I’ve been working really hard on this new site over the past 10 days, learning all about widgets and codes and buttons and ads . . . It’s all a bit over my head really.  I was doing well with it all though until I hit a roadblock last night with one of the updates I was trying to make. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but my tech skills have run dry.  So, I decided to set those HTML tasks aside for a bit and get back to something I do know about, great vintage furniture.

I think you all know that I love caned furniture.  It’s not always the most practical thing for a busy home with young children (like my own), but tossing in a few accent pieces here and there can add style and sophistication to a space.

A lady at an estate sale asked me recently what it was about cane furniture that I liked so much and I couldn’t really give her an answer.  “I’m not sure why, I just do”.  That was the best I could muster.  I think maybe it’s the delicacy of the cane and the feminine feel it has.  In a house with 4 males (5 if you count the dog), it’s nice to have some feminine touches here and there.

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Antoinette Bench from www.ballarddesigns.com

I’m kind of a nerd, so I educated myself a little bit on cane furniture, and I would love to share what I learned with you.  The cane itself is made from the skin of the rattan plant, and is highly pliable, but strong.  The cane style has been around for a long time, but it increased in popularity in the 1700’s because it was seen as a more hygienic furniture option.

Remember, people didn’t bathe or clean much back then, so all those down-stuffed, heavy upholstered sitting pieces probably got pretty dirty and smelly after awhile.  Cane furniture offered something light, clean, and well…less smelly.  It was most popular here in America in the sixties and seventies, but a few companies today will produce cane pieces on occasion, like the bench above from Ballard Designs.

Hunting down vintage cane furniture from the 60’s and 70’s is getting harder and harder. Most often, the cane is damaged.  Here is an incredible cane settee that came up at a local estate sale a few weeks ago.  I desperately wanted to go see it, but could tell by the picture this sale was probably going to be out of my price range!

I’ve told you all about my incredible find of 4 oval-backed cane dining chairs, but just a few weeks ago I found another great piece at our local monthly market.

It is an antique child’s cane rocker with some amazing detail work.  The cane is in great condition and the chair is quite sturdy. It has a few scrapes and nicks, but for its age is in wonderful shape.

I really like the painted floral detail on the front.  In my opinion, the fading only makes it better.

The carving on the back is also a beautiful detail.

And it has beautifully carved legs.  Such amazing detail for a child’s piece.  We’re a little more utilitarian these days with our children’s furniture . . .

I think it would fit nicely into a vintage little girl’s nursery.  I thought about keeping it for my own 2 year old’s room, but it just doesn’t go with dinosaurs.  Can’t you see it going perfectly in this space?

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photo courtesy www.shoutvelocity.net

I always get excited when I stumble across something really unique at a market.  And when it’s cane, it just makes my day.

On a completely different note, I’ve started working on my new upholstery project.  I’ve gotten the chair stripped down to its underthings, so she will be ready for some paint and new fabric soon.  I’ll post a step by step makeover when I’m done.

Don’t ask about the painter’s tape . . . there’s a method to my madness!

Have a great day, and stay warm!

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