Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Habitat for Humanity Restore Find: Cane and Leather Chairs from The Plaza Hotel in NYC

While running errands, I popped into the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Cary, NC.  It's a great source for affordable plantation shutters, and it was also the source of the hollow core door that I transformed into a closet craft desk and blogged about in this post.  One cliche is true about the Restore: you never know what you'll find there!


This pair of matching cane and leather chairs is a case in point.  They caught my eye as soon as I walked through the door.  It was clear even from a distance that they were quality pieces, and while I was in the store, I noticed that virtually all of the shoppers who walked in stopped to gawk at the chairs while stroking their chins with cartoon-character-like intensity.


The chairs are cool in their own right, with intricate carved details, nailhead trim, intact caning, and comfortable, welted leather cushions.  The caning alone would be enough to give these guys the Martha Stewart Seal of Approval for being simultaneously current and timeless.  But they're extra cool because of their history: they once furnished the Plaza Hotel in NYC.  Pretty neat!


At $700 for the pair, the price may seem steep to the typical resale shopper, but when you consider that you'd pay around $500 for a mediocre armchair from a budget retail source, $350 for a well-made chair with a cool history is not a bad deal!


I love the lines on these chairs, and I think that they could also be reinvented with white paint and taupe linen upholstery if someone wanted to boldly eschew historical preservation and give them a cottage look.  In their current form, they'd work well in a traditional, masculine style office, library, or sitting room.  If you happen to have a room like that in need of a pair of chairs, I suggest that you put down that Hemingway novel, change out of your red velvet smoking jacket, and get yourself down to the Habitat for Humanity Restore right away!