Window Shopping: The Red Chair

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Making a table is an intimate process for Richard Lyons. He scouts salvage yards around town and beyond for antique doors and frames, paneling and pedestals, then crafts them into new pieces of furniture. To decide on the look for each table, he listens to the feeling he gets from the wood.

"I love to know I'm touching something some guy did way, way back," Lyons said.

Then his wife, Nancy Young-Lyons, paints the tables, picking colors to match the vibe she gets from them. The couple's completed projects are offered for sale at Young-Lyons' Grandview shop, The Red Chair, where their "harvest tables" are the stars of the show.

It's a labor of love, and the pair can tick off where their tables live now like someone might list their children. Some have been shipped as far away as Manhattan and Paris by Columbus shoppers who relocated.

That the hundred-year-old wood might see another hundred years as a family heirloom is what sparks the couple's enthusiasm, Young-Lyons said. She joked that the store should be called "The Green Red Chair."

"I love the yin and the yang - the old and the new," Young-Lyons said.

It's a theme around The Red Chair, where weathered coffee tables, windowed cabinets and painted and reupholstered chairs are arranged alongside ornate lamps and original paintings by local artists.

The selection changes constantly, and it's manager and set designer Jan Bradley's job to make things look just so.

The aesthetic she's infused into the store has earned her a side business with shoppers - repurposing the existing furniture and decor in their homes to bring a new look.

The Red Chair's painted furniture and decorative pieces are simple enough and updated enough to work with both modern and traditional home designs, Bradley said.

The four-year-old shop's name comes from a line in a book Young-Lyons once read that said everyone should have a red chair in their home because it makes the person in it feel special, she said.

And you will find the occasional piece of furniture painted red, but you'll also find much more - frames Lyons made from reclaimed wood, giant vintage Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper signs, upholstered headboards and ornate candle holders are among the store's selections.

"I really love taking the old and bringing it into today's look," Young-Lyons said.

The Red Chair

1644 W. Fifth Ave., Grandview


Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday

For more store news and daily sale updates, click to the Window Shopping blog