a case of the blues

several years ago, before we had the civic, maybe it was summer 2009, pierre and i took the queen streetcar all the way to the end in the beach and bought a reproduction pierre paulin “orange slice” chair off craigslist for $245. it was on the pricier side for a craigslist find, but it was nothing compared to what these chairs go for at quasimodo or design within reach (they start at $1200).

i had recently painted our apartment walls bm pale avocado, leftover from my parents’ recent reno, and the chair was a perfect colour match. when we moved into our house two years ago, the walls were painted a sage green (behr “calm” if i remember correctly). the avocado orange slice chair was no longer a perfect match for the walls; it clashed horribly!

since we covered the sage green with two coats of bm summer shower, the chair looks a little more at home. but it’s still kind of off.

meanwhile, i’ve been saving images i like to my ipad as i come across them (kind of a makeshift pinterest, which i don’t have — i prefer to print stuff out and throw them into a physical book i can thumb through) with no real intent, just collecting pictures that i like. here are two living room shots that caught my eye at some point in the last year:

photo IMG_0031

i love this first inspiration image so much, which is good news, seeing as we already have the native art, pale blue walls, white baseboards, and hardwood floors. i don’t know if we could pull off the chair rail and golden, mossy colour on the wall because of the tone of our floors and the window behind the couch, but i keep coming back to this photo.

the second room is a little more coastal looking, but both these rooms have pale blue walls like ours, and they also have a contrasting, jewel-toned couch. we have a dark brown leather couch that’s still got a ton of life left in it, so buying a blue couch is out of the question, even though i figure that couch was one of the main reasons i saved both these images. so this is when i start eyeing our avocado chair, which we’ve talked about reupholstering a few times.

on saturday, pierre dropped me off at princess perfect to look at fabric samples with the owner, lisa jo. pierre and i might have spent an hour debating a dozen shades of blue yesterday, but i didn’t have to think about who would do the work on our chair for longer than a second. the shop is right on pape and i used to walk by it every day on my way to and from the gym or the subway — the projects in the window are always stunning.

i borrowed a dozen fabric books from lisa jo, carting them home on the mortimer bus. and now i need some help picking a fabric! here are a few shots of our living room today:

IMG_1656 IMG_1659

IMG_1657 IMG_1660

we briefly flirted with the idea of upholstering the chair in that golden, mossy hue, but — as my friend erin rightly pointed out over coffee this morning — it’s such a ’70s colour and the chair is already retro-looking in its shape, it would really make the chair look dated. (furthermore, the fabric i was eyeing in this colour was corduroy! which erin couldn’t help but mention looked a lot like the jacket her dad got married in in the early ’80s.)

so i think we’re going with a jewel-toned blue for the chair, and repaint the bright yellow cupboard in that golden, mossy colour. and maybe the black french door, too? i know, i know, i fought so hard to make it black… a mustard door with gold hardware might look awful, but it might look great…

okay, so here are the blues:


we like all of these for various reasons. some for their softness, some for their brightness, others for their appropriate price. please weigh in and help us choose the perfect sapphire blue!

16 thoughts on “a case of the blues

  1. i like #5, but without actually seeing and feeling the fabric, i’m not sure if it would be best. …and still mulling over the door change.

  2. I like the shade on #2, it’s beautiful and bright and little off the beaten path, but I think I like the fabric on #3 better (looks like it will stand up to more wear and tear).
    Have fun choosing! 🙂

  3. Couldn’t help but chime in…
    I like numbers 2 and 5 the best in small swatches, but 3 could be really spectacular on a whole chair. If it’s between 2 and 5, I’d pick the one with the better ‘hand’. And please don’t paint the door! The black really punctuates the light walls and trim so well.

    1. Opinion noted! And if I paint the door and it looks awful, I promise you can say “I told you so!” You don’t think the black door clashes with the black-brown couch just a little?

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