“I’m in the Book” by This Way Home. Photo by Elaine Frederick.
Every year, the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) hosts a charity auction featuring upcycled, creatively reimagined chairs from designers and artists around the world. The event is officially called Take A Seat, but we have affectionately dubbed it “the chair-ity.”
This year’s entries from the New England IFDA chapter benefit the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development, whose mission is to “promote economic opportunity and build strong communities by developing safe, affordable, and supportive housing for individuals and families.” It’s a worthy cause and a great excuse to get creative.
I found my chair while trolling craigslist (what else!). It’s actually a vintage telephone bench, also known as a gossip bench. Back in the day, you would set your rotary landline on the built-in table and sit on the bench for a leisurely phone chat. You could even store your phonebook on the table’s lower shelf. Pretty handy piece of furniture, huh?
I wanted to give the bench a modern redesign, while still paying tribute to its original function. I found a custom fabric printed from vintage phonebook pages, and I knew it would be the perfect solution.
I liked the original two-toned upholstery because it helped accentuate the bench’s unusual silhouette. So I decided to follow suit and chose a subtly textured black vinyl for the interior of the bench. And lastly, to tie it all together, I selected a black and off-white gingham for the built-in shelves.
The IFDA Take A Seat Gala and Auction will be held on June 1, 6:30-9:30 pm, at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. Check out Boston Magazine to read more about the chair-ity and to see the rest of the 2016 entries!