Join us on a journey into the world of antique chairs. Explore the history, beauty, and tips for collecting and decorating with old chairs.

Antique Chairs Blog Hop

When my friend Cindy over at County Road 407 asked me to join her today in a blog hop all about old chairs and stools, I was like, well, of course, because you can never have too many vintage chairs to share and talk about! Am I right?

And if you are joining me from Kim over at Shiplap and Shells, welcome! I’ve been friends with Kim for a few years now, and she is absolutely the sweetest and most creative person I know.

Lifestyle of Love Blog Hop

Antique Chairs

Antique chairs are not just pieces of furniture, but they hold a special charm and character that adds a touch of elegance to any space. These chairs have withstood the test of time and carry with them a rich history and unique craftsmanship. From intricately carved wooden chairs to ornate upholstered seats, antique chairs come in various styles, each reflecting the design influences of its era. Whether it’s a Queen Anne chair with its graceful curves and cabriole legs, a Chippendale chair adorned with intricate carvings, or a Windsor chair with its simple yet sturdy design, antique chairs offer a glimpse into the past and provide a connection to bygone eras. Owning an antique chair is like owning a piece of art, as they are not just functional but also stand as a testament to the skill and artistry of the craftsmen who created them.

A vintage rocking chair in front of a fireplace, adding a thrifty touch to your home decor.

Decorative Antique Chairs Ideas

Antique chairs can be a stunning addition to any room, adding a touch of timeless elegance and sophistication. Here are a few ideas on how to decorate with antique chairs:

  • Statement Piece: Use a single antique chair as a focal point in a room. Place it in a well-lit corner or next to a window to highlight its unique features and intricate craftsmanship.
  • Mix and Match: Create an eclectic and personalized look by mixing antique chairs with modern furniture. Pair an antique dining chair with a sleek and contemporary dining table for a stylish contrast.
  • Upholstery Update: Give your antique chair a fresh and modern look by reupholstering it with a vibrant fabric that complements your existing decor. This allows you to preserve the chair’s classic design while adding a contemporary twist.
  • Gallery Wall: Create a gallery wall using a collection of antique chairs. Hang them at different heights and angles to create visual interest and showcase the variety of styles and designs.
  • Conversation Nook: Place a pair of antique armchairs in a cozy corner of your living room or bedroom to create a charming conversation nook. Add a side table and a floor lamp to complete the inviting atmosphere. You may enjoy this little book nook in the Plant Decor in Living Room Book Nook post.
  • Outdoor Oasis: Use antique chairs to create a charming outdoor seating area. Place them on a patio or in a garden, and pair them with weather-resistant cushions and a small bistro table for a cozy and intimate setting.

Antique chairs are not only functional but also serve as decorative pieces that can add character and charm to any space. The key is to balance preserving their historical value and incorporating them into your existing decor style.

Antique Cane Chair Next to antique hutch.

Vintage Doll Chairs

Not all antique chairs are for the dining room table. One summer, while vacationing in Rockport, Maine, I found a few vintage doll chairs, which I later became obsessed with.

About vintage doll chairs

Vintage doll chairs are adorable miniature versions of antique chairs that were made specifically for dolls. These tiny chairs are often crafted with exquisite attention to detail and replicate the design and craftsmanship of full-sized chairs from different eras. They come in a variety of styles, such as Victorian, Renaissance, or even mid-century modern. Vintage doll chairs can be used as charming decorative pieces, displayed on shelves or in dollhouses, adding a touch of nostalgia and whimsy to any room. They also make delightful collectibles for doll enthusiasts and can be handed down as cherished heirlooms. These miniature chairs are a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of the past, and they continue to captivate both children and adults alike with their timeless charm.

Vintage Spindle Doll Chair

The first doll chair I found in an antique shop was this vintage spindle chair.

Whether used as a display piece or as a seat for dolls or small toys, the vintage spindle doll chair evokes a sense of whimsy and nostalgia. It is a reminder of simpler times and a testament to the enduring appeal of vintage aesthetics.

Vintage Spindle Doll Chair

So, if you come across a vintage spindle doll chair, be sure to appreciate its unique design and craftsmanship. It represents a piece of history and adds a touch of vintage charm to any space.

There’s so much to love about old doll chairs, and I was even happier when I found three more doll chairs to go with this one. It was the beginning of my first-ever vintage doll chair collection. See all these antique doll chairs displayed in the Decorating with White Pumpkins Ideas post.

Free Antique Cane Chairs

What Are Antique Cane Chairs?

Antique cane chairs feature seats and backs woven from cane or rattan. Cane is derived from the outer bark of the rattan palm, a vine-like plant native to tropical regions. These chairs gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries and continue to be sought after by collectors and vintage furniture enthusiasts.

