Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Dan Benarcik Chairs


Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I can be rather "persistent" about it (others may say that "obnoxious" is a better word).

Several months ago I saw Dan Benarcik, from Chanticleer, demonstrating the construction of his Adirondack chairs from Chanticleer on Sean Conway's show, Cultivating Life.  It was at that moment that I decided I needed to have THOSE chairs for my not shed.  Many people suggested many absolutely beautiful alternatives, but none were the ones I wanted.

I entered every conceivable phrase into Google to see where I might buy them, I recorded (twice) the episode of the show to make sure I didn't miss any details, and I managed to find an on-line copy of the demonstration, as well.  It was clear I would never be able to buy these.

And then one day my friend Chuck made the (now infamous) mistake of saying, "Show me the video, and I'm sure I can make these for your birthday".  Chuck is a rather accomplished woodsmith, and has done lots of the construction around the Stepchild Garden, including the building of the Not Shed.

Well, after a few months of screeching from Chuck's workshop late at night ("Does your new BFF Dan know they don't even sell wood in that size??" "Why don't I just pull measured drawings out of my butt??", "There is no friggin' way that angle is correct!" etc., etc.), as well as some new names for Dan Benarcik and Sean Conway that I can't even publish, combined with Chuck's adamant refusal to give up, the chairs are done.  And they are freakin' perfect!

Wait until he hears what I'm picturing suspended from that old Sweet Gum in the backyard.........


  1. they are perfect! ;)

  2. My birthday is in May, do you think he would make a pair for me?

    What a beautiful job and the color is perfect.

    I love these chairs!

  3. Wow, those are striking! (I'm not suggesting any actual violence was involved int heir creation.) They go so well with the taupe wall and blue door. It's so awesome Chuck made them for you, even if it was impossible! P.S. Having the mind of a 12-year-old boy sometimes, what I'm imaging dangling from trees is, um, well, scary.

  4. Carla, as much as we all tend to mock her, the three colors on the Not Shed as well as the one on the chairs are all from Martha. I say without reservation that I want to be her in my next life!....ok, maybe not the prison part.....

    Monica, you are indeed a sick woman....that's what makes you lovable!

    So glad to see you're alive and well, Steven....

  5. I am so jealous! You are one lucky dude!.

  6. Hahahahaha! Those are beautiful! I've been on my husband to make us Adirondack chairs! He bought a new saw at Home Depot, and I made a deal with him that it meant he needed to make us furniture. He's working on a potting tool bench. I can't wait for him to make chairs!

  7. Tim,

    I love all those wonderfully eclectic chairs and benches at Chanticleer. Almost any custom made object in a garden enhances it exponentially. Beautifully done.

  8. LOVE your new chairs! My favorite thing about Adirondack chairs is that the level arms are the perfect place to put one's beverage of choice while relaxing ... no table required.

  9. if it's any consolation, there are no measured drawings of the chairs.
    I simply retained patterns from the original decaying chairs themselves.
    Please tell Chuck they look fabulous, and that I know the heartbreak and frustration from building chairs from images and sketches. They really look good. I like them in color, i've never gone there with them.

    Dan Benarcik

  10. Hey I saw that same episode a year ago and did the same thing, looking for patterns. I did find photos of the original designer of this chair and also found it in a garden magazine. Unfortunately I still haven't made the chair. I liked how he had a template or whatever to fit his different pieces together. I like them in red, good job.
    Gerrit Rietveld is the name of the designer, look him up.

  11. They would look tons better on our front porch....really....they would. I don't...suppose? Naaah didn't think so :o/

  12. You'll all notice that Chuck (who happens to follow this blog, as well) isn't saying anything....he's just basking in your compliments!

  13. Really terrific... they look modern & the look vintage. A great addition!

  14. The chairs are lovely and look a bit like the latest offerings from Design Within Reach.

  15. New to your blog. I enjoyed going through reading and enjoying the photos. Love your writing style.
    Those chairs are very nice ! I had a nice time, thanks