Windsor Bow-back Chair
Serving Austin & the Dallas Metroplex
Doris Younger, ASID, RID | TX Certified Interior Designer #2977

The Windsor Bow-back Chair

Once upon a time, the king of England was out with his men riding over his country estate on a hunt. All of a sudden the Texas equivalent of a “blue norther” came in off the Irish sea. The temperature dropped suddenly and a piercing wind and rainstorm caught them off guard. They were half a days ride from the King’s country estate home and they were all miserable and freezing cold. The cold penetrated their bones and the King thought he would never be warm again. Suddenly just over a clearing the King noticed a puff of smoke coming from the cottage of a peasant who lived as a serf on his land. To the astonishment of his men, he rode up to the cottage, dismounted and suggested his men ride on. He went up to the door, knocked and when the peasant answered the door asked if he could come in out of the cold. The peasant was so astonished to see his king at his door he was speechless! When he regained his composure, the peasant was more than happy to share his warm cottage with the King. But something else quite extraordinary happened that day. The peasant offered the King a chair that he had made! At best a peasant might have a rustic bench or 3 legged stool so for this man to own a chair and be able to offer it to the King was really quite remarkable. Well the King sat down on the chair, warmed himself by the fire and shared in a hearty stew the peasant had prepared. As he sat there, he began to think about how comfortable he felt. At first he thought it was the good food and the warmth….and, of course, to some degree it was. But eventually he realized it was something more. You see, the King was expected to sit for hours in a highly carved, ornate chair that was designed to impress and intimidate his subjects --- but, to tell the truth, it was miserable to sit on! Here he was sitting in a chair that was actually comfortable and he loved it. So, with the peasant’s permission, he sent the carpenters from his estate home out to copy the chair for his country palace.

The King was of the royal Windsor family and the chair became know as the Windsor bow-back chair as a result. You see, he proudly displayed his country comfortable chairs around the royal dining table and sent out a message loud and clear: Even a King has a right to be comfortable in his own castle!

Just for Fun with Doris Younger Designs

The evolution of furniture from utilitarian to artful is often a key to the manners, mores and means of other times and places.  In that spirit and just for fun, here are “romance” stories about some of those pieces picked up over thirty five years of studying and practicing interior design.  Are they true? I don’t know for sure but if not, I’m sure at the very least they contain seeds of truth in the development of traditional furniture styles and, as I said, just for fun……. Read More fun stories here.