Antique cane chairs come in various styles, such as ladder-back, French bistro, and rocking chairs. The frames of these chairs are typically made from wood, often featuring ornate designs and carvings. The cane is then woven onto the frame, creating a visually appealing and functional seating surface.

Antique cane chairs not only serve as functional seating options but also add a touch of vintage charm and character to any space. They can be used as accent chairs in living rooms, dining chairs in traditional settings, or even as decorative pieces displayed in entryways or corners of a room.

Wooden Vintage Cain Chairs.

A Church Bazaar

During one of my recent routine drives from Vermont to our Home in Maine, I stopped in at a pop-up roadside church bazaar. Do you ever do this?

And these two antique cane chairs were out on the lawn with a FREE sign on them.

What? The antique chair’s cane seating was also in perfect condition. When thrifting or antiquing for old cane chairs, be sure to check the cane seating and backing, as many have broken canes that will need repairing.

I packed up these free antique cane chairs, and today, they sit beautifully scattered throughout our Maine home dining room.

You may also enjoy seeing This Season’s Thrifting Trends post.

Antique Cane Chair in Antique home decor.

My friend, Courtney at French Country Cottage, talks about cane chairs in her post What to know about French Style Cane Dining Chairs if you want to learn more.

Dining Room with wooden furniture accents in antique home decor.

Do you follow Marian over at Miss Mustard Seed? I adore her blog posts like this one: A Sled, Ski Poles & French Wing Chairs. Once you check out Marian’s blog, just search for chairs, and you will find yourself immersed in the wonders and possibilities of decorating and styling with all things in antique chairs.

Antique Chairs Dining Ladder Backs

What are Antique Ladder Back Chairs?

Antique ladder back chairs are a type of chair with a distinctive backrest design resembling a ladder. They have been popular for centuries and are considered a classic and timeless furniture style.

The defining feature of antique ladder back chairs is the backrest, which consists of multiple horizontal slats or rungs that are evenly spaced and connected to vertical supports. This design resembles the rungs of a ladder, hence the name “ladder back.” The number of rungs can vary, typically ranging from three to six, depending on the chair’s size and style.

Antique ladder back chairs were commonly found in country homes, farmhouses, and taverns throughout history. They were popular due to their simple yet functional design, sturdiness, and reliability. Ladder back chairs were often used as dining chairs, but they were also found in kitchens, living rooms, and other home areas.

Antique Ladder Back Family Heirlooms

This leads me to the ladder back chairs surrounding our Maine dining room table.

Dining Room Table Setting in Antique Home.

I inherited this collection of antique chairs from my parents. I grew up with them around our dining room table. You may enjoy learning more about growing up in Maine in the Coastal Maine Heritage | Embracing My Roots post.

These antique ladder back chairs were used daily and remain in great condition to this day. I’m not sure exactly how old they are, but I know for certain they are old enough to be antique.

I was left with four antique ladder back chairs. I then got lucky and found two more exact matches while Thrifting with the Gals for just $25.00 a chair to complete this table’s sixth seating.

Antique dining room table with romantic table setting.

Table Settings Ideas with Antique Ladder Back Chairs

Antique Pewter Table Setting
Antique Pewter Early American Tablescape

Antique Shaker Style Chairs

“These are some of the most recognizable pieces of American Furniture.”

Pamela Wiggins, a highly regarded antique and collectible costume jewelry expert and designer in per piece Identifying Shaker Chairs.

“Some of the most enduringly popular American antique furniture, known as Shaker style, was made not by a single designer, but by a group of people who shared a set of beliefs and an aesthetic. At its height, the Shaker movement included some 6,000 members living in 19 villages stretching from Maine to Indiana—yet this tiny group of people had an impressive impact on American style and design.” – Source: Pamela Wiggins, The Spruce Crafts.

Learn more about The Shakers and Their Furniture here.

Shaker Chairs at Kitchen Island

Kitchen Shaker Chairs

I was fortunate enough to discover these three Shaker kitchen stools at a second-hand shop for $35 a stool. I’ve never seen another set quite like these anywhere.

The beautiful brown wood frame pairs so well with the white Shaker-style seating.

Shaker Style kitchen island chairs.

The shaker stools sit so pretty around our open kitchen island. The size is nice and lean, accommodating this space beautifully.

See more of these Shaker-style chairs in the Winter White Farmhouse Kitchen post.

You may also check out Shaker Workshops for their shaker furniture kits.

White Farmhouse Kitchen Accents.

You may also enjoy the post Vintage Braiding Rug Stand | A Mother’s Day Reflection with a recently found antique captain’s chair.

Vintage Handmade Braided Rugs in Bedroom.

You may also enjoy this Colonial House Plans: From Attic to Wall post.

