CHARLES AND RAY EAMES
A bold iconic chair, the Eames lounge chair was designed for comfort and luxury. With its bent plywood shell, many believe there is no equivalent to this chaise. They did not aim to make a designer classic, their goal was to simply improve existing lounge chairs. To make a lounge chair that is comfortable first and foremost and one that ‘fits like a glove’ 

LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE
The Barcelona chair was designed by Rohe to complement his German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona.  One of the most famous designs of the 20th century, Rohe’s intention was not to produce the Barcelona for the public.   

CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH
The Mackintosh side chair, designed in 1897 by the artist, architect, and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was uniquely inspired by nature.  His designs emphasized natural, organic forms with strong graphic detail.

HANS WEGNER 
According to Wegner, “a chair is to have no backside. It should be beautiful from all sides and angles.”  Although many of his iconic chairs were reduced to the simplest possible elements, “Papa Bear” has often been cited as the chair designed with the most comfort given its precision measured angles and padding. 

LE CORBUSIER  
In the 1920s the iconic architect and designer, Corbu, referred to this classic armchair LC3 as “cushion basket.”  With its chrome exoskeleton, this cube shaped plush classic offers perfection in timeless comfort and style.  

MARCEL BREUER  
A clean break from the more popular heavy furniture designs at the time, the Wassily Chair found it inspiration in the tubular frame of a bicycle. Breuer created a forward-thinking style that presently personified his Bauhaus approach in the 1920s, uniting arts to industrial design.  

VLADIMIR KAGAN  
An iconic and highly acclaimed American furniture designer, Kagan was influenced by materials and forms in nature.  He stated, “I created what I called vessels for the human body.” His mid-century modern creations of organically sculpted wood furniture in sinuous, sleek form are dramatically designed for comfort. 

VARIOUS CHAIR TYPES
 

Bergere: Enclosed, upholstered French armchair well recognized for its beauty and comfort.  Graceful curves, upholstered back and armrests, exposed wood frame and deep, wide seat make an elegant lounge. 

 

 

Fauteuil:  Upholstered French armchair with open arm, intricately carved show wood frame, padded back and curved lines.

 

 

Club Chair:  Definitive, traditional armchair with substantial arms, deep seat, and plush comfort.  Silhouettes and sizes vary greatly.

 

 

 

Wing Chair:  Named for pronounced side wings that extend up from armrests, originally introduced to prevent draft.  Stately, impressive and throne like, a statement piece in any setting.
 

Slipper Chair:  Armless silhouette with lower than average seat (often 15”).  Slender, sophisticated originally enabled women in tight corsets and layers of petticoats to put on and remove shoes and stockings.

 

Barrel/Tub Chair: High rounded back with continuous sloping arms evoking Art Deco period.  Simple, elegant design, most often fully upholstered. 

Occasional Chair:  Accent chair with decorative value runs the gamut in shape and style.  Able to move around freely for additional seating.

 

Chaise:  An elongated style created for relaxation and ability to stretch legs out, often with semi reclining angle.

 

 

Chair and a Half:  An extra wide frame, between an armchair and loveseat.  Versatility allows for lounging, and coziness
 

DIMENSION EXPLANATIONS

Overall Length
The length from outside arm to outside arm.
Overall Depth
From the front-most point to the back-most point. Usually from the front of the seat cushion to the back-most part of the frame.
Overall Height
Measurement from the floor to the top of the back cushion or frame (whichever is higher).
Seat Depth
Measurement from the front of the seat cushion (where the welt is) to the point where the back cushion starts.
Seat Width
Measurement of side-to-side seating space. It’s the distance between the arms, but on armless pieces it corresponds with the length.
Seat Height
Measurement from the floor to the top welt of the seat cushion.
Arm Height
Measurement from the floor to the tallest point on the arm.
Frame Height
Measurement from the floor to the highest point on the back of the frame. 
Skirt Height

Measurement of the skirt. It’s not measured from the floor - it’s just the measurement of the actual skirt because there is approximately 1” of clearance from the floor so the skirt doesn’t drag on carpet. For hardwood floors, skirts can be made longer if desired.

CONCLUSION

 

The chair, anthropomorphic in its form, ascribes to human characteristics.  Arms, legs, backs intersect in what appears a simple feat to the consumer.  However, architects and designers have been fascinated with this object, working toward its perfection through the ages.  The chair is symbolic of the evolving cultural environment with changes in materials, technologies, aesthetics and societal trends.  As stated by the famous modernist architect/designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “A chair is a very difficult object.  A skyscraper is almost easier.  That is why Chippendale is famous.”

Don’t Be Shy.

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© 2019 by Samuelson