The Cross House

My Second Antique!

This is my sixth year of owning the Cross House. In all that time I have come across one period-correct, and budget-correct antique for the Cross House:


This chair. The chair is period-correct to the house. It is the same, from a price-point perspective, as the house. And, style-wise, it complements the house.


It’s easy finding fabulous antiques. It’s not easy finding antiques which are really right for the house, visually.

People who own old houses often fill them with antiques from many decades before/after their house was built, and with antiques MUCH grander than their house, or much less grand.

I am interested in another approach.

The Cross House was built in 1894 and was highly advanced in terms of technology (it may have been the first house in the city with electricity) and was also advanced, style-wise. It’s not just a Queen Anne but is a Queen Anne Free Classic. Oh my!

There are no 1890s archival images of the interior (sigh) but it can be reasonably assumed that such a state-of-the-art house would have had all new furnishings (at least on the main level). Also, I want antiques which are period-correct and budget-correct for I find that such pieces well complement the architecture and fittings of each room.


For example, this chair is a knock out. However, it predates the Cross House by several decades, and was intended for a house even grander than the Cross House. If I placed this chair in my parlor it would dominate the room rather than complement the original fittings and became part of an ensemble rather than the star player.


Well, this week David contacted me. He lives in Wichita, works for one of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlets, and wanted to let me know about a settee which had been donated.

He thought it looked like the antique chair in my parlor.

Oh! Oh my!

He sent some images.

And my heart was all aflutter.

Scroll way down…

















Squee!!!!!!!! My friend Carl picked up the settee, and it is shown here in the 1880s house Carl is restoring.


Doggy not included.


The settee has a lovely carved panel, which…


…is, indeed, quite similar to my chair in the parlor! Good eye, David!


The settee needs to be reupholstered, and I was thinking of doing it like the chair: tufted back, with a solid seat.


Before buying the settee, I first ran it by Bo, and he confirmed it’s being period-correct for the house.

At the moment I have no idea where to put the settee but as I have, I think, 268 rooms I should be OK in the end.

Thanks, David! Thanks, Carl! Thanks, Bo!




17 Responses to My Second Antique!

  1. That is beautiful!! I think I would use the same type of fabric as the green chair. Color depends on location. How is the cat fence coming along? I know you are busy with so much else.

  2. It definitely needs reupholstered. Whoever did it last, put the fabric on incorrectly! The fabric design is sideways! It should be up and down, with the slightly pointed end (subtle) pointing down! It is, however, a perfect match to your chair! I would have them together in the same room!

  3. It’s perfect for the Cross house. Good eye Miriam, you are totally correct. Hay Ross I have an old rocking chair that is somewhat similar, I was wondering if you could tell me what era it is from? It’s been stained, or painted not sure which, green yellow and orange “ick”. I’m going to redo it this summer. I don’t know how to post it on this blog.

  4. Wonderful to find a piece that is so close to your original chair. What is even more wonderful (amazing?) is the network of support you have created through this blog- Dave aware enough of the design of your original chair to contact you, Carl being able to pick it up and store for you until you can pick it up, Bo on the West Coast to lend his expertise. Not to mention a legion of devoted readers who are vicariously living a restorer’s dream through watching your painstaking and thoughtful work on the Cross House. These days it is easy to scrutinize all social media as a negative force, but things like the Cross House blog show it can be a positive way to connect people across interests and miles.

  5. Very nice find!

    It always surprises me to see how little pieces like this are often valued. I have yet to see something of the narrow period of your house, but I frequently see Victorian-era upholstered chairs in our local thrift store for $50-$100.

  6. This is a wonderful post! It’s so true that age appropriate doesn’t necessarily mean style appropriate, and it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I bought an 1893 row house in Albany NY last year (had to do a lot of research to learn the age) and have been learning about the style, the period, and the family that built it. Though there were a lot of fancy Italianates and Romanesque Revivals being built here at the time, this is a simple facade in a Federal style with some Victorian mill work and tiled mantles remaining inside. They were a working class family with 10 kids and a seemingly limited interest in the fashion of the day. I think about them and their lives quite a bit as I consider decisions for this house.

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