The Development of the Elsie Collection

The historic Reford Gardens in Grand-Métis, Quebec wanted to develop a unique collection of chairs for the many visitors who come to the site each summer season, as Alexander Reford, director of the Gardens, explains:

“Reford has become a design destination for many architects and landscape designers to explore the buildings we have built and restored during the 23 editions of the International Garden Festival. Creating a chair is a first for us. Participating in the ideation, critique and delivery of this unique object has been an exciting new adventure. I look forward to enjoying its embrace and offering Elsie’s Chair to our visitors.”

For the collaboration between Reford Gardens and Appareil Atelier, we became inspired by the classic bentwood chairs of the 19th century. After cataloging a range of traditional seating designs that have endured through time, we discovered that the handmade wooden chair remains a timeless classic.

The Elsie chair is generously curved and gives the impression of solidity and comfort, enhanced by the warmth of solid wood. The Quebec red oak is a resistant wood species that will allow several generations to enjoy this chair. Its pronounced grain pattern, which differs from one creation to the next, gives the object a unique and evolving character.

The Elsie chair is a tribute to Elsie Reford, the creator of the Gardens, and is an important creation for both the Reford Gardens and Appareil Atelier. It is the testimony of a deep desire to do better with our material and human resources.

Discover the full Elsie Collection