A Modern Classic: Milo Baughman’s 1960’s “Cube Chair” & Designs Of Enduring Impact

Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin: chrome lounge chair  951: 1968 T-Back Chair
Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin: chrome lounge chair 951: 1968 T-Back Chair
A Milo Baughman Design Classic:  The 1968 Cube Lounge T-Back Chair
A Milo Baughman Design Classic: The 1968 Cube Lounge T-Back Chair


“Contemporary is that which is stylish; modern is a set of principles”
– Milo Baughman

“Good design is enduring design”  – Milo Baughman

A Pioneer In Modern Design:  Milo Baughman (1923-2003)
A Pioneer In Modern Design: Milo Baughman (1923-2003)

Timeless modern. Milo Baughman (Milo Ray Baughman, Jr, 1923-2003) was a pioneer in modern design and a leader in late 20th Century modern furniture design. An iconic American designer, indeed.

Of course, the history of design always begins with the history of the designer…with appreciation of the links to the past which brings forth classic American modern style

If design begins at an early age, for Milo Baughman, at the age of 13 it certainly did. As a young man, Baughman was assigned the task of designing both the interior and exterior of his family’s new house in Southern California. Imagine. A young, inspiring designer, indeed. While serving in the Army Air forces during World War II, Baughman continued with interior skills in designing officer’s clubs. For certain, design followed his path. After the war he returned to Southern California to study product and architectural design at the Art Center School of Los Angeles and at Chouinard Art Institute, which would later become the California Institute of the Arts. Baughman’s career would then lead him to design as an interior and custom furniture designer at the Frank Brothers furniture store, the first west coast all-modern specialty store until 1947. The world of American Modern design was emerging and Baughman was certainly a part of it.

Beginning in the mid-1940s until his death his death in 2003, his modern sensibitilties were brought forth in designs for various furniture companies. In 1947 “Milo Baughman Design Inc.,” was established. Baughman would soon be commissioned to design for Glenn of California and Pacific Iron. Baughman is credited at helping to place these companies at the forefront of a new California modernist design movement. The “California Modern” collection created for Glenn of California in 1948 used walnut, iron and formica and “put forth a distinctive Los Angeles style”. Baughman would design for many companies including Mode Furniture, The Inco Company, Arch Gordon, Design Institute America, George Kovacs, Directional, Henredon, Drexel, Thayer Coggin, Inc. and the Murray Furniture. Of note, the “The Milo Baughman Collection” of 1952 for Murray Furniture of Winchendon, Massachusetts, included Baughman’s 1948 desk design for Winchendon which would be included in the Whitney Museum 1985 exhibition “High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design”,” in New York City. For certain, credible appreciation of great style. In 1987, Baughman was honored even further with the induction into the the Furniture Hall of Fame.

Milo & Lee Baughman
Milo & Lee Baughman

Between 1951-1952, amidst Baughman’s design commissions, he and his wife at the time, Olga Lee, opened the Baughman-Lee Showroom, a custom design shop in Los Angeles, offering their services as interior consultants. Lee contributed hand printed fabrics, wallpaper, lamps and accessories to embellish Baughman’s furniture designs. Of interest, both Milo and Olga offered their services as interior consultants.  Certainly an acknowledgement that design is a constant.

Yet of all of the associations with furniture design companies Baughman designed for, including himself, it is his association with Thayer Coggin, Inc. that Baughman is most acclaimed for. From 1953 until Milo’s death in 2003 the 5o year association of Milo Baughman and Thayer Coggin would bring forth to the world of interior design a timeless modern style with excellence of craftsmanship.

Milo Baughman & Thayer Coggin:  Design & Craftsmanship United
Milo Baughman & Thayer Coggin: Design & Craftsmanship United

A furniture manufacturer with a commitment to high quality and style (based in North Carolina and founded in 1953), Milo was commissioned to design  the first line for Thayer’s collection of upholstered furniture. Thayer Coggin paired strikingly with the design vision of clean and modern designs of Milo Baughman to create American contemporary furniture that would endure as iconic modern design that still appeals today. Together they would collaborate on designs, engineering and manufacturing techniques that would in time credit them with the honor of creating a design category in residential furniture that is said to define the Mid-Century modern era of American residential furniture. Original design classics, indeed.

