Last night, I posted the living room on the street. I normally dont post at night like that, but I felt like maybe someone would want to go pick them up, or something, it felt like it needed immediate attention.
Within a minute, Christian May told me, yes, those were Tobia Scarpa chairs, and in fact worth thousands. I googled. Apparently, they are selling for almost $9,000 dollars on 1st Dibs! So I literally dropped everything and ran to the corner where I saw them. By that time, the sofa was gone, and there were heaps of garbage bags, lamps, luggage trunks etc all around them…. It looks like someone with very good taste may have died, or gotten evicted, or decided to dump everything and start over because the entire contents of an apartment were on the street.
So I conquered my sheer and overwhelming embarrassment and pulled those chairs out of the garbage like a crazed UES design lunatic. Then, with christian talking me through it via email, I turned them over, looked for authenticity- authentic!- and look for bedbugs. The bottom of the chair had holes where someone moved casters, so I had a clear view into the foam which was clean. OK, I was going to do it. I called my husband to come help me.
No dice. “Im not going to encourage this,” he said. So I did what any New Yorker would do, I called my doorman. And he came over and helped me wheel these babies home.
Then I had my super check them for bugs. Not only do they not have bugs, they are in absolutely pristine condition. Although the color of the leather is a bit unfortunate. I was on a dumpster diving high!
And then I went and had dinner at The Mark with a designer friend of mine, who exclaimed: “Holy crap, garbage night on the UES is the best!” Along with, “FU.” Keep them, sell them, reupholster them, whatever. They are a score. (Dumpster diving to The Mark in 15 minutes is why I love NYC.)
Which brings me to the current chair situation, and living room situation. It’s been 4 years, and my living room needs a new paint job. Is that normal? My sources tell me that in high traffic areas with kids, it could be normal to repaint up to every 2 years. So, I guess its time. The walls are kind of banged up and they need a fresh coat. I think Im going to do a kind of make-under for my living room. Use most of the same furniture (except new couch) but simplify, because things have gotten way out of control. I also want to get a new TV, slimmer, smaller and not on that wall. (But I’m a huge TV person, where else could I put that thing? Ideas would be helpful!)
Apparently I have a knack for finding high end designer chairs for cheap. (Thanks to my encyclopedia of mid-century furniture, Christian.) Let’s review:
I have these newly acquired Mies van der Rohe MR10 chairs. Selling for $1800 on first dibs. Mine are not in great condition, but still. I have no where to put these, hence the sofa table as desk arrangement.
I have this pair of “Alky” Chairs by Giancarlo Piretti, selling on 1st dibs for prices ranging from $3600 per chair to $4400 for 2 in Kelly Wearstler’s shop. These now live in the playroom, because well, NO SPACE FOR ANYTHING.
And I have the two new chairs, by Tobia Scarpa, above, which are also in KW’s shop in linen for $7200 and listed at $8975 on 1st dibs for the leather version.
Let’s not forget, my other dumpster dive turned out to be a chair by Drexel Heritage, and my eBay chair that I had upholstered in a silk stripe.
This is a windfall of vintage chair luck.
The chair gods are smiling on me.
The harvest has been bountiful.
The hoarding has reached a new level.
Now I just need a plan.