When I was 12 years old, inflatable anything was a big trend, lava lamps were making a comeback, and ideally, every room needed to have a disco ball. There was a shop in my home town that rode all these trends to the max by selling everything from inflatable armchairs to strange gooey light fixtures. I was, of course, infatuated with all these things and begged my mom for something from that store. After some persuasion, I finally came home with an inflatable pillow. It was clear and had electric blue feathers inside. Two days later, my dog, who had never destroyed anything, showed his disapproval — one big bite was all it took. After the initial despair, my interest in inflatable decor deflated as quickly as that pillow. Looking back, my dog did me a favor. He simply had a more developed eye for design than I did at the time.
Five years ago, right around the time when I was fortunate enough to buy my first apartment, I found a pair of two velvet club chairs from the 60s at a Salvation Army store. They were deep blue and something right out of Mad Men or a classic James Bond movie. The chairs were an hour’s drive from where I lived, and I had to make two rounds to get them both home. After all the hauling, carrying, scrubbing and dusting I did before bringing them in, I was over the moon. Those armchairs quickly became the focal point of my home, a spot that all my friends would gravitate toward when visiting. When I came home one day to find my current dog, Spencer, making himself comfortable in a big pile of foam that he had torn out of both those armchairs, I remember shedding a tear or two. I wasn’t ready to part with those chairs, but the game was over. Once again, my decor choices had been brutally scrutinized by a dog.
After getting rid of those shredded chairs, my decorating style began shifting from bold jewel tones to a more neutral palette, ironically more in line with my dog’s own colors. I eventually found two mid-century armchairs that I love even more than the ones I tragically lost, and Spencer seems to enjoy them the most. As long as he can camouflage himself in the furniture and snooze comfortably, I seem to be in the safe zone. Although it’s highly likely that I would have parted with those blue armchairs by now, I still think about them from time to time and give a little sigh. And this time around, I don’t think my dog did me a favor — those chairs were wonderful. —Sofia
Illustration by Lotta Maija
I didn’t get a chance to snap too many pictures of these chairs before their time was up, but I found a few from the depths of my phone’s photo albums.
My dog Spencer now lounges on an armchair and sofa more to his own taste.
Check out the rest of our “That One Piece” series here!