“Milo Baughman and Thayer Coggin worked together to define a classical era of modern furniture in America.
– Mrs. Royale Coggin Wiggin, Thayer Coggin President

“In a way, Thayer and Milo got their start together. Milo came here when the company was in its organizational stage. Thayer was looking for a designer and their relationship began with a handshake agreement.”
-Dot Coggin, Thayer’s wife and spokeswoman

As great style endures, it is wonderful to note that “Thayer Coggin, Inc. and the estate of Milo Baughman have entered into a lifetime licensing agreement, so that the design classics of Milo Baughman would forever be appropriately built by Thayer Coggin, according to their original specification”. Custom made to order and handcrafted by master craftsman by a family owned an operated company still headquartered in High Point, North Carolina. Great quality and style endures.   Baughman is said to have achieved a look that is uncompromisingly modern, but which “never violates the timeless standards of classic good taste” (www.thayercoggin.com).

Of course, a nod to the vintage print advertisements that herald great style...

Vintage Print:   The United Forces Of Milo Baughman & Thayer Coggin
Vintage Print: The United Forces Of Milo Baughman & Thayer Coggin
Milo Baughman & Thayer Coggin:  Design & Craftsmanship Of Modern Appeal
Milo Baughman & Thayer Coggin: Design & Craftsmanship Of Modern Appeal
T-Back Cube Chair:  A Milo Baughman Classic
T-Back Cube Chair: A Milo Baughman Classic
Milo Design Classic (1966): Modern & Enduring Appeal
Milo Design Classic (1966): Modern & Enduring Appeal

And of the chairs of distinctively modern Milo Baughman style….a visual appreciation of enduring design, indeed…

Milo Design Classic/1966:  Interior Appeal
Milo Design Classic/1966: Interior Appeal
Modern Mix Of Interior Appeal:  Milo Design Classic (1966)
Modern Mix Of Interior Appeal: Milo Design Classic (1966)
A Design Classic Of Timeless Modern Appeal:  Milo Baughman
A Design Classic Of Timeless Modern Appeal: Milo Baughman
Cubed Effect Of Open Appeal:  Modern Design Of Milo Baughman
Cubed Effect Of Open Appeal: Modern Design Of Milo Baughman
Open Appeal Of Modern, Timeless Design:  Milo Baughman
Open Appeal Of Modern, Timeless Design: Milo Baughman
Milo Baughman:  Modern & Enduring Style  With Chrome
Milo Baughman: Modern & Enduring Style With Chrome
Vintage Print Advertising:  Milo Baughman & A Modern Mix
Vintage Print Advertising: Milo Baughman & A Modern Mix

It is interesting to note that in his later years, Baughman would lecture and write on the benefits of how great design impacts the lives of human beings and the state of modern design. It is said that his lectures have defined and shaped the very discussion of those aspects for years to come.

“Furniture that is too obviously designed is very interesting but too often belongs only in museums” – Milo Baughman

Consider with appreciation the modern, yet timeless appeal of Baughman’s designs. The “relaxed and timeless quality” of Baughman’s uniquely American and trendsetting designs were and remain highly influential, modern and distinctive and will certainly endure and will continue to be reinvented and revived. An evolution of design, for certain. The “uncompromisingly modern” appeal that Milo offered still holds to the timeless standards of classic good taste. With the design philosophy that furniture should enhance the atmosphere of the space and improve the quality of life, Baughman’s impact lives on. His mastery of creating relaxed residential furnishings and his use of beautiful wood veneers & burled wood, glass, chrome, and lacquer and successfully combining those mediums paired with details and shapes of great design still appeal and offer a modern classic style

Onward,

Kristin

Milo Baughman's Modern & Timeless Appeal
Milo Baughman’s Modern & Timeless Appeal

“When I left Art Center, I thought Modern design would change the world. Now, I no longer have such lofty hopes, but perhaps the world is just a bit better off because of it. In any event, good Modern has already proven to be the most enduring, timeless and classic of all design movements“- Milo Baughman

“With an ongoing interest in 1950s and 1960s design, a lot of my work has been reintroduced and been very well-received. Increasingly, architects are using these mid-century classics from the pioneer producers of this period. I understand because I admire these as well, but it’s a bit unfortunate for current designers with new interpretations of Modern. Going back to the ‘classics’ is playing it safe, which limits opportunities for new concepts in design”- Milo Baughman

Design, Onward….

