Chair Harvest.

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.




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  1. Great story (lol), jealous of your amazing find (from one chair hoarder to another). Obsessed with the Mies van der Rohe chairs…I actually like them behind the couch for now…love the brown leather w black acrylic.

  2. I’m dying and VERY jealous- lucky, lucky girl.

  3. you are nuts. i love it such good luck.

  4. New York City really does have the BEST garbage … I would say like 40% of the furniture in my apartment was found curbside. When done smartly it is so very eco-friendly which is great!

    • Cheri says:

      U have officially a worse hording habit than we do!! Sell them all!!

  5. what a fun cross-country dumpster dive we had! if i can’t have ’em, i’m glad you can!

  6. Lauren says:

    I’m excited to see what you do with the new chairs. I’ve learned something new today.. when all else fails, call the doorman!

  7. As my friend in Philly would say…

    “Sell! Sell! Sell!”

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  8. Sabrina says:

    If you ever need a babysitter for the Alky chairs, mi casa es su casa. I remember when you posted months ago about needing to sell some chairs, and I called dibs on those. Definitely was not expecting them to be worth thousands of dollars… But hey, they’d always have resale value! God I want those chairs.

    I happen to find the Tobia Scarpa chairs completely hideous, but congrats on the find.

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      I will keep you posted on those chairs, I do need to sell or store things, so Ill definitely put you at the top of the list for the chairs!

      I also kind of agree that the Tobia Scarpa chairs are hideous. But interestingly ugly. I think.

  9. You’re my hero.

  10. Efrat S. says:

    great post! amazing find, cant get over this nicole!

  11. hideous? hideously chic! i don’t have a problem with the color either.

  12. picture them with a wood credenza, low sofa, and some wood/warm brass accents

  13. grace says:

    amazing!!! you chaira are fab! reupholster them in a fun color leather ..KEEPER!

  14. You are the queen of street side finds! You inspired me and I took a little stroll earlier today but Kensington doesn’t seem to have as many street treasures as your neighborhood! (Saw lots of sad ikea!)

  15. Marielle says:

    i love your crazed knack for finding anything and making it cool! ! also love the polka dot ones- they look so cute in that room! very playful

  16. That is a story to make one smile….I think they are very cool in a weird way…are they comfy?

  17. you are incredible!! what a wonderful, bizarre adventure! I love it!! and what luck too

  18. Seeing those chairs from the street set right in your living room this morning was too funny! Good for you!

  19. Was dying cause I only saw your post about the chairs/couch this morning…otherwise I would have gotten into a cab IMMEDIATELY. So glad you got em!

  20. The Tobia Scarpa chairs are SO cool. Yeah, they’re hideous, but what a great personality they have;)
    And you have the best chair luck!

  21. Only you and your fabulous eye! They look stunning!
    Xx Jamie Herzlinger

  22. Wow, amazing find. They aren’t my favorite chair, so I’d sell, but they actually look pretty awesome in your space.

    Love the idea of a living room makeunder.

  23. Great story! Such an awesome find!

  24. Great eye! Lucky girl! So much fun to be in on your great find.

  25. Sebastian says:

    do you know whos produced exactly this kind of MR10 Chairs?

    Best Regards