In my eternal quest for a living room sofa, I stumbled upon this modern wingback (1822-01) from the venerable Lee Industries. I found this beauty at Walls Alive, a lovely custom interior decorating store here in Calgary.
I would usually walk right past a modern-looking chair but I was oddly drawn to its clean lines and yet subtle nod to tradition. What sold me, however, was the comfort. This chair looks austere but is so comfortable to sit in:
The high back is supportive (I have a bad back and it felt very supported in this chair) and sits at a perfect, relaxing angle. With the tall wings you feel positively enveloped. The seat has a down-wrapped core so it's also supportive but soft and cushy.
The chair is shown in a fabric called "Campbell White", which is a crisp 100% cotton with a very soft hand. I love this fabric but white simply isn't practical and it only comes in dark colours otherwise. I like to eat cookies in my chairs so white just isn't a candidate.
I've decided that this chair should come home with me, along with the (possible) new sofa. I really like the profile. It also comes in a coverall, as Lee calls it (aka slipcover, not shown):
Here I am in the store testing fabrics. I am drawn to all the rough linens for their texture, but they are rather rough and hard to the touch. David calls them "crunchy", which is an apt description:
I brought several swatches home of the softer linens and also a few cotton blends. My favorite for the chair is the one on the left (below), which is called Stonewash Belize Flax. Unfortunately it's one of the most expensive grades (just my luck). It's 100% linen and is quite wrinkly but very soft to the hand:
I'm not really sure how this fabric will look on a tailored, upholstered piece. It is more of a casual slipcover fabric, but I'm drawn to its colour and softness and think it would be a very interesting fabric on a tailored piece.
I've shown the fabric with a piece of moss green velvet beside it since I'm planning to make Christmas pillows in this fabric and I want it all to work(!):
Here is another shot of the chair fabric (left). I have all the samples laid out across a white sheet on the back of my sofa. The potential sofa fabric, also linen, is shown to the immediate right of the green velvet. It's a paler linen called Belize Natural. At the far right is another potential sofa fabric called Patton Flax:
Crate & Barrel has a 25% off custom sale until mid-October, which would make both these pieces much more affordable. If you didn't know, Crate & Barrel carries Lee furniture and has most of the fabrics available. For a larger fabric selection, check out a dedicated Lee dealer.
I picked up my fabrics at Walls Alive, mentioned above, which has a wonderful, kind staff. Walls Alive had excellent prices on Lee, better than any other store I checked, but with the 25% off sale at Crate & Barrel, it's the hands down winner!
Any thoughts on upholstering with linen? Do you like this chair?