Weekend Finds: Adrian Pearsall and the Swamp Monster

This weekend was a busy one for me and, as such, I really didn’t plan on buying anything at all. But plans change and mine changed the minute I saw this in a fellow picker’s shop:

IMG_4719

It’s a great overstuffed armchair designed by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates. I’ll admit that it wasn’t love at first sight. I saw it and thought it was cool, but those saddle bag style armrests totally threw me. I couldn’t decide if I loved them or hated them, so I walked away.

IMG_4730But that gorgeous exposed walnut frame stuck in my mind all day. Eventually it got the better of me and I just had to go back and make it mine. I love the form and the fact that, for a large chair, it’s not visually overwhelming due to the open frame. I also knew it was an Adrian Pearsall design without having to research it. This one is kind of a no brainer if you’re familiar with his work, but even so, many designs by other companies look similar and are often falsely attributed to him. Fortunately this guy still had his tag.

IMG_4722The overall condition isn’t that bad. The elastic straps under the seat are dried out and will have to be replaced, but otherwise the only real damage is sun fading. The fabric is a heavy wool-blend tweed that was originally mixed tones of aqua and kelly green with gold flecks. The exposed areas of fabric are more of a gold-green color.

Original fabric color

Original fabric color

Sun fading

Sun fading

So, I can’t decide if I want to reupholster it or not. Since the fabric is mostly natural fibers it could probably be re-dyed, but it’s hard to know if the end result would be any more uniform. Another thing to consider is that I’m having other pieces reupholstered for my living room. If you’ll remember back a few months, I have an amazing Pearsall sofa waiting in the wings.

Pearsall_CouchCoincidentally, I just purchased the fabric for this couch less than an hour before I found the chair. I think the green will look nice contrasted with the new fabric, but I don’t know if I love the idea of a pristine couch contrasted with a faded old chair.

New sofa fabric: Rivington by Knoll Textiles in "Parchment"

New sofa fabric: Rivington by Knoll Textiles in “Parchment”

I do plan on salvaging the original fabric from the couch as only a small portion of it is too damaged to reuse. So another option will be to have the Pearsall chair recovered in the vintage Craft Associates fabric. I’m just not sure how I feel about stripes on the chair. Thoughts? I’ll keep you all updated on the progress. I can’t wait until these pieces are living in my living room.

Oh, and you’re probably wondering what that bit about the swamp monster was? Well, I had another interesting find in the same shop where I bought the chair.

IMG_4749Maybe my taxidermy collection is getting a little out of control, but I couldn’t resist this little alligator. I think it’s the color that drew me to him. If he were shoes, I’d have bought two pair.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted March 24, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    As the owner of an Adrian Pearsall coffee table that would match that chair perfectly, I’m envious. I’ve seen this chair before (unfortunately for me, it was marked “sold”) so I am happy to discover you now own it. It’s gorgeous and not many people will ever possess such a unique chair, and for that alone you are fortunate. Even though the striped fabric from the couch would work, I like the chair as is. The parchment is a great choice – I’m partial to those cooler neutrals and the blue and green of the chair will add a lot of spark.

    • Austin
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      I do love this chair in green and, now that I’m pretty sure those saddle-bag arms wrap the other way and tuck under the seat cushion, I love it more. But the upholstery is more tired than I initially thought. I don’t think orange stripes are right for it either , but it may need a new outfit for the next 50 years. What that new fabric will be is a struggle—my living room isn’t exactly a restrained palette.

  2. Susie
    Posted March 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Great looking chair and couch. Your lucky you went back and snatched it. Whenever I second guess vintage finds and go back they are gone.

    • Austin
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Susie, I usually have the same luck. But then I always do that bargaining thing where I say to myself, “If I’m meant to have it, it will still be there. If it’s not, I’ll be OK with it.” But when it’s gone, I’m usually not OK with it :)

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