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Designer Profile Series: Cecilia Walker

Joanne Lee

Cecilia Walker is a Boston-based interior designer and textile designer. Growing up with an interior designer mother and mentor strongly influenced the path she took to her current field today. She originally graduated with a B.A. in Art History and Economics from Boston College. And after two-years working for a publishing company, Cecilia then spent over twelve years in the fashion industry. She decided to take a leap of faith, leaving the fashion industry and fulfilling a dream more true to her core of textile design. 

 Cecilia Walker in her Boston studio (Photo by: Mike Casey -  CASEY PHOTOGRAPHY )

Cecilia Walker in her Boston studio (Photo by: Mike Casey - CASEY PHOTOGRAPHY)

Getting to know Cecilia...

Favorite dowel chair in the collection

The Bea chair is my favorite in the collection (in the grey finish - coming soon) in one of my hand printed fabrics. I love the distinct circular seat back and the clean lines of the frame, but with the slight curvature in the arms. My favorite detail is the curved apron on the front of the seat. 

Favorite chair in her home

Last year I bought an upholstered club chair from Kravet called the Curry chair and it's my favorite chair in my home because of it's clean-lined, thin tuxedo arms and timeless style. 

Best interior design advice she’s ever heard

My mom (an interior designer and my mentor) always advised me to "Buy the most expensive sofa you can afford." (And only eight-way hand-tied construction.) When I was buying a sofa for my first home, she insisted that I stay away from retail furniture stores and order a custom eight-way hand tied sofa. I did, and it's one of the best constructed pieces in my third home today. She has a pair of Henredon loveseats in her home that she's had for over 45 years - reupholstered only once, that are extremely comfortable and still look new. Because they are vintage, the scale is unique. I want them, and they'll probably last another 45 years.

Favorite item that showcases timeless design

Knoll Barcelona chair and Lindsay Adelman Branching chandelier (both on my want list)

Furniture + family story 

A couple of years ago, I scored a pair of Mid-Century Baker round side tables. The design is so cool -- I love them, although when vintage shopping, condition is key. These had a burled-veneer top that was cracked and peeling in a few places, but I had visions of stripping them down and re-staining. A DIY-er I am not, so instead of storing, they were placed in my family room regardless of their not-so-perfect condition. As a result of their placement, my younger kids have built Lego houses on top of my "precious" vintage tables, or used them to draw and color on top of... and it's easier to let go and actually let them use them, instead of having them as showcase pieces. Again, a testament to quality. Buy well and it lasts well, but buy within your budget. Dowel Furniture allows you to do this!

Announcement: our first collaboration with Cecilia Walker Design is now available

Joanne Lee

Cecilia Walker of Cecilia Walker Designs (Photo by: Mike Casey - CASEY PHOTOGRAPHY)

Intro + About the Collection:

We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Boston-based interior designer and textile designer, Cecilia Walker. We are currently offering her fabrics alongside our customizable chairs, which are all made to order using any of the finishes we have available and matching them with any of her fabrics. See the collection NOW.

Partnering with Cecilia

We are extremely excited to partner with Cecilia Walker not only because of her impeccable design aesthetic but largely because as a company, we strongly resonate with her core values and design philosophy. At our core, we are big believers of family values and embracing our roots. And upon meeting Cecilia and hearing about her inspiration for fabric design stemming for her mother as an interior designer who pushed her to follow her dreams to how her childhood memories ultimately influenced her initial fabric patterns, we knew we had found a great partner to work with! 

Her philosophy as an interior designer focuses on providing clients a timeless style with furnishings made to last also perfectly complements the value we want to provide our customers as a company and what we want people to think of when they first hear of Dowel Furniture. Her knack for creating a lifestyle that promotes home and family also fully reflect our focus on family values as a company. Did you all know that each chair in our collection is named after an actual family member of ours? Yes, we have a ton of family and we can probably keep going.

 A few of Cecilia Walker's textile designs (Photo by: Mike Casey -  CASEY PHOTOGRAPHY )

A few of Cecilia Walker's textile designs (Photo by: Mike Casey - CASEY PHOTOGRAPHY)

The fabric themselves are a perfect combination of old and new - bridging her nostalgic childhood memories of skateboarding on half pipes surrounded by California palm trees and an edginess with clean-lined simplicity.

We absolutely love her and her textiles! We can’t wait to show you all what we have in store! See the collection NOW.

To learn more about Cecilia, check out her Dowel Designer profile and for even more info about her, what inspires her and her interior design portfolio, visit her website at

How to Choose the Perfect Dining Chair

Joanne Lee

Ever buy a dining chair online and upon it arriving in your home, discover that it simply does not work with your dining room and table! Here is a quick guide to shopping for dining chairs online and what to look for to make sure that what you receive will be perfect and make you party ready for that next fete!


Make sure to check the seat width, and the seat height, all the while comparing these measurements in relation to the size of your dining table. Average seat width can range from 16-24 inches - lots of options here. We suggest to pick a seat width no less than 17 inches and as a rule around the 20-24 inch mark for ultimate comfort. (Quick note that arms on chairs add about 1-3 inches on each side)

After checking the seat width, it's time to check the seat height. Average seat height is around 18-22 inches. Always allow 12 inches between the top of the seat and the top of your dining table so everyone has enough room to cross their legs without banging their knees. If buying a dining chair with arms, make sure to leave 7 inches between the chair arm and bottom of the table so that there is enough space for each diner to rest their arms comfortably on the chair.

Note that the above advice is based on regular dining tables with table heights of about 29-30 inches but you must always think of what will work in relation to what you have at home. If you have a huge dining table that would dwarf dining chairs with seat widths of 22 inches, size up! Provide each diner at your table at least 24-30 inches of space for themselves so that no one gets elbowed at dinnertime. 

Here are a few chairs that fit those exact dimensions:

Also, make sure that there is about 36 inches of space between the dining table and the wall behind it or any other piece of furniture. Just so that no one is made to squeeze in uncomfortably to get back in their seat. 


Make sure that it is easy to pull out the dining chair from the table. Chairs with back splats work great as there is space for your hand to pull the chair back using the back splat. Upholstered chairs on the other hand require a bit more effort which is why one would hope that it isn't incredibly heavy. 


We love contrasting styles at Dowel! Just check out our recent post on how it makes such a difference and ups the wow factor in your home. Just make sure that when you are buying something that is a contrasting style such as a modern dining table with traditional chairs - find an aspect of both that unite the combination such as color, leg silhouette, even a common pattern of sorts. 

To summarize the main points:

1. Seat width = 20-24 inches

2. Seat height = allow 12 inches between the top of the seat and the top of your dining table, always leave 7 inches between the top of the arms of the chair and the bottom of the table.

3. Make sure it is easy to move your dining chairs!

4. Make sure that your dining table does not dwarf your chairs or vice versa!