While we wait for my yard to grow…

(Rich got home and after careful consideration we found a spot to bury Millie here in Florida. It’s in a place where I will be planting things that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.The children are sad but okay about it; we all know that we got a lot of mileage out that sweet pig.Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. I’m with Mary- whatever else, our pets get to go to Heaven.And now, back to our regularly scheduled posting.)

I could put up pictures of the yard but right now it’s mostly dirt and some pots of stuff waiting to be planted. Maybe in a couple weeks.

In the mean while, I was talking about tables and architects and I want to get back to that (just to show that I really can stay focused on one thing for more than a fleeting post). We really like our builder and that’s saying a lot because I’m very particular and sometimes a builder wears out his welcome by the time a project is done. I handled this project myself while Rich handled the transition of his work life- we each complained about how hard we were working while it appeared the other was just having fun. Both were true for each.

I did the initial design and drawings for our addition, met with the builder and the city planner several times and then, once the permits were pulled I left him to it. I came down 3 times to weigh in, make decisions and keep Lowes in business but he was extremely conscientious and trustworthy. The last month he was my morning wakeup call with a discussion of the day ahead on the house.

In the end, this became sort of a labor of love for Dave. He wanted a house in the historic district for his portfolio and he’s already gotten more business than he can handle from it. The porch is the thing. I’ll put up pictures of that this week, since it’s where I now live (with my own legitimate wifi).

One day Dave called me in Chicago and said he had a dining room set he was going to give me. It was one he had gotten during his first marriage from some estate sale and his current wife didn’t want any part of it. She prefers modern and didn’t like the history. Dave said he was pretty sure it fit the period of the bungalow but it needed some restoration, especially two of the chairs.

When I got down here after Christmas it was sitting in the former spare bedroom, sort of in pieces. I knew right away that this was SOME table; further investigation revealed a signature on the bottom of the table. This is a table designed and signed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Despite his extraordinary talent, impact and reputation,Frank wasn’t all that financially successful during his lifetime. In a last ditch effort to make his pile, for a very brief period of time between 1955 and ’56, he designed a line of furniture for Heritage Henredon. This dining set is from the Taliesin series, based on the design of Wright’s Taliesin estate in Spring Green, Wisconsin. It has a beautiful copper band around the edge of the table (and two large leafs) and matching carved dentil molding around the backs of the chairs and down the legs. The wood is Honduran mahogany.0403

This gift posed sort of a dilemma. I called Dave and told him what I knew about the furniture and said it was too large a gift to accept. He said he knew what it was and he wanted me to have it because he thought I would appreciate it enough to restore it and use it here.

I asked around about restoration and one name came up repeatedly- a third generation business- and I had the owner come out and take a look. He was pretty darn excited to get his hands on it and he had all the right answers to my questions and concerns about preservation/restoration versus “refinishing.”
And yet. This is not going to be an inexpensive proposition. So, more dilemma.
I typically “find” furniture I like along the way and I don’t usually pay a lot for it.
A good sofa might be an exception, but Craig’s list has served me well in Ann Arbor and Chicago for most things.

Anyway, in for a penny, in for a pound. This is too good an opportunity to pass up. So now, I need to choose upholstery material. Do you have any idea how much 5 yards of upholstery material can cost? It’s terrifying.

I’m looking for advice here. I’ve narrowed it down to these. Which would you choose? Thanks in advance for your help.S28206_1

19 responses to “While we wait for my yard to grow…

  1. Lord, how exciting it would be to touch an actual Frank Lloyd Wright table – let alone own one!! The fabric at the top spoke to me as being the most authentic Wrightsian- looking, although it is more “Taliesin West”. While his style was definitely organic, it seldom had curves or actual leaf forms, so while I like the 2 that have those, I don’t think it would be as authentic looking.

  2. P.S. I meant to click preview – not post. I visited Taliesin West about 5 years ago, and I guess I did touch stuff while I was there….LOL

    Now that I look at the fabrics again, I think any of them would be good, as long as the colors fit the room you are using it in.

