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Friday, December 30, 2016

Xavier Pauchard

Xavier Pauchard (1880–1948) was born in France and began his career as a roofer and zinc worker, like his father and grandfather before him, and became the first manufacturer of galvanized steel domestic goods in France under the name of Tolix.

In 1927, Pauchard trademarked the name and expanded his line of products to include chairs, stools, and tables.

The most recognized of Pauchard’s designs is the A Chair, now called the Marais A Chair, which has become a icon of modern industrial aesthetics. It is included in the collections of the Vitra Design Museum, MOMA and the Pompidou Center.

After Pauchard’s death in 1948, his sons took over Tolix and continued to manufacture the same seating models to their father’s original specifications. The company stayed in the family until 2004, when Chantal Andriot took over, reviving and expanding the brand.

From and

Model A

Model A colors

A97 armchair
(same as A56, except for larger backrest)

Armchair C

H stool

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Bye-bye shutters

The best gift of the Christmas season was the removal of our ugly shutters. While the boys played with new toys outside in the 76 degree weather, my daughter took the old eyesores down for me. I'm so happy about the difference it makes!

Now you see them...

...and now you don't.

We were expecting to find a difference in the brick color that would require power washing, but luckily that wasn't the case. Just a quick once-over with a broom, and we were good to go.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Project: McGuire bench

I've been wanting a bench to put in our entryway, but I'm not ready to spring for a Nelson bench, which is what I'd eventually like to have. I mentioned that to my former SIL the other day when he came to pick up the boys, and he said he had just the bargain for me.

He picked up a McGuire bench at an estate sale, thinking he'd do something with it. Like so many of us, though, he never found the time, so he said he'd sell it to me for $50...and even give me the fabric to reupholster it. Who can resist a deal like that?

Granted, it's in pretty rough condition, but a piece of high density foam and a piece of MDF to replace the sagging seat will get the piece back in sound structural condition. The rest is purely cosmetic.

Estate sale photo of McGuire bench

Although I usually don't paint furniture, I think this time I will, since it will be in an area with several different wood colors, and I don't want to add another. I'm considering a dark charcoal chalk paint, waxed to a soft sheen, with light gray upholstery. A couple of colorful pillows ought to add just the right amount of pizzazz.

Incidentally, the McGuire Furniture Company was founded in 1948 by John and Elinor McGuire and produced high quality rattan and wood furniture for both indoors and outdoors. The company is still in business today.

John and Elinor McGuire

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Orange at last

We moved into our house in June, and one of the first things we did was get rid of these doors.

For those of you who are hearing this long, drawn-out story for the first time, we had modern slab doors built and installed early in July, and a week later we had a $100 quote from a painter/handyman who had just done quite a bit of work for us. I texted him the day before he was scheduled to do the job to ask if I needed to buy any supplies, and I received a curt "No" back. That's the last I heard from him. He never showed up and never responded to my subsequent texts trying to find out when, or if, he planned to paint our doors.

All the other painters I had contacted wanted $400-800 for the job, so this is how the doors have looked for almost six months...primed, ready, and waiting for us to paint them.

Finally, after seemingly endless procrastination, I am happy to report that I finished the job yesterday, and this is the front of our house now. In the spring, they will probably get a light sanding and one more coat, but, for now at least, they're done. (After a couple of days of drying time, we just might get some Christmas decorations hung outside. Thank goodness the decorating inside was finished days ago!)

Whew! I had almost given up hope.

Next projects: 
  • Taking down those hideously traditional shutters 
  • Power washing the brick
  • Planning the types of ferns, hostas, and heucheras to plant in the spring

Friday, December 16, 2016

Becoming orange: What a difference a day makes.

I just finished repainting the door frame, and I'm much happier with the color. As I had hoped, this neutral color allows the doors to be the focal point of the front of the house instead of an afterthought.

The new color (Sherwin Williams Quiver Tan) was originally my top choice, but I allowed myself to waver. Although psychologists generally refute the idea that it's best to stick to your original answer on a test, I suspect that the traditional folklore may apply to picking paint colors. I could have saved myself a great deal of work if I had followed my first instinct.

After I take a break for lunch, I'll put the final coat on the doors themselves. I should have hardware reinstalled sometime tomorrow and will post photos. This has been a long time coming, but I think it's almost finished.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Becoming orange: Minor setback

Some of you may remember my post about the flaky painter who left us hanging a few months ago. Failing to find someone who would paint our doors as cheaply as he had quoted, we finally decided to do the job ourselves.

Naturally, neither of us wanted to get out in the 100+ degree summer heat to paint, and we procrastinated our way through the entire fall. Finally, though, it came down to this: Either hang Christmas decorations against white primer...or paint the doors.

We knew that we wanted to use the same orange we chose for the door of the "modernist nest" (Sherwin Williams Copper Mountain), but we weren't sure what color we wanted the door frame. After looking at countless chips, we finally chose a darker orange, just a shade darker than the eaves) and got to work on the trim first.

Not bad in theory...
but the big picture is a no-go

The color brought out the darkest orange in the brick, and we were very pleased with our choice...until we got the first coat of paint on the doors. To our dismay, the trim was visually stronger than the doors themselves and made them look small and insignificant.

We've decided to repaint the trim a neutral grayish brown (the color of the mortar between the bricks and the color of most of the wood trim on the house) which should recede and allow the doors to have the dramatic impact we want. Maybe by the the weekend I will be able to post pictures of the finished job.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Remembering Mr. Risom (1916-2016)

Noted mid-century furniture designer Jens Risom died December 9, seven months after his 100th birthday.

Risom helped introduce Scandinavian design to America and will be remembered for his innovative and elegant furniture.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Retro Twister

My grandsons have decided that they want me to give them games and books for Christmas this year, along with new robes and slippers. Every year, they get a raft of toys that are played with on Christmas Day and then rarely touched again till it's time to donate them, in like-new condition, to a local women's shelter.

The idea of giving them useful things thrills me. They both love to read and play games, which is something we do as a family every night for two hours before bedtime, allowing them to unwind and be ready to sleep. (You can't imagine what a positive effect this has had in our nightly routine!)

In addition to several books apiece, I bought mostly board and card games for them, but I ran across a retro Twister game that is an exact replica of the 1966 version (the year I finished high school, incidentally), so naturally I couldn't resist getting it for them too.