Wedded Bliss Under Nature’s Canopy: The Outdoor Wedding Reception

Natural Delights:  The Outdoor Reception
Natural Delights: The Outdoor Reception

The outdoor wedding reception under nature’s canopy. Sheer delight of dreamy appeal. On a day in which the moment of a lifetime culminates into a celebration of significance under the sky of natural wonder, those that gather are seemingly transported within the magical setting set forth. Perfection. The scenery that is offered, courtesy of Mother Nature, offers breathtaking, natural elegance that pairs with the elegance of a grand affair. Nature itself provides a spontaneity and perhaps even an unexpected element that brings another dimension to a memorable celebration of life. The natural atmosphere paired with the embellishments of wedded celebration is simply magical. For certain, the charms of nature paired with the joy of a lifetime event are a perfect marriage in entertaining.

Simply stated, the visuals of magical moments of elegant affairs of wedded bliss under nature’s canopy deserve attention and mere appreciation. For those that will plan a moment under the brilliant sun filled sky or under the twinkling, star dotted sky perhaps the images, sourced and compiled from the wide world of the web, will offer inspiration of a grand event yet to unfold. And for those that merely seek inspiration for creating an event under the canopy of nature, may inspiration follow….

Breathtaking Delights Under Nature's Canopy:  Outdoor Wedding Receptions
Breathtaking Delights Under Nature’s Canopy: Outdoor Wedding Receptions
Evening Delights:  Wedded Bliss Under The Stars & Twinkling Lights
Evening Delights: Wedded Bliss Under The Stars & Twinkling Lights
Soft Hues Of Beauty:  The Elegant Outdoor Wedding Reception
Soft Hues Of Beauty: The Elegant Outdoor Wedding Reception
Evening Elegance:  The Outdoor Wedding Reception
Evening Elegance: The Outdoor Wedding Reception
Events Of A Lifetime:  Surrounded By Nature
Events Of A Lifetime: Surrounded By Nature
Outdoor entertaining:  The Elegant Wedding Reception
Outdoor entertaining: The Elegant Wedding Reception
Ambiance & Natural Appeal:  The Outdoor Wedding Reception
Ambiance & Natural Appeal: The Outdoor Wedding Reception
Candlelit Delight:  The Wedded Delight Of Outdoor Receptions
Candlelit Delight: The Wedded Delight Of Outdoor Receptions
Under Nature's Canopy:  The Elegant & Natural Outdoor Affair
Under Nature’s Canopy: The Elegant & Natural Outdoor Affair
Natural & Stunning Delights:  The Outdoor Wedded Event Of Elegance
Natural & Stunning Delights: The Outdoor Wedded Event Of Elegance
Outdoor Entertaining:  The Wedded  Outdoor Celebrations
Outdoor Entertaining: The Wedded Outdoor Celebrations
Outdoor Delights Of Wedded Celebrations
Outdoor Delights Of Wedded Celebrations
Wedded Enchantment:  The Outdoor Affair
Wedded Enchantment: The Outdoor Affair

Consider the beauty and elegance of a wedded celebration under the canopy of nature. Whether the event is filled with beaming sunshine or the twinkling stars from above, the outdoor event will offer memorable moments experienced by all. The beauty of nature is everywhere. Pairing that beauty with the beautiful moments of life? Perfection. Wedded bliss under nature’s canopy, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

“There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature”- Aristotle

Sculptural Form Of Enduring Appeal: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone” Chair

A Classic In Design:  The "Wishbone Chair"
A Classic In Design: The “Wishbone Chair”

The “Wishbone Chair”. The name itself provides intrigue. Pair that with the striking design & craftsmanship and it is no wonder that it has become an icon from the 1950’s of Danish Modern style…

A Design Classic In  Form & Function:  Shape, Simplicity & Clean Lines Of Hans Wegner's 1950's  "Wishbone Chair"
A Design Classic In Form & Function: Shape, Simplicity & Clean Lines Of Hans Wegner’s 1950’s “Wishbone Chair”

In 1944 Danish designer Hans Jorgen Wegner began a series of what are referred to as “China Chairs”. Hans is said to have been inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting upon Ming thrones of Chinese emperors. Who knew? Touching briefly upon this designer’s history…born to a shoemaker, Wegner was trained as a cabinet maker. At the age of 17 Wegner was apprenticed to a carpenter, H. F. Stahlberg, at which time he developed his first design. At the age of 20 he moved to Copenhagen to study at the institution now known as The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design (then known as “The Artisan College”). Beginning his career as an architect, it was as early as 1940 that Wegner began to design for master carpenter Johannes Hansen. The talents of Wegner combined the skills of both and architect and a craftsman produced work that certainly garnered attention. Since 1950, Danish company Carl Hansen & Søn has produced the chair that is known as the “Y”, “CH-24” and iconically, the “Wishbone” chair. It is no surprise that the production of this sculptural chair has never halted.

