.

It’s a piece of furniture that will always remind me of our early years together learning to become a family.

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