My absolute favourite chair of the 20th century, has to be the Tolix. The industrial style shines through in the huge variety of colours it’s currently available in and I can really see how it became so popular – and remains so. It first came on the market in 1934 when practicality, easy maintenance and value for money were all of great importance. It’s lightness and the ability to be stacked means it was used across the world in schools, offices, factories and cafes. One day, I’d love a large dining table with a set of these chairs surrounding it, all in different colours. Find out where to get yours here.
Kartell is another iconic brand that I’d love to have in my home one day. After 60 years on the market, they’ve really developed their unique style with a number of easily recognisable pieces. The Phillippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair, which again is available in a variety of colours is another item on my ever-growing wishlist. Although transparent, the touch of colour would be a great way to add some subtle variance in tone to any scheme. Made out of polycarbonate in a single mold, it’s a great contemporary take on the classic Louis XV style. Visit the website here.
Charles and Ray Eames are one of the biggest design couples of the 20th century, known for their contributions to art, architecture, furniture design, graphic design, manufacturing and photography. They’ve amassed a huge range of chair designs over the years however my favourite has to be the rocking chair below, available at The Conran Shop.
The Panton Chair was conceived by Verner Panton in 1960 and was the first chair to be completely manufactured from one single piece of plastic. It’s adapted well over the years and due to it’s easily recognisable shape has become an iconic design of the last century, making it’s large pricetag something of non importance to any design fanatic.
I couldn’t do a piece on classic chairs without including the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen. There have been many varieties and copy cat versions of this over the years, but here’s a glimpse of the original. With a hefty pricetag it really suits the big office exec I imagine would be using this behind an equally as grand desk. See your nearest store here.
Last but not least, how about the Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen. In his effort to simplify existing designs, the architect-designer said he wanted to ‘get rid of the slum of legs’. He certainly acheived this and the outcome was a sleek, effortless design oozing style and comfort.
There are a certainly plenty more classic designs still on the market today, which at some point I will look into further. Watch this space!