Tag Archives: Danish modern

Red House West Seattle Weekend and The Quest to Test the Panton S

Katie and I are meeting in Seattle this weekend for a quick getaway and blogging caucus.  We’ve rented a little apartment with a view, and we are going to work on our plans, vision, and hopes for Red House West.  Apart from the blog, we have a few specific tasks in mind, including the compulsory clothing shopping that has to happen anytime an Alaskan goes to Seattle, eating great food, and looking for treasures in thrift stores.

I also have one very specific mission that I’m hoping to accomplish: test driving/sitting the Panton S chair.

Decorator Lili Diallo's dining room from the pages of Domino: The Book of Decorating.

Decorator Lili Diallo’s dining room from the pages of Domino: The Book of Decorating.

I’ve been waffling about this chair for ages.  I love everything about the way they look and I think they would go a long way in helping me to achieve the eclectic mix of styles that I crave.  My house is laden with old things, and I need the zesty punch of a new era to lighten things up, give the space a sense of humor, and turn the dowdiness into WOWdiness (boom! that just happened).

From the queen of bohemian decorating, Justina Blakeney.

From the queen of bohemian decorating, Justina Blakeney.

Another from Justina Blakeney

Another example from Justina Blakeney.

I’ve never sat in one, (or seen one in person) and I haven’t pulled the trigger for fear that they are uncomfortable, or that they feel like flimsy lawn furniture.  So I’ll be scouring the city for the elusive Panton S, and I’ll give you a full report here soon.

Another example from Domino: The Book of Decorating.

Another example from Domino: The Book of Decorating. My parents gave me their old dining chairs–intricately carved and perfectly mismatched wood chairs from Mexico. I love them, and, as in this photo, I think a few Panton S chairs in the mix would set them off perfectly.

Panton S chairs in an elegant setting by The Brooklyn Home Company

Panton S chairs in an elegant setting by The Brooklyn Home Company.

In the meantime, look forward to some spectacular Good Scores! on Friday.  Next week we’ll post about our Very Important High Powered Blogger Conference, and I’m certain that in the coming weeks we will be imbued with a sense of passion and purpose–can you feel it already?  Who knows, I might even be blogging my brains out from my new Panton S chairs.

Any thoughts on places we can’t afford to miss in Seattle?  Thrift stores you love?  As always, thanks for reading and supporting Red House West!

Good Score!

We’re hoping to start a weekly feature here at Red House West highlighting our readers’ good secondhand finds. If you scored a great bargain at a thrift store, found a treasure on the side of the road, or discovered a one-of-a-kind gem at a yard sale, we’d love to hear about it! Please send a picture and a brief description of what, where and how much to redhousewest@gmail.com and each Friday we’ll share a couple of highlights.

I feel about thrift stores the same way my cat, Dean, feels about tuna treats: I love them with a wholehearted, slavering affection that borders on indecent. I haven’t done much gambling, but I think that treasure hunting at thrift stores is probably pretty similar—scoring big is a high, but more often than not you end up not just empty handed, but also really wanting to wash your hands.

Our house is furnished, with few exceptions, with things I’ve found at thrift stores, yard sales and on Craigslist. I’ve become much more discerning about what I deem a ‘treasure,’ learning the hard way to take time to carefully inspect and assess and, yes, smell an item before I bring it home. Recently, I found three of these mid century chairs when I was scouring a favorite thrift store. I knew right when I walked in the door that I was going to find something good. I had what my friend Heather calls ‘spidey sense’—a heightened awareness that something great awaited me in the musty fug.

Bramin chair

I’d been looking for dining room chairs and I liked the shape of these and the quality of craftsmanship was evident. The wood was in terrific shape (I’ve been much less cavalier about bringing home things that ‘just need to be refinished’ since I actually tried refinishing something) and I loved the little rosewood inlay that ran the length of the chairs’ backs.

I've since learned that the inlaid wood and style of joinery is a hallmark of HW Klein's designs for Bramin

I’ve since learned that the inlaid wood and style of joinery is a hallmark of HW Klein’s designs for Bramin

When I turned a chair over there was the glint of a maker’s tag—which provided a good clue for finding out more about their origin:

Bramin chair tag

There were three chairs (I haunted the store for weeks hoping that a fourth would turn up, but to no avail) and I bought them for $5.99 each. When I got home I looked them up and found this Danish ad showing very similar chairs by the same designer, suggesting they were made in the mid 1960s.

Danish ad for Braminimage source

Searching further, I found a pair of these exact chairs listed on EBay for $530. There were also sets of four to six chairs listed for thousands of dollars. It’s fun (and crazy) that something I got so cheaply is worth so much, but more importantly I love these chairs. I can’t wait to condition the wood and reupholster the seats – I am still deciding what fabric to use, but when I finish them I’ll make sure to share here on the blog.

The second good score I want to share today – the merit of which arises from sheer beauty, rather than any designer tag or monetary value – is these little ladies:

the fish girls

Ah, they are absurd and they bring me so much joy. Who would give something so amazing to Goodwill??? Their names change daily, but are always something from an older generation: Lorraine and Esther; Gertrude and Ethel; Hortense and Bertha.

Seriously, who would give this to Goodwill???

Eunice looking dazzling in profile

They’re just so interactive! Last summer my nieces (and I) spent a lot of time picking flowers in the garden and giving them new hairdos. I put plants in them for the winter, but I’m considering un-potting them now that blooms are plentiful once again.

Edith and Norma freshly returned from the salon

Edith and Norma freshly returned from the salon


Looking a little dubious about her new 'do

Phyllis looking a little dubious about her new ‘do

So those are a couple of my recent good scores. Please send us an email and tell us about yours!