November 22, 2011

Chairs for Children

A room designed by Betty Lou Phillips incorporates antique children's chairs nestled up to the coffee table at a perfect height for games. Upholstered in a pale blue silk check, the look is suited perfectly to the elegance of the room.

Hello, everyone! I have been forced to be away from my blog and from my favorite blogland hang-outs for just too many days while I have been engrossed in holiday planning. I have begun to wonder why on Earth, here in the United States, do we drive ourselves crazy with two significant holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, scheduled within only about 4 weeks of each other?! It seems like we could spread them out a bit. But oh well, despite the trouble and effort, it is great fun too; is it not? 

Part of the fun for me at holiday time are the lively young guests; between my three siblings and me, we are blessed with five little girls, (four of whom are age 2!!), one baby boy and another baby boy due to my brother and his wife very soon. At present, the two-year-olds steal the show giving us a very clear understanding of what Jerry Seinfeld meant when he said, "Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." Yep, that pretty much sums it up! But no matter, the children are the highlights of our world, and when mine are all grown up, I hope I will still be blessed by the presence of some happy-faced little ones... who come to visit. :)

An absolutely beautiful arrangement by Betty Lou Phillips includes two children's chairs finely upholstered in a large silk check. I think the addition of the little furniture is charming and fresh and keeps the space from feeling too serious or stuffy.

Before I was surrounded by multiple children of my own plus nieces and nephews, back when I just had one little girl, who I was sure was destined to be an only child, child size furniture caught my eye. Chairs in miniature, many of them antiques, mixed in with the larger "adult" furnishings in a living room or library can give spaces such a charming look. I can almost hear the belly-laughter coming from a room that incorporates seats for the little ones that are all their own. I am not at all talking about furniture that, placed in a living room, would look like it mistakenly strayed from the nursery or that would clumsily announce at first glance, "WE HAVE KIDS!". I'm talking about the tasteful incorporation of child size pieces that simply say, "We all live here". Betty Lou Phillips and Charles Faudree are two of my favorite designers who do a splendid job incorporating child size furniture into the design of their rooms.

In the living room of a home by architect Jack Arnold in Tulsa, Charles Faudree has incorporated a child-size settee into the living room for the children who live there.  

In Charles Faudree's own home, a miniature eighteenth-century French bergere wing chair is upholstered in the same damask as the "adult" chairs. The chair was a gift to Faudree from his sister on his fortieth birthday.

In this beautiful living room designed by Muriel Hebert and featured in Betty Lou Phillips' book Provencal Interiors, a child size chair wears a tapestry fabric and blends perfectly with the grand look of the room. 

Another Charles Faudree design: the child's chair, situated against a centrally placed table that separates the room, is from Wisteria. Faudree had it reupholstered in a Pierre Frey ikat-- the same fabric that covers regular size chairs across the room. This chair looks like it is positioned to be moved around where it's needed-- a fun and practical idea.

This enviable set of antique children's furniture is in a playroom designed by Pamela Pierce for her grandchildren, but could just as easily be at home in a room used by both kids and adults. Without the reference of full size sofas and chairs around them, it's a little hard to tell that these furnishings are miniature. They look like they're in a world of their home-- a perfect place for the lads and lasses of the house to hold court.

Now-- where can beautiful children's furniture worthy of a place of honor in a living room or library be found? Like lots of other beautiful furniture some of the seemingly best children's chairs are antique.

This French 18th c. child's chair from Ambiance Antiques, for example, was listed for $4500. Beautiful-- but not something I would want my two-year-old climbing around on regularly.

Another beautiful example of a child's chair, this one is also French, early 19th century. The paint is original while the perfectly complementing upholstery is new.

And another antique beauty made of walnut is French, 19th century in the style of Louis XV, from 1stdibs.

 But if you're like me and want something that will not make you cry or faint if it falls victim to some mishap of child's play, here are a few other options to check out to get the look:

This chair from Sweet Pea & Willow retails for just over $200. It is available in a couple of finishes and could be reupholstered to fit any room, as Charles Faudree did, and could also have the finish re-worked if a more custom look like the one (pictured 2nd) in the Betty Lou Phillips room is desired.

The child size chairs, above, are from P.A.M.A Furniture. PAMA offers a wide range of finish and upholstery options, including customer's own material, so while the chairs pictured look like they are fitted primarily for a nursery or child's room, they could easily be customized to any other space.

Other options for children's chairs in the French style are: 

All available HERE.

The Mini French Salon Chair

And the Mini French Wing Chair are both from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child.

For a departure from the French style child's chairs, here are a few other options:

I loved this chair instantly when I saw it! It is from Art for Kids, just one of many of the beautiful pieces of furniture that they produce. The finish is red lacquer with gold leaf, with a loose cushion. I can see this blending splendidly in so many places, especially to give a chinoiserie-like look in a library or family room.

This chippendale-style chair is from P.A.M.A. Furniture, and is also available in various finishes.

These Swedish-inspired chairs and settee are from Wisteria. They do not appear to be available currently, but as they have sold a few pieces similar to these (at very reasonable prices) over the last few years, I have my fingers crossed that soon they will bring back something similar.

From Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, the 1950s-style Copenhagen chair is offered in miniature.

Also from Restoration Hardware: the Mini Professor's Chair

For more ideas on incorporating child size chairs into a design, carefully inspect the pages of Charles Faudree's and Betty Lou Phillips' books. You will find little pieces of furniture tucked here and there on quite a few pages.

Wherever you are, I hope you enjoy the rest of this week with people who make your heart smile, good food and lots to be thankful for! From my home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

xo Keri


  1. I have some books by Betty Lou Phillips... they are beautiful. I love the children's chairs, so sweet!! Hope your week is going well. xo

  2. This was fun to read and see children need things their size to feel comfortable. This post gave some great options and the furniture fits in so well.

    I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving too Keri!

  3. We had a little green leather club chair in the living room when I was young. It was my favorite place to sit.
    Lovely post, Keri!
    ~ Wendi ~

  4. I love this post idea, and am amazed at how many gorgeous rooms have child size furniture. My living room has a small chippendale chair that was my husbands. Wonderful images...


    I agree that the use of the small furniture adds a magical charm to the traditional, yet STUNNING décor! Betty Lou Phillips is one of my favorites, and every room here is just so comforting!!! THANK YOU DEAREST for coming to visit, and I wish you a wonderful celebration with those loved ones of yours! I am recovering from a very strange cold and parent conferences for my 50 students!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Anita

  6. I love the idea of incorporated child sized furniture into a home. These examples are all beautiful. Lovely post. x Sharon

  7. They are two of my favorite designers. I have some of their books. Very talented designers.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. I love this post and I love the red chair!

  9. GREAT POST! Makes me want to be a little girl again, never has everything small looked so darn stylish! Fabulously done.

  10. Keri, what a simply fantastic post! It's obvious how much time and effort went into it, nd you nailed it!

  11. Oh, I can relate to the Seinfeld quote! What a fun post. I am a collector of child-sized chairs and have them scattered around the house.

  12. I am an absolute sucker for children's chairs. I have to resist buying any because I have my grandmother 18th century french one, two Victorian rockers, and a precious little chair that my grandfather made for my son (now 16)that my 2 year old loves.


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