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Reading and Relaxing: Style Your Sitting

I don’t know about you, but there has been a lot of reading going on in the last few months at my house. Sometimes I reach for already-read novels, sometimes I exhaust all new titles in the genre of the moment (Victorian ghost stories, anyone?), and sometimes I reading about people and places I’ve never heard of just to feel like I’m becoming more informed.

Looking for something new to read? Featured here are three entertaining books that I have read, two recently and one not, each one paired with a cottage style chair reflecting the book’s personality.

Because no matter what the content, a good book deserves a great chair.


Comfort is Key

If your book is compelling enough, sometimes you will realize that you have been reading until the sunlight has faded, oblivious to the discomfort of old metal lawn furniture.

But there’s no need for that – especially when we have a large selection of attractive and comfy seating. Our cottage seating ranges from rockers and wooden chairs and stools to upholstered and slipcovered pieces and benches. Whether you read indoors our outdoors, or a little of both, we have suitable seating options upon which you should read your novella or biography.


Inspire Your Setting

The first selection above (1) is our Outer Banks Wicker Heirloom Chair, from our Cottage Wicker Collection. Its generous, fanned-out silhouette seems a perfect chair choice for reading a biography about Beryl Markham. I can picture Beryl in the 1920s and 1930s lounging in this rustic wicker chair, taking a break from hard work and sharing a drink on the veranda of her favorite Kenyan bar, the Muthaiga Club.

Never heard of her? Besides being the first person (man or woman) to successfully fly an airplane solo east to west across the Atlantic Ocean in 1936, statuesque Beryl was an author and award-winning professional horse trainer. Raised by her father in the Kenyan bush alongside the native people, she had an adventurous life that included hunting and scouting game, even a British Royal Prince. For the rest of her radically unconventional life she was paid hush money by the Crown… and she looked fabulous into her 80s to boot.

The central selection (2) is from our Summer House Upholstered Collection – the Pepperrell Cove Upholstered Bench. Customization is a breeze with hundreds of fabrics to choose from. I chose this long and lean piece for the famous couturiere – Coco Chanel. I can see her perch lightly on this sofa-length bench for just un moment – perhaps to sip a pernod – pleased with the simple lines and contrasting pattern.

Many of us know Chanel –  her style, her aesthetic. But the secrets she harbored numbered more than her weight and perfume formula. Liaisons of all kinds, from passionate to practical, filled this busy grand dame’s life. Not to mention that she came from nothing. She sprung herself from an orphanage straight into Belle Epoque Paris, found some heavy-hitting friends and got to work creating tirelessly. Her new biography reveals arrangements she held with the Nazi occupiers of war-torn France. In sympathy or for survival? We may never know.

The last cottage chair selection (3) is from our uniquely styled Rustic Hickory Twig Furniture collection. Backwoods know-how and steambent hickory and oak are what makes it look so cool. I can picture settling down in this rocking chair to listen to the sounds from a steamy bayou and hear a good old murder tale.

OK – so I read this book a long time ago now. Or did I just see the movie? No – I would never do such a thing. So besides knowing that this book contains a murder, and some antiques, as well as voodoo and a creepy statue on the cover, I don’t remember the details. But I remember the setting, the old, genteel squares of Savannah as well as the eerie kudzu-covered side of Savannah. And of course certain characters like Lady Chablis and the voodoo priestess Minerva definitely made an impression. This country style rocker is the best place to comfortably hear a story filled with fear, revenge and ghosts – the gentle rocking of your own flesh and blood will stave off the spirits!


Choose Your Colors

Shown in Acorn, the Outer Banks Wicker Heirloom Chair is available in 20 available colors (including Natural). Buttercup is shown (top right) because it shows off Beryl’s hair

For the Pepperrell Cove Upholstered Bench, the leg selection shown is Dune. However, there are eighteen total leg colors as well, and any Benjamin Moore paint color can be added to your bench to further make it your own.

Our Bentwood Rocker looks jaunty in Old Red, but there are a baker’s dozen of other colors to choose from, including pretty Bishop Blue (shown at bottom left).


Book credits: 1) Straight on Till Morning: The Biography of Beryl Markham by Mary S. Lovell; Sleeping With the Enemy; Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Cindy Mulcahy
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