In 1990 Kitty and Gene (our parents) bought a house in Coconut Grove Florida. It was one of my early decorating projects and they gave me complete freedom.
This post is about a pair of Louis XV style chairs circa 1920s – purchased at Cobweb Antiques in New York City on August 5, 1990. When I started on this project Gene (my brother) was designing his first scarf collection that debuted in the spring of 1991. The collection was a kaleidoscopic rainbow-warping colors and arty, eye-teasing patterns *. The entire collection influenced me greatly – and one of the scarves became the starting point for the entire project. It was a huge pareo size silk scarf with a graphic flower in lavender, red and yellow.
* Excerpt from IMPACT 50 Years of the CFDA: Gene Meyer by Amy Fine Collins, Vanity Fair, December 2003
The living room of our parent's house in 1991 showing the back of one of the Louis XV style chairs, the back is upholstered with a Gene Meyer silk scarf.
Another view showing the front of one of the Louis XV style chairs.
I had the wood on the chairs painted yellow to match the pedals in the scarf and then found a lavender silk fabric (Scalamandre) for the seat and front of the chairs. The backs were upholstered using two scarves – each back used a different section of a scarf. One was centered and the other was slightly askew to show Gene’s name- (our father was also named Gene - so it was perfect). All the other furniture was upholstered in bright crisp cotton linen of pink, yellow and lavender. The walls were lavender as well. For over a decade these chairs became a symbol of the house.
In 2002 I inherited these chairs and used them in my Miami house. I designed a Florida room around them and paired them with an amazing Marco Zanuso sectional from the 1960s in orange. The entire room was all white – the only color was the sofa and the two chairs. In 2004 I re-did the Florida room and moved the chairs to my office. They stayed put for 2 years. In 2006 they went across the street (Gene and I had houses directly across the street from one another). Gene used them in the living room of the cottage at his and Frank’s house. And there they stayed until 2009 when we decided to ship them to New York to use at our studio. Unfortunately they were lost in transit – never to be seen again.
Next stop my Florida room (2002) - the back side of one of the Louis XV style chairs. The coffee table is Karl Springer, the sectional is by Marco Zanuso 1960s and the metal sculpture is Curtis Jere.
Photo: Troy Campbell - Home & Design Magazine - April 2003
Next stop my office (2004) the back side of one of the Louis XV style chairs showing the name GENE MEYER under the center pedal.
In 2004 Oberto Gili shot the project for House Beautiful - it appeared in the Color Issue September 2004 and was also featured on the cover of House Beautiful (Thailand) in November of 2004. The rug is from the Doug and Gene Meyer Rug Collection it is called Crossroads.
Photo: Oberto Gili - House Beautiful - 2004
In 2006 the chairs made their last stop at Gene's house where they were safe until September of 2009 when they were lost in transit. The rug is from the Doug and Gene Meyer Rug Collection it is called Volcano Island.
Photo: Alex Quesada - The New York Times - March 9, 2006
Usually someone wins in MUSICAL CHAIRS - we do have wonderful memories of them!