Weekend Finds: Hooker Mainline Desk and Chair

This past weekend was a dreary, miserably cold one with daily morning snow showers. With a peak through the blinds on Friday morning to see yet another fresh blanket of snow, I resolved to spend the next three days inside and finally take down the Christmas decorations. I did manage to get the reek of seasonal cheer out of my house, but I broke my vow of home imprisonment, leaving once to pick up a Craigslist find.

Desk&ChairAnd not a bad find at that. When I arrived to pick up this amazing desk and chair, I discovered the owners had actually bought their surfboard coffee table out of my living room several years earlier. My thrifting world keeps getting smaller and smaller.

Desk_Front

This desk is from one of my favorite furniture collections, Mainline by Hooker furniture. What I love about all of the desks from this collection is that they all feature a “floating” top—the top is cantilevered over the mass of the desk in one or more places. This one has some interesting balancing of forms going on, not to mention that great faux tambour door on the far left drawer front. A hybrid of modular shapes and Danish elegance, it’s a pretty sophisticated little desk.

Hooker_Brand

The other great thing about Hooker Mainline desks is that they’re all finished on the back. Clearly reflective of an era of open concept modern homes, these beauties need not be banished to the wall.

Desk_Back

When I found this, the chair had been recovered in a black and white houndstooth. It wasn’t in bad shape and I think a lot of people might like the update it gave the chair, but the seat pad had multiple layers of fabric and padding and it all was a little misshapen. I decided to remove all of the old fabric, supplement the original padding and recover it in a period-appropriate champagne tweed. It doesn’t have the graphic punch of the houndstooth, but the desk has such an interesting shape I thought the fabric should sit back a little and complement it.

The new fabric picks up the walnut tones

The new fabric picks up the walnut tones

Chair before and after

Chair before and after

In the end I feel like this was worth putting on “outside pants” and leaving the house, and at this point in the winter that’s really saying a lot.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted February 18, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    STUNNING. I love it. I had never heard of that maker, but I will be on the lookout from now on.

    **envy font**

    • Austin
      Posted February 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Deb! Hooker is actually still in business today. In the vintage world though, they’re best known for the Danish-inspired wonderfulness of the Mainline collection. It’s really worth a Google images search, there are some wonderful pieces.

  2. Susan
    Posted July 4, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I just found a beautifulMainljne by Hooker on Craigslist this week. Stunning little desk…

  3. Charlice
    Posted August 31, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I gave away my deceased parents Hooker desk (just like the one pictured) along with some other odd 50s modern pieces to charity a few years ago. The desk had been in my family since 1959, years before I was born, and none of my siblings wanted it. Danish modern is definitely not my style so off it went for someone else to make use of. I had no idea whatsoever that old 50s furniture had any desirability until I went on eBay and searched Hooker furniture and there were some of those old desks for sale with very exaggerated prices. $2,000 for a 50s desk?! Don’t think so!

    • Austin
      Posted September 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Mid-century modern furniture has had some following since at least the early 1980s, but more recently it has become extremely popular as mainstream tastes realign with that aesthetic. Of course value and demand vary greatly depending on manufacturer, designer, rarity, style and location. Hooker is quality furniture with great style, but certainly not designer. Online research for value often yields some imaginative results. Sites like 1stDibs reflect wildly inflated coastal prices for fairly common items. I sold the desk in this post for around $400, which is a more realistic range though some more elaborate and larger designs from this line might approach the $1,000 mark at full retail.

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