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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Slipper Chairs are Deceiving!

A new client stopped by over the weekend to look at a set of neutral club chairs for her new townhouse in Chattanooga, a great city on the Tennessee/Georgia border. She had her eye on a clean-cut set with comfortable arms and a back cushion. While here, she checked out some of my additional inventory and spied a set of neutral slipper chairs she had seen online but was not even considering. She thought they would be too something .... too petite, too low, too dainty, too uncomfortable - too something! But she tried them out and fell for the shape, size, comfort - the whole package. A little later they exited in her trusty Toyota Sienna to travel to her new space.

I think slipper chairs are under-appreciated and, while I usually carry at least 3-4, they do sell more slowly because of the kind of thinking reflected by my customer. I wish my online customers could have the experience of actually seeing and sitting on these great chairs.

I have just finished reading an article in the May issue of Elle Decor link to online magazine called "The Top 10 Slipper Chairs". Two designers discuss slipper chairs and identify some that have caught their eye. I found the article charming and reflective of my good opinion of slipper chairs.
The armless slipper chair was invented to suit the needs of Victorian women dressed in sweeping gowns, who required a low seat on which to perch while putting on their footwear. But it may have found its true purpose as an entertainment essential. Its compact size and open sides allow a guest to swivel from one conversation to the another with ease.
People tend to love sitting in slipper chairs ... they generally have deep and wide seats, which make them very comfortable for lounging. 
 The slipper chairs can work particularly well in certain situations/settings:

  • where space is a premium - they take up much less space than armed chairs and yet provide an ample sitting platform
  • settings that require shifting of furniture to meet different needs/group sizes - they are easy to move around and can even be stowed away in discreet corners when not in use
  • in front of views - the low profile hides less and allows the eye to glaze over and behind the chairs (THIS is one of the big reasons my client bought them since they were being placed in front of a big picture window)
  • in small bedrooms as bedside seating
I love the variation in style and shapes and hope to convince more and more people to try them out - they will not be disappointed! 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In Honor of Earth Day - Waste Not/Want Not

In honor of earth day, I'd like to demonstrate (again) the magical transformation of old, dated, sometimes "ready for the dumpster" upholstered furniture into beautiful better-than-new pieces for any style of home. Outdated furniture contributes significantly to the massive amount of landfill requirements in this country alone.
Between 1960 and 2008 the population of the United States has grown 69%. The number of households has increased 94% in the same time due to each household being statistically smaller. The amount of upholstered furniture we are throwing away into landfills has increased six times from the 1960 figures to those of 2008. Though the numbers have increased each decade the real jump occurred in the 1980’s and has climbed since then. link to article
Not only does the refurbishing and continued use of furniture make environmental sense, it also ensures that you get a much better product than those readily available today.

Here, through photos, are some examples from my current inventory! Enjoy!

I purchased this set of chairs at an estate sale in Buckhead (Atlanta). One of the legs had been repaired and, therefore, I decided to go with full-lenght skirts. 
This was one of three Goodwill Industries chairs I bought that day.
This settee also came from Goodwill Industries - it has GREAT bones!
This wonderful gilded chair was purchased at Scott's Antique Markets in March. It came from an estate and the original gilding was in great condition - needing only buffing and polishing (and a very slight brass finish rub-on). 
I bought this great styled (70's) chair during a recent trip to New Orleans. The woodwork was refinished with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre and the piece upholstered in cream linen with brown linen accents and back.
This chair was purchased through a Craigslist ad in the area. It has great lines and bones and the fabric just enhances it so well!
This great set was purchased through a Craigslist ad from a young couple who had been given the chair and ottoman for their first apartment. The finish is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Old White - distressed) and the fabric is a wonderful linen-blend toile that I've used before. 
Another Goodwill Industries purchase - this one has down composition and great lines! 
This wonderful set had been upholstered in leather and is very solidly made. I refinished the woodwork in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Cream) and selected a chocolate brown linen fabric. 
This chair is a Goodwill Industries purchase. It has wonderful lines and great turned legs. The fabric is a heavy pale mint matelasse.
This great set was purchased through a Craigslist ad from a young couple near mid-town Atlanta. It is manufactured by Charles Stewart - a very high-end North Carolina manufacturer and exceptionally well made.
This chair was purchased an estate sale in my general neighborhood. It was custom made and now has a new chalk paint finish and blue and white cotton ticking fabric.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shopping the Markets in Southern Spain

Near market entrance in Southern Spain
My husband, Tim, and I just returned from a wonderful two-week trip to Spain - a country we had just barely skimmed over 25 years ago when we briefly visited Barcelona. This trip was split into two parts - the first part in a time-share in the Andalusia (southern Spain) area and the second part in an apartment in central Madrid. Both parts were exceptional and I am in the midst of sorting and editing over 2500 photos in order to create two travel journals - this may take a while.
Tim is a good shopping companion

One of the great things about visiting southern Spain (Malaga Area) are the HUGE outdoor markets held in different cities/towns every day of the week. We spent several sunny, warm hours at a market not far from the city of Malaga (Arroyo de la Miel). I did most of my souvenir/gift shopping at this market and wished I had a reasonable way to buy and ship more items.

I found a number of items that were particularly well priced and a willingness to "haggle", particularly if you were buying more than one item from a seller. Not surprisingly, I ended up with "twos" of many things.

Here are some photos of this day at the market. I am sure I will come up with more "Spain" postings and probably more "shopping" postings as well!  This is a lovely area!
Nice rugs and textiles
Floral stands - these were prices at 2.5 to 3.0 euros - not bad!
The ceramics were beautifully done - very tempting but I didn't want the burden of hauling these.
Look at the great price on these oranges! 
I bought one of these necklaces - it may go my sister for her recent birthday! 
I loved these little purses and bought one for each of my granddaughters . 
I REALLY loved these textiles and the price was pretty good. I had no way of getting them home however.
Shopping - it was a lot of fun!