  3. St. Petersburg-ite wannabe...

    Just saw a feature on TV about FLW and it is like you said, he struggled a lot during his career. It was tragic how his Taliesin estate was burned down and his wife died in the fire. Wow, to have one of his tables though… I like all the fabrics you have selected but it seems from the photos that the first one on the top left and the very bottom green one look really good with the color of the table and the edging around it.
    Such an exciting project and how wonderful to have found the “perfect” people to assist you.

  4. You are not getting much unanimity — I like the bluecast one that is second from bottom. But strong No. 2 (or even a co-No. 1) is the Thunderbirds.

    Boy what a builder you got — he doesn’t have “time” for a FLW table!!

    Show me the porch, pls….

  5. I like the darker ‘leaf’ pattern, at the top right.

  6. I like the first one….Sounds like you are going to have a great porch.

  7. I like the blue one Hoss likes.


  8. I like either one of the leaf patterns, and what an amazing table!!

  9. How wonderful to have such a fine relationship with your contractor, and oh my, what an amazing gift.

    Regarding the upholstery fabrics:
    1. I like the thunderbird pattern best, just on its own. The greens would be good with the copper edging. However, I’m not sure about the diagonal emphasis of the pattern with the rectangular detailing and form of the table. (I agree with kenju that it looks more Taliesin West than Taliesin.)
    2. I think the colors of the green geometric fabric would be gorgeous with the table. It looks a little mod for FLW, but this was some of his later furniture.
    3. To my eye, the blue geometric is a bit busy, and doesn’t pick up the colors in the table as well as the other two. On the other hand, is there blue in your dining room, your dishes, etc? If you’re trying to strike a balance between existing blue and new furniture, this might be great.
    4. I don’t think the leaf patterns work with the design of the table.

    I’d go with the thunderbirds or the green geometric.

    (I just got home from a design review board meeting, and am in full critique mode. Sorry.)

  10. I like the leaf-patterns best, but I agree they’re not very Wright-y. I’ll cast my vote for the Thunderbirds.

    Also, my somewhat belated condolences on the loss of Millie the pig. Rest In Peace, Millie.

  11. I have no aesthetic sense at all, so I will not weigh in on the fabric vote. It all looks good to me. The table is incredible.

    Funny, I was just thinking about you and your wifi issues from last year. Glad to hear that you no longer have to park yourself on that bench and borrow your neighbor’s internet connection.

  12. I like the blue cross-hatch one. But probably because I just like blue. πŸ™‚

    Love the band around the table’s edge. Nice guy, to give you that!

  13. I prefer either of the leaf patterns. The end result will look Grand!

  14. Wow. I visited your blog on the advise of LaurainNJ and I see a picture of an actual Frank Lloyd Wright table that you are fortunate enough to own. I’m not sure my heart can take the envy! WOW!

    I’m not reading the other comments first. I think the pattern that is predominately blue is the most FLW of the bunch. Although the first pattern was also quite good and the last pattern too. So, there you have unequivocal (cough) advice from someone you know nothing about!

    My husband is an architect and we adore FLW’s stuff. Congratulations on your good fortune and for taking the care with this table and chairs that it so richly deserves!

  15. What?! Bonnie hasn’t weighed in yet with her wonderful take on things? I know nothing about FLW, or architecture or interior design (unless you’re talking about the organ systems of the body), BUT here are my two cents worth.

    I was taken with the first choice… thunderbirds? Why? It reminds me of you and your love for birds and animals of all kind. It also reminded me of that hawk you have on your street… the ones who leave remnants of their meals on the ground where you used to sit to pirate… er, find internet service. I thought it would combine two different aspects of life there….. architecture and nature.

    My second choice would be the blue geometric.

  16. For some reason I can only see two fabrics, but of those I like the birds best.
    I am green with envy over the table. Love the design contrast of the circle top and sharp angle legs. And the edge band, yes, I am pea green.

  17. Oh, I meant to add – Would there be anything more fun than a Spring Training Game with you and Beverly? I am pea green over your Thursday too.

  18. The thunderbirds/hawks appeal to me personally. The green pattern at the bottom seems to go with the band on the edge of the table, but the blue cross-hatch pattern seems the most FLW of the bunch. Big help, huh?

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