On the website of Carl Hansen & Søn, it is stated:
Hans J. Wegner is widely considered to be one of the leading figures in 20th century furniture design – and a driving force in the “Danish Modern” movement that changed the way people looked at furniture in the 1950s and 1960s.” -www.carlhansen.com

“A master carpenter first and a designer second: Perfectly finished joints and exquisite forms. A deep respect for the wood and its character and an everlasting curiosity about good materials. He gave minimalism an organic and natural softness. He is considered as “the master chair-maker” and designed more than 500 chairs during the course of his life”. -www.carlhansen.com

Hans J. Wegner ( 1914-2007)   ) Danish Designer/ Carl  Hansen & Søn
Hans J. Wegner ( 1914-2007) ) Danish Designer/ Carl Hansen & Søn

A designer of many chairs, it is perhaps the “Wishbone Chair” of 1949 that has been considered Wegner’s triumph. Clean lines and simplistic design made from natural materials, the chair is certainly striking from all angles. It is perhaps the characteristic “Y”-backed shape that held the strongest reference to this lightweight chair with the steam-bent solid wood frame. A product of skilled wood joinery paired with craftsmanship. Form and function, indeed. A key & unique component to this chair is the seat that is hand woven from paper cord. Of note, paper cord was was a durable material that was developed as a substitute for jute during WWII. Again, who knew? Still used today, it is said that there is over 400 feet of paper cord per chair (120 meters). Imagine! Hand woven style that adds further distinction to a silhouette of great style.

“Many foreigners have asked me how we made the Danish style. And I’ve answered that it…was rather a continuous process of purification, and for me of simplification, to cut down to the simplest possible elements of four legs, a seat and a combined top rail and arm rest”
-Hans Jorgen Wegner

Steam-Bent Wooden Style:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Steam-Bent Wooden Style: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Form & Function In Danish Style:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Form & Function In Danish Style: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair":   Enduring Design
Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”: Enduring Design
Lightweight, Wooden Style:  The "Wishbone Chair"
Lightweight, Wooden Style: The “Wishbone Chair”
Craftsmanship & Design:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Craftsmanship & Design: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Natural Style:  The Curved Form Of The "Wishbone Chair"
Natural Style: The Curved Form Of The “Wishbone Chair”
Straightforward, Clean Style:  Wegner's  "Wishbone Chair"
Straightforward, Clean Style: Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
The "Wishbone Chair":  Striking From All Angles
The “Wishbone Chair”: Striking From All Angles
Distinctive Style & Natural Comfort:  Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Distinctive Style & Natural Comfort: Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”
Wood Joinery & Style:  The Enduring "Wishbone Chair"
Wood Joinery & Style: The Enduring “Wishbone Chair”
Sculptural Design:  The "Wishbone Chair"
Sculptural Design: The “Wishbone Chair”
Hans Wegner's  Triumph Of Design & Craftsmanship:  "Wishbone Chair"
Hans Wegner’s Triumph Of Design & Craftsmanship: “Wishbone Chair”
Timeless Distinction Of Enduring Appeal:  Hans Wegner's "Wishbone Chair"
Timeless Distinction Of Enduring Appeal: Hans Wegner’s “Wishbone Chair”

Whether found in a solid oak, walnut or beech frame or renditions with painted or clear lacquer or an oiled finish, consider with appreciation the classic lines and simplistic style of the “Wishbone” chair. Distinctive style that stands the test of time. For certain, beyond its Modern Danish style, this chair can fit within a multitude of interior spaces. Iconically. A chair of comfort and style. Form and function at its best. Sculptural form of enduring appeal, indeed…

Kristin

“A chair is to have no backside. It should be beautiful from all sides and angles”
-Hans Wegner

“A chair is only finished when someone sits in it”
-Hans Wegner

French By Royal Design: The “Louis”, “Fauteuil” & “Bergere” Chair

French Design Influenced by Royalty:  The "Louis " Chair
French Design Influenced by Royalty: The “Louis ” Chair

The chair of kings. Inspired by the reigns of Kings Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, the “Louis” chair has become an emblem of the Golden Age of the French monarchy and the periods of decorative arts that aligned with their reigns.

