Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I just began a class and in a few weeks I will have completely caned a chair seat!  I have to say it is quite a relaxing and enjoyable task.  While time intensive, it is quite a simple and straightforward process compared to upholstery.  And caned furniture always makes me long for the British Colonial era, sitting on some Neoclassical veranda with a cool cocktail dressed in white linen...

I was happy to stumble over this quite excellent Apartment Therapy article about the history of caned furniture.

Stay tuned for the final result soon!

Monday, September 29, 2014


I am so happy to have found a wonderful home for this beauty!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


I thoroughly enjoyed an excellent lecture by Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame last night at Drake University. Wow, what he did at my alma mater Parsons is quite remarkable. I had no idea how integral he was to modernizing the fashion department and really making the school #1 in fashion once again. Well done Tim and thanks for coming all the way out to Des Moines!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I am constantly very pleasantly surprised by the cities of the Midwest.  I spent a lovely long weekend in Minneapolis & St Paul, and in addition to just plain enjoying big city life, I was able to visit the Weisman Art Museum, a Gehry building designed way back in 1993, when his building forms were still developing, almost five years before Bilbao opened to such fanfare.

In addition to a great modern and contemporary collection, I was very excited to stumble upon a wonderful little exhibition of Korean furniture, actually the most complete representation of Korean traditional furniture outside Asia.  Talk about wood to die for, what a treat to see these in person!  And such unusual and intricate metalwork in combination with the wood makes the pieces just gorgeous.  Traditional Korean society was floor-based, so there are no chairs in the collection (darn it), but lots of wonderful casepieces.    The Koreans created special storage boxes for everything; food, linens, valuables, cosmetics, medicines, even hats!

These photos from the collection catalog-

And a few dimly lit close-ups courtesy of my phone-

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I recently completed a project with a wonderful client in Ogden, UT in which we were able to reupholster several family heirlooms as well as purchase some mid-mod and contemporary pieces to round out the desired eclectic mix of modern and traditional, with an overall clean feel.  I am quite pleased with the results, and while there are still a few finishing touches to complete, the space and the furniture has completely transformed.

Here are some before photos (taken by me) and some stunning afters taken by my photographer extraordinaire, Michalene Homme, visit her website here.   Thanks to a wonderful client and photographer!

Overall Before (with large bookcases and heavy furniture which overwhelmed and cluttered the space, and lots of warm tones that blended with the wood walls and ceiling)-

Overall After (with new petite but very comfortable loveseats the client inherited, a simple textured rug, small matching coffee tables easy to move when needed, and fab new lounge chairs in cooler tones, highlighting the rich wood throughout the room)-

Family Heirloom Chair Before (while it still looked quite good, the fabric was better suited to another decade, and the springs squeaked and moaned upon sitting)-

Family Heirloom Chair After (all the innards were fixed up and a gorgeous crushed velvet abstracted flower pattern was applied, with accent welting to give some extra definition to the chair's lines.  The fabric complements the piece so perfectly now, it has a soul again!)-

Mid-Century Chairs Before (sourced from the wonderful SLC shop Mod a-go-go)-

Mid-Century Chairs After (those skirts just had to go, with a clean tapered midmod leg hidden below)-

Custom upholstery and throw pillows make all the difference!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Lovely shot from a new photographer I am trying out here in Des Moines.  I just love the mix of industrial and antique.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I am excited to now be situated in a place where I can hopefully grow my year-old furniture business, Christa Pirl Furniture, and take it to the next level.  As I work towards building this business that is very much my passion in life, I am asking everyone I know to help me out with some feedback.  That includes those of you that might purchase furniture for yourself or for clients.  If you have a few moments, I would greatly appreciate you answering the below survey as best pertains to you-

For Interior Designers-

For non-Interior Designers-

Thank you so much! 

Monday, September 8, 2014


I try to spend a few weeks every summer in Norway, and really miss it when I am only able to make it there in the winter.  I just got back from a glorious two weeks, with wonderful weather, it was even sunny in Bergen (the Norwegian equivalent to Seattle)!  I often stay on the eastern coast of Norway, where my grandfather's family is from, but this time I had the chance to spend three days on the West Coast, in and around Bergen.  This is where the most dramatic scenery exists, with fjords and waterfalls galore.  It is always wonderful to see your 'hometown' or home country in this case, from a different and fresh perspective.  Bergen is the most charming city; how I envy my grandmother her childhood in such an amazing setting.  

And of course, no trip to the west coast of Norway is complete without some time on the water.  Can this be anymore sublime?  I love all the fog in the early morning, but my late morning the sun came through and the water was perfectly still...


However, I have to admit I could NEVER live this remotely!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I am just back from a wonderful trip to my homeland (pics coming soon), and had the good fortune to have a very long layover in my second favorite city (sorry, Big Apple, Paris will always win).  I had enough time to take the train into the city and walk from Penn Station up to the Met and not only get my annual summer fix of the breathtaking NYC skyline on the Met rooftop, but also my fix of fine American furniture in the American Wing, my favorite enclave of the museum.  So, I share my lovely day in NYC with you...

The latest installation on the rooftop of the Met, by Dan Graham, unfortunately I think most of these installations are overpowered by the view...but I love the astro turf!

The American Wing and some of its beauties-

This wood is to die for...

You know how I love that Greek Key...

And of course the Temple of Dendur hall, stunning space and stunning view of the city-

And then it was back to the airport... a perfectly perfect day in the big city.