From dollhouse furniture to realistic miniatures, itty-bitty chairs are funky conversation pieces that fit into any décor.
On this trip to the flea market, we set out to look for small chairs and found a bounty! Jennifer’s first find was a wooden high back with short legs. The proportions made it kooky, and the price of $5 made it a bargain. A pink, doll-sized high chair was cute, but too large for our decorating needs. A “Colonial Windsor” with a spindle back was a better choice, but, alas, the seller wanted $50 for it, and we were in the mood to spend Washingtons, not Grants. Kitty fell in love with a porcelain chair so tiny it fit in the palm of her hand. Two dollars well spent!
For ideas on how to decorate with little chairs, we kept ours eyes open for clever displays. Kitty spotted a gorgeous, gold Chippendale replica with a green velvet cushion––and while the chair was lovely, it was the vignette that won her over. The vendor had turned the seat into the perfect perch for a bird nest with teeny blue eggs. So sweet! At the fabulous flea market price of only $3, that fetching find was headed to Kitty’s house!
Best Seats In The House
To showcase these charming chairs in your home, look for nooks and crannies in need of some fun. Place a few on a bookcase, nestled in the niches between stacks of books. Create a focal point by placing a miniature ladder back on a coffee table and use the seat as a pedestal for a hand-painted, wooden pear. A little chair would also make a wonderful jewelry stand, with necklaces draped over the back and a couple of glitzy brooches on the seat. And, if you wind up with enough seating for a small army, you can break them out for your next dinner party. Not for guests to sit on! As place card holders, silly.
If you are lucky, you might come across a realistic, small-scale chair replica that is an authentic salesman’s sample. Back in the day, they let customers see exactly how their furniture would be constructed before an order was placed. Jennifer discovered a scale model of a student chair-desk combo made of wood and steel. This rare find would easily sell for over $100 in an antique store, but Jennifer ended up spending just $6 on this handsome objet d’art. The deal of the century!
We’re not the only ones that have been bitten by the mini-chair bug—The Museum of Modern Art sells five-inch-tall replicas of famous chairs designed by Le Corbusier and Eames for $200 and $300 each! We prefer the flea market variety—for the cost of one from MoMA, we can buy a whole collection!