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February 1st, 2011

Good Furniture Never Dies

I have a chair. I can’t remember which province I found it in, but I can tell you I found it abandoned by it’s previous owner. There it was in an alley, looking lost and forlorn, pathetic really. I took pity on it, since, well, at the time, I needed a chair, but also because I could not believe someone let this gem go. Outside of some cosmetic wear and tear, this chair was sturdy, fully functioning, and a funky piece of Canadiana.


As it turns out, this is no ordinary chair. It’s a Canadian made, Hourd wooden folding chair with a dark green cushion. I have never seen one before or since, and its rusty mechanism gives me a bit of grief from time to time, but I love it, and I have no intention of reintroducing it to the curbside. Though it needs a bit of mending (which I WILL get around to, I swear) it gets used daily. It has served as a computer chair, a ladder, a kitchen chair, a guest chair, a night stand, a kids room chair, and now as a clothing depository in the bedroom.


I would love to find out my chair’s lineage. When was it made? How many homes has it seen? Should I let my cats and my dirty laundry drape themselves on it? Should I refurbish it or leave it alone? These are the great furniture queries.




Regardless of it’s muddled history, I can be sure of this. It’s older than most things I own, and it’s tenaciously durable. I know what I’ve put it through. It has survived several moves, a couple kids, friends, parties, humid summers and Montreal winters, and cats. That’s more than I can say for some other pieces with whom I currently reside (yes, I’m talking to YOU bed frame and drafting table). Thank you, Canadian folding chair. I look forward to a long and enduring friendship.

  • Posted by Liz on February 4th, 2011, 10:44
    I've never heard of a folding chair of this type! Fascimanating! A great article that made me feel bad about all the chairs I have passed by at various curb sides. How many gems have I let slip through my fingers.

    A keen eye you have. And a keen sense of description and humour. Thank you for this brilliant piece about a chair.

  • Posted by Sara Lomas on February 4th, 2011, 10:54
    Hi Liz,
    I believe necessity/unabashed curiosity is the mother of excellent scores.
    Thanks for writing such nice things. I couldn't have done it without The Chair (a.k.a. Hourdy).
  • Posted by Angell on February 4th, 2011, 13:16
    Fantastic chair and truly entertaining read!
  • Posted by Rosemary on February 5th, 2011, 10:35
    Loved reading about this chair. IT is almost magical, yes ? You could take off on a whole novel....great writing , Sara !
  • Posted by magda627 on February 8th, 2011, 12:01
    Love your article :-) and great chair btw !!! J'adore les pièces avec du caractère et de l'histoire, exactement comme cette chaise !
  • Posted by Sara Lomas on March 18th, 2011, 12:12
    Thank everyone. If anyone ever finds out anything about Hourd Folding Chairs, I would love to know! Also, please feel free to tell stories of your accidental treasures.
  • Posted by Nicholas on October 16th, 2011, 19:59
    I just bought 2 of these chairs at my friends antique store for $15 each and am trying to find the history as well! I plan on using mine..we have a small house and these can be brought out as needed:) Yours is the first photo I could find of this chair...pretty cool!
  • Posted by Fordham on February 2nd, 2012, 15:52
    Hi, just read your blog. My husband and I own a complete set, all 4 chairs and table. We would also like to know about value and history of this incredible sets. Our chairs and table are in light green and are in immaculate shape, I have never seen such a sturdy card table in my life! I will continue to follow this blog for further information.

  • Posted by phonegirl on March 30th, 2013, 19:10
    Hi there, I just found four chairs and a card table today at Goodwill (Toronto). The previous owners reupholstered the folding chairs but the leather(ish) fabric is still on the table. Am going to dig in, and try and find out more about Hourd. You can see them at
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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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