Sunday, April 03, 2011

A Tale of Tolix

A few weeks ago I was in London to visit my friend Laini Taylor ('Laini Taylor?' you say 'Author of the soon to be released Daughter of Smoke and Bone?' Why yes. One and the same!), who was in town to meet with the British publishers of her upcoming book. Maarten, Fletcher and I spent a few days hanging out with her, her husband Jim and their daughter Clementine.

This is where the tale begins. We were having lunch at a place called Leon, when Laini pointed out the chairs and mentioned that they were Tolix chairs, and that one day she would like to buys a few vintage Tolix chairs (this one was new). We just purchased a new Dining room table and were looking for chairs to go with it...ones that we both liked but had yet to find (as Peter and Lisa Lynch can attest to..we were on the hunt!). This was Friday.

On Saturday Laini, Jim and Clementine went back to Oregon and we stayed in London for a few more days.  On Sunday we were wandering around the shops of Regent street when we walked into a design shop and say some vintage blue Tolix chairs.  Maarten pointed them out and I mentioned that those were the chairs Laini loved. Then I looked at them closely and was struck... they were exactly what I was looking for! Not only was it remarkable that we both liked them, but that we both LOVED them!

My Obsession began.

So I started searching for them on the internet. I finally sourced some in Lille, France and discovered that was only a 3 hour drive from here in Amsterdam, so we decided to make a weekend out of it!

We left Friday morning, arrived in Lille in the afternoon and met with the guy I found online. Unfortunately he didn't have the blue ones we wanted. He did have Green Tolix chairs at that location, but if we met him at his house on Saturday morning he could show us some red ones. We made an appointment for the following morning and went to our hotel, a Bed and Breakfast called the Chateau des Ormes.

The Chateau was run by a lovely French woman, Isabelle Martin. We stayed in a beautiful room with high ceilings and had a fantastic breakfast the next morning (after a night in which Maarten fixed her iPad and internet connection and she made us a lovely dinner with lots of Bordeaux from the wine cellar, cheese and chocolate cake, but I digress).

We set off to meet our guy in a town near to the chateau in a 'warehouse' which was actually in front of his house...and we saw some chairs...

Just a few!  Unfortunately not in the color we wanted but lots of variety!  Not all of them were Tolix, there were also other French and some Belgian versions, all manufactured around the same time. We decided we liked the lavender and white ones, of which there were only 5, so we added a peach and white one too.

The next question...would they fit? 

Phew! Maarten managed to squeeze them in the back of our admittedly big car (SUV)...

Back to Amsterdam we went... and how do the look?  Do they fit?
Check it out!

 I *Love* them! I think they fit well with our new table.  Some more photos of the chairs:

5 in this color

and one in this color

Occasionally I get bitten with a single minded obsessiveness to achieve/obtain something.  Fortunately it happens but rarely....and this time it had a happy ending. And I like the idea that these are sturdy dining room chairs that Fletcher can do his best to destroy, but will probably survive. Practical yet stylish (like me ha ha!)

Thanks Laini. My chairs are waiting for your visit :)


Luca said...

Nice one Lori Lee, they look great !!

Luca said...

needless to say that although it shows elfelli it is actually me ;-)