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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Red Chairs and an Afternoon

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Well, it’s Springtime here in New Jersey and about two hours ago I became my own worst client. After 6 months of Winter, of looking at the same things day in and day out I was sure that my house was the most boring one on the planet. It seemed drab and in need of a good clean (not my forte).

As I wandered around bemoaning how much “stuff” I had accumulated I just knew that my life would not be perfect unless I hired a housekeeper and bought four red chairs for my sunroom. After thinking about my dilemma I had a reality check and remembered what I did for a living. Remembering was just the beginning; it took me a few minutes to realize that it was time, once again, to be my own client. To forget the rules, remember my budget and get going.

I tackled the sunroom first. Convinced that nothing could cheer it up, I reluctantly emptied it of its contents. I sipped on a cup of coffee as I looked at the vast amount of furniture that I had removed from such a small room. 

As I stared at the empty space I realized what I had to do – the sofa and table had to stay, no replacements there, they were a necessity. But everything else could be changed. The yellow dining chairs bothered me; I definitely needed red chairs instead. Unfortunately I had no red spray paint on me so the yellow chairs were placed in the garden while I contemplated their fate. I searched the basement and found a painted, wooded green chair and a plain wooden chair. They would do, a bit shabby but it was a sunroom after all. I put them in and right away the room looked better.

The accessories were next. I had so many, but as I hadn’t really looked at them in a while it became clear that many I didn’t like or had been given to me by people I didn’t like (!). So, I put these in a bag to be given away. Much better.

I removed a small brown table and replaced it with a trunk from the mudroom. Surprisingly the scale of the trunk looked better than the small table and it changed the whole focus of the room. Pop a plant on it and it would be perfect. I then grouped all my books together, placed them all together on a shelf so that I could pretend I had lofty ambitions of being well read. It gave it a slightly studious but natural look. Added a floor lamp and a chair to create a little reading (or napping) nook.

As I went on clearing the room I knew I needed more color in it. A pillow on that brown wingback chair was what I needed. Perhaps a red pillow…………..But I have no red pillows. I searched the house and could find no spare pillows, not even anything that I could make into a pillow. Well, I did, but couldn’t find a fabric that I liked to cover it. You know, as I write this I remember I have some vintage tablecloths in a drawer. Maybe I could wrap one around a pillow and that would brighten the room up? Hmmm, will try that when I have finished writing.

So, I pottered around the room, added some plants and was surprised at how nice and fresh it looked. I just needed one more chair to put around the table. Into the garage I went. Found a wrought iron doormat that I didn’t know I had, a piano leg that I had hoped to make into a table one day but no extra chair. As I was leaving, I ducked my head under the door and noticed something red on the shelf. Four red chairs! I had bought them years ago, but couldn’t find a space for them, so I had stored them in the garage (they folded up, so I told myself they were barely noticeable). With far too much excitement I grabbed the chairs and took them into the sunroom. They were the wrong height for the table but it made me so happy that I had found them. Back to the garage they go. As I went back inside I found the small brown table to be too, well, brown, so I looked at my paint collection. I found a gorgeous blue and I started to paint the table top, much to the chagrin of the cat who was just about to sunbathe on it.

While I waited for the paint to dry I made a cup of tea and sat in my new sunroom. As I mused, I noticed the floor lamp by the wingback chair……Wouldn’t it look heaps better if it was red?

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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