These chairs of great style were referred to as “Fauteuil”, which means “armchair” in French (pronounced foe-toy). In terms of antique furniture, “Fauteuil” specifically refers to an armchair with open sides. Also described as a “wide and deep chair with upholstered back and seat with open arms” with a padded top. The “fauteuil à la reine” refers to a “Queen’s armchair” with a square, high back. I adore this variation! Alas, then there is the “Bergere” chair, which is an enclosed upholstered French armchair with an upholstered back with padded armrests on upholstered frames. Fitted with a loose, tailored seat cushion the Bergere is believed to have been designed for lounging in comfort with its deeper and wider seat than compared to a Fauteuil chair. I certainly covet both of these variations! Of note, Bergere chairs may have flat,“raked” backs (à la reine) or have coved backs which sweep without a break in to the armrests (known as a Marquise). No matter the styles and variations, these antique French chairs typically featured carved wooden frames that were gilded or painted and upholstered in fine silk that was often embroidered with delicate flowers. Timeless design which now provides a bevy of options with modern upholstery choices, for certain.

Royal variations Of The "Louis" Chair
Royal variations Of The “Louis” Chair
The Timeless "Louis" Chair:  Inspired By The Reigns Of French Kings
The Timeless “Louis” Chair: Inspired By The Reigns Of French Kings

Of course, an appreciation of history-royal, French history…
The entrance of the first “Louis” chair began in the late 1600’s towards the end of Louis XIV’s reign. The Baroque styled chair is said to have flourished during that time and would eventually evolve into a more lighter, graceful chair that was even more ornate. Following with the reign of Louis XV, the 17th century French salons would hold “Louis” chairs of Rococo style in which you could imagine French intellectuals gathering to ponder art, literature and politics. Alas, the “Salon Chair”. Iconic chairs, indeed. During the reign of Louis XVI the revival of the classical forms brought forth a “Louis” chair of Neoclassical style. Of interest, by the 1800’s, a typical French salon suite would hold a sofa, a chaise lounge and an armchair for both the ladies and the gentleman. Refined settings of the Victorian era for conversations in a room of grand style! Alas, the regal permanence of the “Louis” chair within the interior has endured!

Although my focus on this chair merely touches upon its French history and classic form, a visual appreciation of the Kings that the “Louis Chair” evolved under is important in the appreciation of this art form of function and style. Gathering a royal visual paired with an artistic compilation from sources on the internet, a visual appreciation of a King’s reign and stylistic period influences that resulted….

Louis XIV (1643-1715): The  Baroque "Louis: Chair
Louis XIV (1643-1715): The Baroque “Louis: Chair
Louis XV (1720-1760):  The Rococo "Louis Chair"
Louis XV (1720-1760): The Rococo “Louis Chair”
Louis XIV (1769-1790):  The Neoclassical "Louis" Chair
Louis XIV (1769-1790): The Neoclassical “Louis” Chair
A Chair Of Kings:  The French Armchair Of Timeless Style
A Chair Of Kings: The French Armchair Of Timeless Style
Upholstered Design Of Classic Style:  The French "Louis" Chair
Upholstered Design Of Classic Style: The French “Louis” Chair
French Chairs Of Distinction:  The "Louis" Chair
French Chairs Of Distinction: The “Louis” Chair
Carved Distinction & Upholstered Style:  The Louis Chair
Carved Distinction & Upholstered Style: The Louis Chair
Interior Classics:  The French Chair Of Kings
Interior Classics: The French Chair Of Kings
The French Chair Of  Regal Distinction:  The "Louis" Chair
The French Chair Of Regal Distinction: The “Louis” Chair

Consider the history of the form and function of these regal French chairs. The beauty and elegance of the “Fauteuil” and “Bergere” chairs, with or without armrests, endures within interiors and will continue. Classics. Although the variations of these stylish chairs are many, the one characteristic that will remain in all of these “Louis” chairs is timelessness. Again, a mere touch upon this classic and iconic chair of form and function. Elegant chairs that fill our interior worlds with timeless style. French by royal design: A chair of kings, indeed…

Kristin

Sculptural Form With Function: The Industrial “Draftsman” Stool Within The Interior

Adjustable Heights Of Purpose And Function:  The Draftsman Stool
Adjustable Heights Of Purpose And Function: The Draftsman Stool

The vintage drafting stool is an element of Iconic 20th century design. A design from the 1900’s, these industrial draftsman stools provide humble appeal when found within the interior. Perfect as extra seating or a distinctive perch from which to draft our own “plans”, these sculptural silhouettes hold a timeworn appeal that earns an appreciation of its past…

