When we were dreaming up charity ideas to benefit The Green Chair Project, a North Carolina-based organization that provides furnishings for families recovering from homelessness, crisis, or disaster, our minds immediately jumped to, well, chairs (one track minds here and proud of it!). We partnered nine top-tier tastemakers with nine dealers who show at the High Point-based 214 Modern Vintage (get the scoop on the superstar behind 214 Modern, Stephanie Schofield, here). Each tastemaker received a beautiful vintage chair to put their own creative spin on, and the stunning seats they dreamt up were auctioned off at a big bash, held at 214 Modern Vintage’s showroom during October’s High Point Market, with the proceeds going to The Green Chair Project.
Did the bids fly? You bet your sweet seats they did! “The money raised from the event will enable four families to completely furnish their homes and provide every child in those homes with a bed of their own,” says Jackie Craig, the executive director and co-founder of The Green Chair Project. “The designers and shoppers of Chairish know that a house only becomes a home when it is furnished with the essential comforts of chairs to sit in, a kitchen table for a family to eat around, lamps to light their rooms and beds for their children to sleep soundly in at night.” Read on to discover more about how this ah-mazing auction went down, including insider intel on how the designers approached the transformation of their seats, and how we celebrated during our fun-filled party!
Meet The Hot Seats!
The nine tastemakers we tapped ran the creative gamut, including both designers and artists. Among the stylin’ stars were designers MA Allen, Barrie Benson, Michel Smith Boyd, Lauren Liess, Young Huh, Celerie Kemble, and artists Angela Chrusciaki Blehm, Susan Hable and Barry Lantz. When it came to inspo, the tastemakers pulled from all over the map, (Judy Garland! Rothko! Betil Dagdelen scarves!) which resulted in all kinds of design goodness.
No. 1 / Susan Hable’s Modern Masterpiece
“Stephanie [of 214 Modern Vintage] came up with a vintage paper mâché chair. I had to sand down the poly coating that had been on it, then gessoed it like a canvas painted it with the same layering process that I paint in oils!”Susan Hable
No. 2 / Celerie Kemble’s Bombshell Bergère
No. 3 / Angela Chrusciaki Blehm’s Post-Modern Marvel
“The original state of the chair was raw, exciting, and a bit medieval looking. I wanted to bring some joy and levity to the chair with color.”Angela Chrusciaki Blehm
No. 4 / Lauren Liess’s Dashing Disc Chair
“I wanted to see the chair in a fun, quirky print so I chose a fabric of mine, ‘Gisele’s Web,’ (named after my daughter) in a sunny yellow.”Lauren Liess
No. 5 / MA Allen’s Leather-Wrapped Wonder
“I thought of a chair I had seen when The Webster first opened their Manhattan store. It was a chair wrapped in scarf material designed by artist Betil Dagdelen. I turned to an idea of using leathering cording, thinking that the material juxtaposition of hard and soft would create really nice visual tension.”MA Allen
No. 6 / Young Huh’s Palm-Flocked Chic Fest
No. 7 / Barrie Benson’s Color-Blocked Showstopper
“Looking at both the shape of the chair and its upholstery, our minds immediately jumped to Angelo Donghia’s and Salvatore Ferragamo’s rainbow sandal, famously crafted for Judy Garland.”Barrie Benson
No. 8 / Michel Smith Boyd’s Sculptural Stunner
No. 9 / Barry Lantz’s Artistic Achievement
“I did not want to lose the integrity of the chair. Loving the worn leather upholstery, I painted around it. I am also a fan of Rothko, so I gave it a Rothko look on the outside back.”Barry Lantz
Meet the Bidders
The charity event coincided with High Point Market (aka: the design world’s numero uno trade show), which meant ample tastemakers were on hand to fill the bidding seats. Guests included the founders of some of the furniture world’s most razzle-dazzle brands, including Julianne Taylor from Taylor Burke Home and Charlotte Harris Lucas and Liz Harris Carroll from House of Harris, as well as interior design superstars (and Chairish Design Insiders) like Nick Olsen and Lindsey Coral Harper.
Thank you to 214 Modern, our nine fabulous tastemakers, and The Green Chair Project for partnering with us on this marvelous endeavor and evening!
All photos by Aris Wells