Home & Garden

Old Hickory Furniture....a love affair

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2:59:00 PM
Having no real design direction for my new little home...I went back and looked at  some old pictures of houses that I have owned since I was first married.

And guess what?

I found quite a few things from the past that seem to be relevant and interesting and in keeping with how I enjoy doing interiors today.

One such love is Old Hickory Furniture....

So here is my story:

When I was a sophomore in college, I spent two summers working in Grand Teton National Park about 20 minutes outside of Jackson Hole Wyoming.  
Those were the funnest summers I can recall and it sparked my interest in all things "western" .....
including boots, hats, horses and men.

But scattered through out Grand Teton and Yellowstone are many wonderful lodges and small cafes that have interiors full of Old Hickory furniture

The company has roots in America dating to the early 1900's and changed ownership a few times but is still in operation today.

The original rockers placed in the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park in 1906 are still there...
Imagine the stories those chairs could tell!

The designs are rustic but at the same time, graceful and comfortable and definitely interesting.

Vintage Old Hickory is highly collectable and many of the chairs may have the original  woven seats and labels, which will increase the value.

Different finishes and weaves add to the uniqueness of each piece and you can mix and match those, to suit your taste when you order them new. 

Now for the rest of the story....

The last week I would spend in Wyoming, I found 4 spindle backed chairs in a dumpster behind a little cafe.  
The seats were ripped out but other that, they were sturdy and had the original lables.
So I strapped them on the back of my car and drove away......

I found a supplier for natural raw rush for the seats and followed the instructions;  first soaking the rush in warm water, in my bath tub,  then weaving the seats in a nice overlapping pattern.  I used a kitchen knife to push the rush tight and finished any loose ends with a staple.  
Those seats never moved, broke, loosened or sagged....not one bit......  
And I used them every day for over 25 years!!!!

 Here they are around a little table in a beach house we owned for about 10 years.
 The house changed and grew and got re-arranged but the chairs always stayed.
 I finally sold them, right before we sold this little house and the new owner loved them too!
 So here are my new Old Hickory barstools. 
 A little bit less rustic in the finish, the hickory is actually peeled and the backs are done in cane, rather than rush.

 I used a couple of vintage grain sacks for the seats.  
The sacks are similar but don't match, which I like.

 For the third stool, I found this old oak piano stool which adjusts in height and has a great little cane seat and dark metal detailing in the center.

 So there you go...I am so happy to have something to sit on, I can't even tell you!

It's nice to see some new/old friends again!
I wonder how long I will own these......hmmm

Here's to the start of a great week
Hope you are enjoying some wonderful fall weather



  1. I see someone's been busy working on a new blog design. It looks great! I was thinking as I was looking at the few several photos that these would be really lovely with a heavily textured cushion and you went and did it right before my eyes. I think they look great and I like that you've mixed it up with different stools at the counter. Steve

  2. you are one pioneer-ing woman!!!

    great story

  3. You're already putting your special touch on your new home...can't wait to see all the eye candy you'll (hopefully) share with us!


  4. I love the new eclectic stools. The natural vintage touches are definitely 'you'.

  5. Nice job. Isn't it funny how our old "loves" seem to follow us for most of our lives-in one form or another. It's starting to look like home- Hugs- Diana

  6. love the bar stools with the grain seats

  7. Love the stools! I remember seeing Old Hickory furniture in my travels. And I, too, fell in love with it. Unfortunately, I never got any... But there's still time.

    Love the new blog design...
    Jane (artfully graced)

  8. There's something wonderful about something that is rustic yet chic and delicious! Great job Kelley.

  9. I think they have a great little soul. And future!

  10. Such a wonderful post. I loved learning about hickory furniture! The grainsacks looks wonderful with the stools!

  11. You find the coolest things. I want to go shopping with you!

  12. The chairs are fantastic...both the old and the new! I especially love the different seat covers you created!

  13. I also had the same dilemma before, like designing with no definite path. I love mixing and matching things and I can describe my house to be unique, so unique. I can see that you love chairs and it comes in variety. In my case I love designing floors, turning it to art. Every room in our house has a unique floor tile. Stores (Tampa, FL based) offers a lot of choices. Each room can be compared to a showroom. Though many think that this isn't so clean looking for the eye, for me its art!

  14. I have an obsession with grain sacks. I use them for everything. Even a shower curtain once. Your stools look wonderful.

  15. so fun hearing about the hickory stories...
    love the new direction w/the stools too.....
    and your blog design looks vunderful!

  16. Kelley, I see it didn't take you long to start decorating your new place. I love the grainsacks on your barstools and the piano stool is fabulous.
    xo, Sherry

  17. I love old hickory and appreciate the review of the history. I have two arm chairs and two rockers and still count them among the things I don't think I will ever sell!

  18. Hi Kelley,

    You know I love everything you do and this is no exception!!! I really enjoyed this post because you gave an insight from your past and I really love to see pictures from your old beach home etc., I also noticed apart from the new bar stools (and love all three of them by the way), in one of your pictures that you have a chippy blue cupboard in the background....did you get that the same time as the stools???

    Hope you're having a great start to the week. Will call in again soon.
    Take care
    Tasmania, Australia

  19. Great post and I adore your new stools...fantastic!!

  20. Off to a great start already! ;)

  21. Can't wait to see what you do with new home!!

  22. Ohhhhh, I too found an original Old Hickory armchair in a state of dire neglect, brought it home from a dark corner of a local antiques mall, noticed the original Old Hickory identifying plate on the back leg, took it to a local source to have the back and seat re-rushed, magnificent, I've never sat in a more comfortable chair, the seat:back angle was genius, and it was the last thing standing in my then-husband's and my divorce settlement, there it stood, who's going to get to take it away and love it, alas it was not I, too worn down to fight, but I still own the memory of discovery and refurbishment. I'm sure you've seen the many books authored by Ralph Kylloe, he's emerged as the official Old Hickory collector/authority. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, your new digs are lovely.....F.

  23. I'm catching up with my blogs this morning. Love your hickory chairs that you dumpster dove for. I would kill for those!

  24. The stools are great -
    of all things "western" I think I would place men at the top of the list and hickory furniture next ;-)

  25. I love the mix of stools and what a great history story! It makes the stools that much more lovely.

  26. Hello Kelley~ I really enjoyed your blog about Old Hickory. You and I share the same passion for the Company. I am the Old Hickory representative for the state of California. Are you an interior designer? Drop me an email or call me.

    Warm regards,


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