Boston Rockers

Boston Rockers were popular in the Boston area during the 19th century and were commonly found in Victorian parlors and sitting rooms. They symbolized style and refinement and were often used by the upper class for relaxation and socializing. Boston rockers were also favored by nursing mothers, as the rocking motion provided comfort to both the mother and the baby.

Today, Boston rockers are appreciated for their classic design and timeless elegance. They can be a charming addition to various interiors, ranging from traditional and Victorian-style homes to more eclectic or contemporary settings. Many modern reproductions of Boston rockers are available, allowing individuals to enjoy the beauty and comfort of these chairs in their own homes.

Today, I cherish this black Boston Rocker that was once my mother’s and a thrifted Boston Rocker that I found for just $35. See more in the Vintage Weekend Finds Thrifting in Maine post.

Antique Chairs Guide to Collecting

Collecting and looking for antique chairs can be a fascinating and rewarding hobby. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  • Research and educate yourself: Before diving into collecting antique chairs, take the time to learn about different styles, periods, and makers of antique chairs. Familiarize yourself with the characteristics, materials, and craftsmanship of different eras. This knowledge will help you identify and appreciate valuable pieces.
  • Set a budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend on antique chairs. This will help you focus your search and make informed decisions when purchasing.
  • Decide on your preferred style or period: Antique chairs come in various styles, such as Victorian, Georgian, Chippendale, Art Nouveau, and more. Determine which style or period you are most interested in collecting. This will narrow down your search and make it easier to find chairs that match your preferences.
  • Visit antique shops and auctions: Explore local antique shops, flea markets, and auctions in your area. These places often have a variety of antique chairs available for purchase. Take your time to examine the chairs closely, checking for any damage, signs of repair, or alterations. If possible, ask questions about the chair’s history and provenance.
  • Attend antique fairs and exhibitions: Antique fairs and exhibitions are excellent opportunities to find a wide range of antique chairs in one place. These events often attract reputable dealers and collectors who specialize in antique furniture. Take advantage of these gatherings to network, learn, and discover unique pieces.
  • Join antique collector communities: Joining online forums, social media groups, or local antique collector communities can provide you with valuable insights, advice, and connections. Fellow collectors can recommend trustworthy dealers, share their experiences, and help you expand your knowledge about antique chairs.
  • Seek professional appraisal: If you come across a chair that you believe might be valuable or historically significant, consider seeking a professional appraisal. An expert can evaluate the chair’s authenticity, age, condition, and value, giving you confidence in your purchase.

Collecting antique chairs can require patience, research, and a discerning eye. Enjoy the process of hunting for unique pieces and building a collection that reflects your personal taste and passion for history.

Thanks so much for dropping by today, and I hope you found the inspiration you sought!

A Vintage Affair

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with your friends who are also vintage enthusiasts.

Do you have a flair for all things vintage, too? I would love to see and feature you in our Reader’s Showcase Series. A place for you to share and be recognized for your talents and passion for all things thrifting, vintage, and antique decor-related inspired by your time here with Dabbling & Decorating. Email me at

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Antique Chairs Blog Hop

Next up on today’s tour is my friend Lora from Create and Ponder. You won’t want to miss Lora’s ideas on how to enjoy stools in your home. She’s one of my thrifting buddies, too!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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  1. You really do find the best vintage treasures Ann, and at the best prices. I am in love with that green vintage doll chair with the spooling detail. I’ve never seen another one like it. So fun!

  2. OH MY GOLLY your collection of chairs and stools is fabulous! My jaw dropped wide open when I saw the shaker barstools. I’ve never seen them either and what a treasure! Learned so much from your post too. Like fiddle back. Who knew?! I’m so glad you were able to join us this time. Such a great post.

    1. Thank you for having me Cindy. This was such a fun hop💃🏼💃🏼😘

  3. I had a bunch of these chairs in Greece mostly they came with this ugly lacquer finish which took away from their beauty. I also had a small one like the one you pictured. I’d sit up close to the fire on cold winter nights.

  4. I so much enjoyed seeing all of your fabulous antique chairs in your Maine home. You have a knack for finding treasures when you are out and about.

  5. You have such darling chairs!! Old chairs are so charming and have such lovely character! Love your style!

  6. You always find the best goodies, Ann! Every chair in your collection is amazing. I love how they all have a bit of texture to them. The way you have them displayed in your beautiful homes is so warm and inviting. Hope your Valentine’s Weekend is fabulous, CoCo

  7. Hi Ann, wow you really scored for those 2 free chairs, they’re gorgeous. And so glad you could find the extra chairs that matched your parents’ chairs. The wood is gorgeous. And those adorable doll chairs are perfect for display. Have a fun Valentine’s Day!

    1. Thank you so much Debra for stopping by today🥰

  8. Thanks Ann I enjoyed reading about these chairs, you have a beautiful assortment. I do have one but wish for more. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you so much Marlene. I so glad you enjoyed it. And me too😉