Tag Archives: Panton S chair

Solstice Dinner with Heidi of Chena Girl Cooks

My friend Heidi is the author and chef behind Chena Girl Cooks, a food blog all about unfussy delicious food.  Apart from being a terrific chef, Heidi is one of those people who lights up a room with her mega watt smile and vivacious laugh.  She’s just one of those warm, welcoming, quick-witted people whose presence makes you feel great.  And she’s generous with her culinary gifts: when I asked her to come over for a solstice dinner this weekend she said “what am I cooking?” IMG_8071 Solstice in Anchorage means about 22 hours of daylight.  Without the regular cues of darkness time becomes a looser concept  and dinner and bedtime creep later and later (tired and cranky toddlers are still like clockwork).

Chester and I both like to cook (don’t misunderstand: we are not Heidi caliber), but I often have a hard time thinking of what to cook.  Not Heidi. She always has menu ideas at the ready, so I gladly left the menu up to her and appointed myself her sous chef (and I made an apron for her to mark the occasion). Deep Love Apron from Red House West The menu was salmon with dijon mustard, bread crumbs and herbs, and couscous, roasted beet salad, and brownies for dessert.  It’s classic Heidi: simple local ingredients that she manages to turn into an exquisite dinner like it’s no big deal. IMG_8161 IMG_8143 IMG_8207 IMG_8186


Oh, hello there beautiful Panton S chairs. Welcome to your home.


Talk about sunshine!

My own personal sunshine.

IMG_8331 IMG_8394 The salmon was so good, cooked perfectly, with the tang of the dijon and the crunch of the breadcrumbs.  Heidi promises to have the recipe up on her blog soon.  This is definitely one to try this salmon season!

Red House West Northern Headquarters, 11:45 p.m.  It was cloudy.

Red House West Northern Headquarters on solstice, 11:45 p.m.  It was cloudy.

Here’s to friends as bright and sweet as the first day of summer!  Head over to Chena Girl Cooks to check out Heidi’s other great Alaska inspired recipes.  Happy solstice everyone!

*Update* Heidi has posted the recipe from our Solstice feast, and you can check it out here!

The Seattle Report

Katie and I are feeling refreshed and energized after our Seattle BlogCon this weekend.  We had a great time planning and brainstorming about Red House West, and we accomplished the few missions we set for ourselves. First, the Panton S Chair report: We googled “Panton S Chair Seattle” and guess what came up?!  My post from last week about testing out the Panton S Chair in Seattle.  While this was kind of exciting, it was not particularly useful information. So then we called the Design Within Reach Seattle showroom, which had one on the floor that we could test out.  We floundered around (a choice verb given how hard it was raining) downtown for a while trying to find the showroom, and after asking several people for directions we found the storefront.  And there she was, the sinuous, lithe, elusive Panton S . . . .

I had to think about whether or not I liked the chair for approximately .2 seconds.  Katie snapped this pic in the process.

I had to think about whether or not I liked the chair for approximately .2 seconds. Katie snapped this pic in the process.

The floor model was red, not what I would choose, but being able to sit in it made all the difference.  It is astonishingly comfortable!  Truly, you cannot believe how comfortable this chair is.  We compared it to the wishbone chair, several shell chairs, and the tulip chair (interestingly Katie reports that her vintage tulip chair is more comfortable than the modern incarnation), and it was way more comfortable.  It’s sturdy, but light, easy to pull in to the table after you’re seated, and has a surprisingly dainty footprint.  I could eat a five course meal, write a blog post, and/or hold one or more 18 lb. cats in my lap without getting uncomfortable.  In sum, I’m sold.

It was also really fun for us to see furniture that we’ve lusted after on the internet but have never seen in person.  Many of the things we saw met or exceeded our expectations, but a few also fell flat in person.  The Design Within Reach people were so friendly, and we were invited to put our soggy feet up on the most beautiful pieces of furniture I could ever imagine. Because I live in Alaska, most of my furniture purchases are made sight unseen after hours agonizing and searching the web for yet another photo that might show me an angle that reveals some bit of crucial information that makes the difference yay or nay.  I feel like I just got hours of my future back by seeing the Womb Chair, the Milo Baughman recliner, and the Egg Chair in person.  After I win the lottery and Chester realizes a huge fortune because of his heretofore undiscovered lineage that makes him a Count or Duke, I will snatch these babies up.

The Saarinen Womb Chair (left) and the Milo Baughman Recliner (right)

My top pick is the Saarinen Womb Chair (left) and Katie’s is the Milo Baughman Recliner (right)

Next the Blog Meeting Report: We were serious about having an organized discussion about Red House West, and trying to talk through our hopes for what it will become, our feelings about our beginnings, and what we need and want to do going forward. IMG_7324 One of the very best things about this experience so far is that Katie and I talk and text pretty much constantly as we generate ideas, give progress reports back and forth, and edit each other’s posts.  We’re loving collaborating together, and we’re going to keep it going. We realized that a theme among the blogs that we most love and follow is that they include a lot of the personality of the author(s).  We decided that we should follow suit, so that while we are creating and curating things for our homes, we are also reflecting and sharing our personalities and friendship here on the blog.  To that end, we decided to explore the modern art form known as the “selfie.”  As it turns out we have a real knack for taking artful and flattering selfies: Slide1


Nailed it.

We will continue to post on Mondays and Wednesdays, and share Good Scores on Fridays.  In fact, speaking of Good Score, it is my great pleasure and honor to share the following historic announcement with you:  We’re doing a GIVEAWAY!  We’ll announce more details on Friday, but suffice it to say that if you submit a Good Score by email to redhousewest@gmail.com or through Instagram by tagging #rhwgoodscore you will be entered to win a little somethin’ somethin’.  The winner will be drawn randomly from the submissions, and will be announced here on Friday, May 30th.

Blogger at work.

Blogger at work (we spent hours styling this shot, draping the banana peel just so).

We are so pleased with how Red House West has developed so far.  Our goals starting out were to have fun, learn new things, and spend time working and collaborating together.  Check, check, and check.  We definitely want to say that we are so grateful to our readers for following along and leaving thoughtful and supportive comments.  It means a lot.  Onward!

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!