Friday, February 13, 2009

Inspiration: Sweet Home Alabama

For Valentine's day, I was thinking of doing a post on recycled jewelry as a hint hint to my guy, but then I remembered Alabama Chanin. As Tricia observed, their aesthetic is more crafty gal-meets-Anthropologie than we usually feature here. But I grew up in Alabama, my grandmother had several of these primitive* chairs. The nicer ones lived in the house. When the seats wore out, they moved to the porch, then to the old kitchen behind the main house. Grandma was eco-chic in her own old-school way--braiding rugs from fabric scraps, filling the deep freezer with all the summer fruits and veggies for winter eating (and the best strawberry preserves on the planet). These chairs resonate with me in a way that makes my heart ache for warm summer nights and fireflies and the smell of Southern cooking.

Ms. Chanin is rescuing the things from our grandmother's porches and attics and giving them new life, and this makes me happy.
She also has some lovely quilts and found-object chandeliers. All this on top of her original career as a fashion designer.

Happy Valentine's Day, Grandma. I imagine you would have thrilled to see me weave fabric scraps or neckties to restore one of those porch chairs, earning it a place back in the house.

*Now they're called "primitive," but back then, we just called them "old."

Images from Alabama Chanin


  1. Love the chairs! Are those neckties? They certainly look like it. If not, it would be cool to use a cache of grandpa's neckties on grandma's chairs - or even her old scarves. Hmm. You always get me thinking. Love it!

  2. Yes, they're neckties. I saw another artist doing this with old leather belts, which have a fantastic aged patina to them (you just buckle them on the underside of the chair). Vintage silk scarves could be delicate and sweet. Vintage wool ones could be hearty and warm. So many options!


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