Phyllis Morris Faux Bamboo Chairs

Well guys, I seem to have an addiction to craigslist. I’ve denied it long enough, but now I’m just going to admit it. But what can a girl do when you find stuff as good as this?


These are Phyllis Morris faux bamboo Chinese Chippendale chairs that were found in what used to be the Spence Manor Hotel downtown on Music Row. They were neglected, piled in a corner and taking up space. The man who sold them to me was Bobby John Henry, who used to manage the hotel many years ago and had since become a bread baker operating out of the old hotel kitchen. Bobby was kind enough to tell me that the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had sat in these chairs over the years. I love having a great story to go along with my finds.

Now if you know a little about faux bamboo, you know that it’s typically quite expensive and it never goes out of style. Ever. Open up almost any shelter magazine and I’ll bet money you find a Chinese Chippendale chair in its pages. And if you look on 1st Dibs, you’ll find this:

1stdibschair-white 1st Dibs – Set of six chairs – $7,250

Yep, you read that right. Over seven thousand dollars! While I only have three of them, I’m still pretty happy. They are made of aluminum and are not in the best of shape so I’ve sent them out to be sandblasted and powder coated with a bright new finish. I’m painting two of them a fresh spring green like this:

spring-green-chair Via 1st Dibs

And the other I’m painting a Tiffany Blue color (sorry, no photo for that one). The green chairs will flank my buffet in the dining room and will be used as extra seating when we have more than six around the table. The blue chair will be my new office chair. I’m so excited!

I have a couple different fabrics in mind for the seats, one of which is a watercolor print by Home Accents called Katmandu Multi.

katmandu-multi It’s bright and bold, but there wouldn’t be much of it in the room so I think it would be a perfect fabric for the green chairs. For the blue chair I’m considering this one:

charcoal dots - domesticate Charcoal Dots – Domesticate

Yes, I’m crazy for spots now. I love the fuzziness of these and since the color is neutral I can use the chair almost anywhere in the house.

The powder coating will take approximately two weeks and in the meantime I’m going to have the seats professionally upholstered so they’ll have a self-welt (piping around the edge) and will maintain their box shape. Only the best for these little beauties!

Lookout for another post in a couple weeks when these chip chairs make their debut!