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Iconic Chair: Model A or Marais Chair

Last week was a bit crazy for me.   It was one of the weeks that I just couldn't cross everything off the list which included doing a my weekly blog post.  

Monday was a holiday so spent it with family and got very little work done.  

Tuesday I got the chance to see Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, designer to many hollywood stars and a star himself on Bravo's hit show Million Dollar Decorator.  He was so funny and charming plus I love his style.    I bought his book, Live, Love, and Decorate.   I'm already half way through the book and it's great.  I didn't get a chance to have him sign it because I had to park at a 2 hour meter...ugh!  But loved seeing him and his gorgeous new fabrics in person from his new Schumacher collection.  The fabrics are inspired by his world travels and so fun, just like him.

Wednesday, I installed artwork for a client.  Mostly family photos so can't share right now.  Here's what my car looks like for a typical install...

Thursday was an office day of catching up on invoicing and paying bills.  Did have some fun creating another photo gallery for a client that gets installed this week.  A fun little job of accessorizing a family room.

Friday, I spent all day with my mom checking out the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore.  We go every year and just love seeing all the beautiful artwork, jewelry, furniture and home goods.  Loved these vintage animals plus much much more for your home!

Ok, finally to my post that I meant to do last week!

The Marais Chair

I love this chair.  It is not one I learned about in design school but nevertheless I think it's worthy of mention.  I purchased one several years ago for my son's room and wanted to share a bit of history on it.


It was created in 1934 by Xavier Paudard in Autun, France.   The Marais Chair, also known as the Model A, has become a staple in the industrial esthitic.  Originally made from glavanized steel, it now comes in a variety of finishes and colors.  Slight abrasions and variations are characteristic of the machined process.  Solid, light-weight and low maintenance, it's perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications.  It's simple design works well with traditional, rustic and contempory peices creating an eclectic look.    

It's a classic!!

Lisa Goulet Blog

Milk and Honey Home

Miss Trixies Favorite Things Blog 
You can find it at DWR, a great resource for iconic chairs...


Have a great week!!


Recent Project: Converting a Living Room into a Billiard Room and more...

We got very lucky this past weekend.  It's been on our calendar for months to go cross country skiing but the snow situation has not been looking good.  So this past Friday we arrive to our cabin in western Maryland and it snowed 10 inches that night!!!  We woke up to a winter wonderland and great skiing conditions.  Here's Kylie who was very excited to arrive after a four hour car ride.  The snow was just starting.

It was a great time with my mom and her friends.  Saturday night Kylie organized a dance party for the adults. It was a fun way to work off all the yummy food we'd been eating through out the day!  Thank you Pat for organizing the trip and including us again!!


More and more clients are wanting to convert their underused living room into a different kind of space.  Most of us don't entertain in a formal way anymore.  So people are redesigning these spaces to turn them into a library, office, club room, music room, playroom, or even a game room.  So I wasn't surprised when a client asked for help to convert their living room into a billiard room.  It made perfect sense for them since they like to entertain and it's a space the entire family can enjoy.  Here are some pictures of the recent transformation...

Pool tables come in several sizes so measuring your room is a must before you decide on a size.  Make sure your cues can fit between the edge of the table and the wall.   

My client's home already includes great craftsman style architectural details, contemporary furniture, and artwork that reflects their love of boating and the water.    A rug, furniture, lighting, window treatments and accessories were selected to create a look that works together and also with the rest of the home.

Here's the the BEFORE picture of their once under used living room.

BEFORE picture
Here's their new contemporary console that provides a place for storage plus a surface to serve food and drinks during a party.  Love the lamp from West Elm.

Here's the BEFORE picture...

BEFORE picture

For their dining room, we selected a rug, window hardware and fabric for custom drapery.  

Here's the BEFORE picture.  A beautiful wood table was hiding under the red tablecloth.

BEFORE picture

In the kitchen, we selected fabric for valances and bench cushion.  We also supplemented my client's kilim pillows with new ones for the window seat.

Here's the BEFORE picture.  

BEFORE picture

This was another fun project because once again I got to work with a great client who enjoyed the process!  We made a big impact without breaking the bank by mixing some custom items with national catalog items.

Thank you Jen for the great recommendation on Linkedin!  Here's what she wrote...

"For years, I contemplated how to change my unused, outdated living room into a casually sophisticated, usable entertainment area. I also wished I had the time and skills to improve the flow from room to room in my contemporary home. I had some ideas but neither the expertise nor experience to execute. Melissa carefully listened, then clearly used my ideas as a base before creating the perfect solution for my living room. Then, she swiftly developed plans to solve my flow issues, beautifully tying in all of the areas on my main floor. She delivered on-time and at the promised price. Her style is impeccable!"

If you would like help transforming your home into one you love, contact me.


Icons: Madonna and the Klismos Chair

Who else woke up this morning inspired to eat healthier and work out more after seeing Madonna perform during the Super Bowl half time show last night?!?  I know I did!  Honestly, I have not been a big fan of her music over the years but I have to admit it was thrilling for someone my age to see Madonna, a 53 year old pop star icon, look amazing and pull off such a great show.  Just in case you missed it you can see it here...Madonna's Half Time Show.


One of my favorite classes in design school was History of Interior Design.  It was a three credit course where we learned the architectural, ornamentation and furniture styles of each major period starting with the  prehistoric times and ending with today.  The course was extremely time consuming because there was a massive amount of information to learn (I have a 300 page design history dictionary that I typed as proof!).  One of the major takeaways from this class was my new found knowledge of chairs.    If you have a real interest in interior design, I highly recommend you know your chairs.  So I'm doing a series of posts just on iconic chairs.  I hope you enjoy the posts, and hopefully, learn a thing or two along the way.

The first chair I want to highlight is the Klismos Chair, one of my all time favorites.

The Klismos chair was an ancient Greek invention.  This chair design has lasted for over a thousand years and may last for another thousand or more.    I don't believe there are any Klismos chairs left from the ancient Greek period (2,000 B.C - 30 B.C) because they were all made of wood, a material that eventually breaks down over time unless perserved.  So we have ancient Greek pottery and sculpture that shows the chairs design.

Here's an excellent reproduction of an ancient Greek Klismos chair that was based on vase paintings...

The curved backboard was designed to comfortably support the human form.   The rear legs continue as stiles forming one continuous curve while the front legs curve in the opposite direction.  In addition to their beauty they were also practical because they were lightweight and portable.

Here are modern interpretations of the klismos chair.  You will see these chairs in traditional, modern, contemporary and country casual rooms.  The design is so versatile that you will see them as dining chairs, desk chairs and accent chairs.   Upholstery has been added to some so they almost feel like a lounge chair too...almost.  

House Beautiful Kipps Bay Showhouse


House Beautiful Jeffrey Bilhuber

Below is another room designed by Jeffrey Bilhuber where he has combined klismos chairs with another icon, the contemporary Planter dining room table.

House and Garden

Elle Decor

If you were not familiar with the klismos chair before, I guarantee you will now recognize this chair in just about every interior design magazine you pick up.    

It's amazing to me that most chairs today, are mostly interpretations of chairs designed hundreds and in some cases, thousands of years ago.

Have a great day!