It’s oddly relevant to this story that my mother’s pure Icelandic lineage has been carefully recorded and passed along since 600 AD. The countryside in Iceland has always been filled with sheep, which they pronounce ‘seeps’, something I find charmingly amusing. Scandinavian culture has much to do with seeps and wool. Thus, the hot trend for Scandinavian style chairs covered in woolly upholstery strikes me as both culturally organic and touching. Long hair, curly hair or woven with a loopy texture, the upholstery can be genuine hide or a woven blend of wool with linen, viscose or polyester. The wool content gives it the loft, the textile term for volume.
The chair frames for this look are mid-century in styling and rounded in contour. The colours are mostly the natural shades of wool from creamy white to grey and dark taupe. But there are a few deeply coloured long haired versions like the blue chair that I absolutely fell in love with shown further along.
The other colour exception, pink boucle (loopy texture), must wait for my next article that will cover modern woolly seating. That’s the second direction for this highly charged design trend. The Scandinavian chairs are the heartwarming vintage version, like this Danish blush coloured fur easy chair. The modern blob chairs are the leading-edge world class design look. Trust me, we will be seeing this texture all over the place.
This is the perfect re-do for a vintage chair that might be in your possession. These pieces are so much fun. Brace up, though. The fabric is costly, but the effect is worth every penny! It’s sure to be claimed by the family pet who will be perfectly delighted with you for providing an ideal napping spot, including the two-legged one aka Father. Luckily wool is naturally stain resistant and easy to spot clean. It’s as fire proof as any textile treated with fire retardant chemicals too.
A light chair with tall splayed metal legs can pull up wherever an extra seat is needed. The contrast between a big fluffy body and skinny legs is endearing. There is a wonderful version of this long hair fabric in ivory, gray and black at Boussac.
Introduced in Copenhagen in 1938, garnering numerous awards worldwide, this substantial little armchair called Little Petra is also in the Klysmos style, characterized by an uplifted crescent-shaped back. All the chair photographs in this article have been taken from 1st Dibs where you’ll find many more examples.
The Finnish chairs are from the 1930’s and have a wonderful rounded contour. The rounded shape, as I’ve been reporting, has taken over from the square one.
A little riskier but very clever are stronger modern sixties styles given the woolly chair treatment like this pair of ring-based chairs, an ideal spot for two people to sit while comparing impressions of a modern painting, cocktails in hand.
The vintage Scandinavian wing chair has a more curvilinear shape than its English counterpart. This is the wing chair shape currently popular in designer furniture. A large chair covered with curly fur is a reading chair superbe. Slide in a sideways U-shaped metal table to hold a computer or journal and you have a writing chair, an ideal place for creating these blogs, that take far more time than they ought.
While a woolly lounge chair is on my wish list, I’m eyeing my Swedish-style chaise for a re-do. You’ll see lounges, sofas and chaises next, along with fabrics selected from the leading textile houses, in a post featuring the latest seating and wool boucle. Pronounced boo-clay. That’s French for loop, Cheri, or should I say Elskan. That’s Icelandic for Darling!
A long standing member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Lois Macaulay holds a 1st place award for residential design 2018, 2nd place for 2017 and 2 presidential citations for contributions to the profession from ASID. “I love creating beautiful settings for extraordinary women--and men,” she says. The strong fashion/design connection in these posts owes its source to her first career as a fashion designer, coordinator and national fashion magazine editor.