The Chair I Just Can't Live Without Despite Its Lack of Style

The Chair I Just Can't Live Without Despite Its Lack of Style

Colleen Quinn
Jun 1, 2011

So one of my guilty secrets is that fact that I write for a design blog and yet my favorite chair, the one I can't live without, the one I've moved from home to home for years, is the least stylish chair you can imagine. It has no classic lines, no vintage appeal — in fact, it has nothing going for it all except pure unadulterated comfort. What chair is this that has such a hold on me despite its lack of style?

That's right — my favorite chair is my second-hand double papasan chair. This is the first thing I ever bought from an online listing, back before I really even knew what Craigslist was. It was the autumn of 2000, and I had to get a friend to borrow her parents' station wagon to drive out into the suburbs to pick up this monster chair. At the time, Pier One was no longer selling the double papasan, and I was thrilled to find this one for only $50 despite its grubby cushion and the gnaw marks on the frame from the owner's untrained puppy.

Eleven years later, I'm still in love with this chair. My mom has since recovered the cushion, and I've used a little superglue on some of the peeling rattan, but neither of those cosmetic changes can really disguise the fact that this is simply not an attractive chair. It is too big and too awkward for most rooms, and has to be placed against a wall or in a corner in order not to overwhelm a space. Somehow though, when I curl up in that chair with a good book, I forget about how awkward it is, how ugly it is, and just concentrate on how darn comfortable it is for reading and relaxing. And so it travels with me, five homes in four countries over the last eleven years, and still I just can't imagine living without it.

I would love to hear from any readers who have a similar story of a piece that doesn't match, a piece that shouldn't work, a piece that is somehow just perfect despite its flaws. Share your tale in the comments below!

edited to add:
For those who asked, the bookcases are Drexel Heritage and they came with the house (my IKEA Billy bookcases are all in storage back in the US). The room is rather bare because I took this photo right after unpacking the book boxes- there is more stuff in there now. The rug is a handmade Mahi Tabriz that I bought in Kuwait and I love it as much as I love the chair!

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