These pieces represent one of the most stylish, cohesive groupings in my ‘collection’. The two chaises and the table/chairs set were given to me by my Sig-O; they conveyed with the house he bought in Capital Hill about 15 years ago. The people who built the house in the late 1960’s (soon after the riots) bought two rowhouses, tore them down (before the area around Eastern Market was designated Historic, and you were able to do such a thing), and built a Federalist-style house with a full-size pool in the back. These pieces were their original pool furniture. When Sig-O redid the pool decking years later, he was getting ready to junk these gloriously fabulous items, so I quickly snatched them up (complete with their vibrantly floral cushions!). According to the cushion labels, the furniture is by Homecraft, which still manufactures patio furniture.
More recently, I discovered several other pieces at my friends’ Lisa and Kenny’s shop in [undisclosed location] (more on their wondrous shop later!). From there I acquired an upright lounge chair (unbelievably, it came with the original bright yellow vinyl cushion that matches the floral ones!), as well as a three-person glider that is in remarkably great condition. I also discovered the complementary planter at L&K’s, though I haven’t been able to confirm it is indeed by Homecraft.
I’m crazy about the Jetson-esque lines! The design is streamlined to focus on form, while adhering to good ergonomic principles – in other words, they not only look good, but they’re pretty damned comfortable! My goal is to have them stripped and powdercoated; the mechanisms allowing for swivel and rocking motions are still incredibly smooth, but the finish has rusted in some spots. (The finish on the glider is particularly distressed, but it glides as if it were brand new! Very much want to have it refinished and have a cushion custom-made for it.) The design is so iconic of the late ‘60’s. Can’t you picture a bikini-clad Doris Day sunning in one of the chaises, hair wrapped in a chiffon scarf and holding a Mai-Tai? (OK, well, how about an inebriated Rock Hudson in the same garb??)
I’ve seen several exact pieces of these Homecraft items on 1stDibs, and on Websites for various NYC shops, without the original cushions, for $1000 +. Sig-O has threatened to take back the original pieces of my collection…..Yeah, just try it, bub!