I like having guests and try to make their visit as comfortable and enjoyable as I can. Being able to offer a comfy chair when we settle down in the living room is about as basic as it gets. But we have a lack of seating at the moment. The two “what were we thinking?” too big, too awkward swivel-rocker-recliners we bought three years ago after we got tired looking have gone to live with Mike’s parents. I couldn’t be happier. (Mom & Dad seem to like them, too, so I hope it was a successful adoption all around.) And frankly, our living room has never looked better with its new, more open feel (with exactly 2 mismatched chairs around our very cool but giant round antique claw-footed quarter-sawn oak dining-table-cut-down-to-coffee-table that we inherited from Mike’s parents).

Now if anyone comes over, we’ll be bringing in chairs from the dining room for happy hour (or standing over them like Jeeves). Yes, we have a couch, but it’s on the other side of our long, narrow living room in front of the TV, not on the “social” side of the room. And we have a neat handmade rustic bench in front of the fireplace in the middle of the room — easily moveable and fine for plopping down to warm your toes at the stove; not fine for 2 hours of extended conviviality.

So, we’ve started the hunt for a couple new chairs. Must be small-scale. Must be comfortable. Must blend with what we already have. And, must not cost the anywhere from $600 to $2000 we’ve been seeing. For A CHAIR! When did chairs become as expensive as entire sofas? (And don’t get me started on the cost of ottomans — fortunately we have no room for one.)

Oh, we’ve found perfect chairs that we love here and here. Both costing about $1700 apiece. “It’s an investment,” said each saleswoman, in the understatement of the century. Enclosing half our porch for our sunroom will not cost as much as two of these chairs. Although, given the state of our investments, these may be a better way to go.

Oh, and we’ve looked at the discount options — all of which appear either ready to fall apart in about 2 months or are not the small size we need. (As Americans get fatter, so does their seating apparently. Ginormous furniture is the rule these days.)

I’ve checked Craig’s List (nothing at the moment) and eBay — some possibilities, but the sight-unseen aspect is a little disconcerting. We bought such a chair last year, drove 2-1/2 hours each way to pick it up, only to find that, while it was nice, it was also a bit wobbly and should really be reglued. And we needed to recover the seat (not an easy process). And we didn’t win the matching rocker.

So for now, we just admire that side of the room and the newly open view out the French doors. And we have a handle on a couple possibilities our friends know of at the antique store they frequent. Fingers crossed.

Oh for the days when floor pillows were all the rage…or beanbags, beanbags would work. We’ll just start off the visit with a few stretches or some yoga. Downward-facing dog anyone?

We dare not trust our wit for making our house
pleasant to our friend, so we buy ice cream.
                              ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson