My 10 Favorite Chairs

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A couple months ago I received a copy of Judith Miller’s book Chairs, and it’s been sitting on my coffee table ever since. I finally got a chance to go through it page by page. It’s a fantastic visual compendium of chair styles, complete with the design history of each chair, which really delights a chair addict like me.  I could buy chairs all damn day long. I have a basement full of cool vintage chairs I’ve picked up at various antiques markets and shops just waiting for fresh paint and new upholstery. And I could keep on going.  The chair is such an easy way to make a style statement or try a new look in your home.  If you have a very traditional home but are curious about modern design, adding a streamlined accent chair is a great way to give it a go (and the mix of the two styles, in my book, is the best!)  Regardless of style, a great accent chair is compact enough to move around from space to space and a great way to add punch of color, texture and pattern to a room.

Inspired by Judith’s book I picked out my ten favorite chairs from a variety of sources and price points. What’s YOUR favorite chair?

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1) The Barcelona Chair– my all time favorite chair that someday (mark my words) I will own! It look spectacular in any style of home and will forever be a design classic. There are knockoffs available out there, but like art, the real deal will actually retain (or even increase) in value.

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2) The Starck Louis Ghost Chair– A genius design taking a classic silhouette and crafting it in a super modern material. I adore this chair around a dining table or at a desk (even though it’s not comfortable for those who need to sit in it all day!)

Picture 6 3) Jonathan Adler Faux Bamboo Chair– HE was the one who really brought the faux bamboo craze to life.  The first time I laid eyes on this chair in a room I absolutely freaked. At once modern and retro, preppy and sleek it works in so many applications! This too, will be in my home at some point!

img35m 4) West Elm Scoop Back Chair– Yes, there are more expensive, original versions of this chair, but at $79 for the solid colors how could you go wrong? I love the look of these as side chairs at a rectangle dining tale with a pair of wingback upholstered chairs at each end. A simple, clean look that doesn’t break the bank.

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5) Ballard Designs Louis XV Chair– A true classic re-created by Ballard at an affordable price point in a variety of finishes and fabrics. I love these mixed with more modern accents.

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6) Thomas Pheasant No. 7841 by Baker– I remember the first time  I saw this chair I thought “that is the perfect upholstered dining chair”. I still love it to death.

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7)Artistic Frame French Canopy Chair– This is such a funky, fun chair that has made a resurgence in the design world. I love seeing a pair of them, especially in commercial spaces like hotel lobbies, bars and boutiques.

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8) Eames Management Chair– The best desk chair out there- for it’s looks and comfort! They are a fortune, so look around for some great knockoffs before splurging on one of these bad boys.

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9) Vintage Arm Chairs– Any and all styles. Refinished in a color or in glossy white or black. Upholstered simply with linen or in a modern print. Whatever you choose, there is little I love more than a dramatic, refinished vintage chair.

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10) Room & Board Pierre Chair– A take on the Le Corbusier original this chair looks PHENOMENAL in the corner of a bedroom or office. I love how it adds not only sleek metal lines but also the texture and pattern on cowhide. Yes, please.




24 comments

  1. The book looks like something I too would like to flilp through. I have to say my taste leans towards the more traditional – the Louis XV and the vintage arm chairs. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m totally with you on the Barcelona Chair. One day these too shall be in my home ;)

    Both my & the Beau’s home offices sport the Eames (knockoffs at this point). White for me and black for he.

    Never can I get enough of vintage chairs. Especially in white frames.

    Great picks!

  3. I’m ordering this book right now. I’ve been intending to do it but now you’ve pushed me to it. Who knew, a rhyme? Thanks for the great post, as always.

    Gwen Driscoll
    Ragland Hill Social

  4. What a great post! I think you have selected the best out there! I would love to have any of these in my home! You have made my chair “hunt” much easier!

    ~jamilyn

  5. So fun. Love this post. I too am in love with Barcelona chair. When I was on my honeymoon in Spain two months ago, my husband and I wandered into this mid century modern “antique” shop…and there is was…a Barcelona chair in Barcelona! An authentic one (not DWR). Obviously designed by Mies van der Rohe, but the tag said Thonet who I reserched, took over production in 1932 until 1948. It was a fortune…in Euros even…, but it was so fun to see.

  6. I am a total chair addict! I bring them home like some people bring home stray cats–so I can totally get behind everything on this list! faves include the canopy chair and the louis xv, of course, but there’s a special spot in my heart for the louis ghost (though whenever i sit in it, i feel like it’s going to collapse or melt or something!)

  7. I think it has been close to 5 years ago…but my neighbors throw out 4 chairs similar to # 3 from Jonathon Adler. I was leaving for work and didn’t have time to grab them. They were gone that night. But they were beautiful and they would have been great to redo. I’m not a garage picker by any means but sometimes re-use is a beautiful things when an item has a timeless appeal like Mr Adler’s chairs. All of the chairs above timeless! And I wish I would have grabbed those chairs 5 years ago!

  8. another must have book! thanks for sharing it. my absolute favorite chair is the bertoia wire chair. and i must no strike that, WILL have two by the end of the year. i just love them.

  9. Erin – Because of you, I have the artistic frame French canopy chair from Noir (burlap with nailhead) happily planted in my living room behind the West Elm sawhorse desk. LOVE! I was looking for a chair for the space and you posted quite a while back about Noir. Sure enough…upon browsing on their site, I knew I found the perfect fit. Love the heighth and scale this piece brings to a room. Still lusting after the JA chairs though!

  10. Thankyou soooo much for telling me about Barcelona chair.. and so many others I have been looking for the identity of these chairs for sometime.. Now i have this satisfaction that I can find one when il have room for them.. Thankyou. And i am also interested in that french anopy chair which Sara is tallking about..

  11. I would love to jump on the chair bandwagon, and include the Eames Eiffel. A little Paris in one’s house is always a spectacular thing!

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