The chairs for the Willow Tea House are a successful symbiosis of traditional Scottish and avantgarde forms. Miss Cranston opened here elegant tea salon in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, in November of 1903, possibly slightly earlier. Most of the chairs were ordered in 1903.
Mackintosh had already designed a variant of the chair in 1893 for David Gauld and in 1901 as a bedroom chair for Windyhill. The contrast between the white décor and the dark staining of the chairs emphasised the remarkable lines of what is probably the most famous and successful Mackintosh chair.