In my never-ending search for unfussy, elegant and timeless antique furniture, I have been pining for what antique collectors call the "hall chair". But however lovely these chairs may be, they do have a decidedly mean-spirited and snooty legacy. Designed for strangers or servants awaiting their summons in grand old homes, hall chairs are intentionally narrow and unupholstered (so as not to be sullied by the wet and grimy visitors and maids).
No matter. I still think they are a charming addition to any entryway, stairway or just about anywhere in the house. Some versions are more ornate; I prefer the simple, unadorned mahogany hall chairs from England, which blend so seamlessly with even the most modern furnishings. Of course, as with any antique, finding an affordable hall chair will take time. Local auctions, Rubylane, Craigslist and eBay are always good places to start.
1. A shabby chic painted version on Design Sponge.
2. An American Mission chair from this century. $900 at Newel.
3. A gorgeous chair painted a Swedish grey in House Beautiful. The chair is tucked in the background but still stunning.
4. Up on the landing in a photo found on the blog Auction Decorating.
5. Here the chair is in it's traditional spot, as found on interior decorator Josie McCarthy's blog.
6. Pair from the 19th century in oak from 1stdibs.com.