Kitty McBride is the creator of the Divine Chair Company. She updates antique chairs and benches into gorgeous, bright, modern designs. While it may look like she is just a furniture designer, what she does is much bigger and more like matchmaking. Kitty invests a lot in her work and insists that her customers love the piece they are buying.
The frames for Kitty's work come from auctions, private sales, estate sales, and antique shops, some take hours for her to find, but there is one rule: they must always come with a story. Kitty insists on giving each piece a human name and sharing the history of each piece with it's future owner. She describes her sales process as being more like a pet adoption, she wants to know it will go to a good home and be taken care of.
After training as a fashion designer and spending years in the rat race, Kitty took a leap to do what she loves. When you see her work in person, you understand why she names each piece. Each is unique, well-made, and bursting with personality. I found myself developing a little crush on Chloe (the fifth image above of the pink and green armchair which reminds me of being five and playing princesses).
The inspiration for her work comes from everything from flowers to candy wrappers, she takes pride in matching textures and colors to get a reaction from her customers. Any of these pieces would definitely be a perfect signature piece to design a room around, made even better by the fact that they are recycled. Her one-of-a-kind pieces are a very reasonable $500 - $2500.
The value of these pieces is also evident in Kitty's sales process, she prefers not to sell them online. It's important for the future owner of the piece to see it in person and really love it, this is something that you are meant to keep for life and in her own words:
"The most sustainable furniture that you can buy is something well-made that you will enjoy for years. The longer a chair lasts, the less chairs you will need to buy. Buy for life and love it and then bring it to me when you want to change it up!"
You can find your own perfect match at the Greenflea market on 77th & Columbus every Sunday from 10.00am - 5.45pm and at Smith & Change General Goods in Jersey City (230 Pavonia Avenue). You can also contact the Divine Chair Company for a custom piece through www.thedivinechaircompany.com.