Sit­ting Pretty

MAR­SHA’S DED­I­CA­TION TO PE­RIOD-AC­CU­RATE FUR­NISH­INGS WAS THE PER­FECT OP­POR­TU­NITY TO IN­DULGE HER LOVE FOR HIS­TOR­I­CAL CHAIRS.

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“I’m so in love with Gothic chairs,” Mar­sha says. “Most of the ones in my house are Amer­i­can Gothic chairs from the 1850s—i have a Gothic chair in nearly ev­ery room of the inn.”

While each of the in­tri­cate pieces stands out in its own way, one piece takes the cake for many vis­i­tors: an el­e­gant 1700s English chair in the par­lor. “I found it at a junk shop in Ow­nes­boro,” Mar­sha says. “It had the orig­i­nal horse­hair, but the seat was in such bad shape I had to es­sen­tially glue the whole thing back to­gether.”

Mar­sha fre­quents lo­cal shops like Jo Ley Antiques, as well as on­line sites like Ev­ery­thing But the House (ebth.com), to find her trea­sures. But some­times they come by more un­con­ven­tional meth­ods. “Once, one of my reg­u­lar guests went to France, and brought me back an im­ported French Gothic chair,” she says.

When she does run out of room for new pieces in the house, Mar­sha has a built-in backup plan. “I have three kids that have ben­e­fited from my over­flow,” she says, “be­cause when some­thing goes in, some­thing must come out!”

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