One thing I’m kind of obsessed with is chairs. Because it’s hard to live in a one bedroom, one living room, hardly room to turn sideways apartment, my chair collection is limited. Though I have managed to secure 2 Jeanneret knock-off side chairs, 2 80s dusty desert parsons, and 2 danish style loungers. And a mustard velvet mid-century number I’ve tossed in my closet. I’m not sure how much more I can hold.
When I started this entry years ago, these were the pairings on my mind. Let’s hope they stand the test of time. 🙂
Today’s accent chairs come in so many shapes, sizes, colors, textures! We’re still experiencing a nod to mid-century but now we’re seeing even more use of soft lines, curves, and play. It’s a wonderful time to be a chair. Use them to spruce up any living room, bed room, or study! Best of all? Chairs range in affordability so everyone gets what they want (is anyone else hearing Oprah say “You get a chair! You get chair! You’re all getting chairs!”)!
The Cane Chair
My god. Such a classic. I read an article the other day in House Beautiful that proclaimed, “The Incredible Comeback of Cane.” My bad, I didn’t know she’d gone anywhere. Caned furniture first appeared in Holland, England, and France around the 1660s, thanks to trade with Asia. Caning was typically used for the seats and backs of wooden chairs.
In 1851 Michel Thonet gave us the The No.14, also known as the coffee house or bistro chair. Some consider it the world’s most popular chair. Thonet’s No. 14 revolutionized the furniture industry. The simple caned seat contributed to the chair’s extraordinary lightness, making it less expensive to produce and transport. The original chair was made up of six pieces of wood, ten screws and two nuts. It was the first piece of furniture designed to be shipped in parts to save space during transportation and came with simple instructions to put it together.
And wouldn’t you know, these ideas aren’t new ya’ll. Twentieth century designers like Le Corbusier (the architect who designed Chandigarh, India and outfitted the city’s offices with the caned “v-chair”) admired how the chair contrasted with the heavy old-fashioned upholstery that was in style at the turn of the century. Just like now, they still look good with outdated furnishings!
Here are some fun cane chairs in more modern shapes than the classic Thonet bistro chair.
The Parson Chair
The parsons club chair is probably my favorite chair. The original parsons chair was designed by students at the Parsons School of Design in Paris, France in the 1930s. Its functional and simplistic design blends seamlessly with many different types of décor. The original design sought to retain function and comfort while stripping away excess ornamentation that dominated the furniture designs of that time. The parsons chair was designed to pair with the parsons table, a simple linear design free of intricate scrollwork or other design elements. Together, the two pieces of furniture were ideal for creating a sleek modern look.