Of the many variations of this iconic stool, perhaps the designs of the Toledo Metal Furniture Company can be deemed as the “Icon” of sculptural form. The “Toledo Metal Furniture Company” was initially founded in 1857 as a division of Banner Metal Inc, in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. What began as a bicycle company (Uhl’s Cycle Emporium) in Toledo, Ohio would become the springboard that was founded and designed by brothers Philip E. Uhl & Clement R. Uhl. Who knew? In fact, from a family of ten brothers, (imagine!) other brothers would join forces in the cause for design. Believed to be inspired by America’s shift from bicycles to automobiles during the “Machine Age”, the Uhl brothers would set their focus to manufacturing ice cream parlor furniture. Alas, the metal ice cream chair! Renaming their company “Uhl Art Steel”, they would incorporate as the Toledo Metal Furniture Company in 1904. The Uhl brothers would begin to design various pieces of office and school furniture with industry grade steel that would eventually be linked to the “Industrial” look. By 1920 the company expanded to over 150 employees and the designs and products had expanded to include office and classroom furniture. But perhaps the hallmark of the company’s patented designs is linked to the “locked truss-rail leg” assembly of steel of the draftsman stool during the 1930’s that iconically endures as a aesthetically pleasing design element within the interior. Form and function. Minimalism of the “Machine Age” design, for certain. “Built to last a lifetime” with enduring distinctive style and versatile function.

Industrial Appeal & Character:  The "Vintage" Drafting Stool
Industrial Appeal & Character: The “Vintage” Drafting Stool
Vintage Images:  The "Draftsman"
Vintage Images: The “Draftsman”

A “Drafter”, “Draughtsman” or “Draftsman” historically referred to an individual who prepares detailed “technical drawings and plans under the direction of an architect or engineer”. The term also refers to a “visual artist who specializes in artistic drawings”. In the past, drafters sat at drawing boards with pencils, pens and drafting devices such as compasses, triangles and protractors, to prepare a drawing by hand. Alas, the artistry and skill of the hand vs. the technology of CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) that would eventually replace the drafting board during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The evolution of technology. Yet, an appreciation for the original drafting stools with varnished oakwood or maple press-board seats, adjustable height and adjustable backrests paired with a pivoting base. Designed to endure. The ability to adjust the height by swiveling the seat up or down rather than a spring level. Again, function and form. The heavy steel and wood materials allowed for heavy use and durability. The early Toledo designs received a copper oxidization treatment known as “Japanning”. The effect created was a marbling black matte appearance with the sheen of copper that was popular during the turn of the 20th century. Of course, as all things evolve, fashion forward to the 1960’s and the arrival of thick molded seats and backs of solid plastic that would appear. But alas, the patina of wood and metal endures. Of course, with the arrival and success of any design opens the path for similar designs and aesthetics of form and function. The “Toledo Stool” is not alone within the archives of industrial furnishings. Yet perhaps it is one of the iconic companies that had behind its helm visionaries who utilized materials available to create adjustable use in wood and metal. Defining design, for certain.

The Drafting Tool:  A Wood & Metal Silhouette Of Function
The Drafting Tool: A Wood & Metal Silhouette Of Function
Dimensions Of Adjustable Height:  The Drafting Stool
Dimensions Of Adjustable Height: The Drafting Stool
The "Toledo Stool":  1900's Industrial Function & Durablity
The “Toledo Stool”: 1900’s Industrial Function & Durablity
The Toledo Company: Vintage Advertisting
The Toledo Company: Vintage Advertisting
Vintage Industrial & Mid Century Modern Appeal: The Drafting Stool In The Interior
Vintage Industrial & Mid Century Modern Appeal: The Drafting Stool In The Interior
Sculptural Appeal & Timeworn Character:  The Draftsman Stool
Sculptural Appeal & Timeworn Character: The Draftsman Stool
The Draftsman Stool:  Timeworn Design Of Purpose & Function Paired Within The Interior
The Draftsman Stool: Timeworn Design Of Purpose & Function Paired Within The Interior
Versatile Variations Of Form & Function:  The "Draftsman" Chair
Versatile Variations Of Form & Function: The “Draftsman” Chair
Adjustable Height With Timeworn, Industrial Appeal:  The Iconic Draftsman Stool
Adjustable Height With Timeworn, Industrial Appeal: The Iconic Draftsman Stool
Timeless Style WIth Form & Function:  The "Draftsman" Stool
Timeless Style WIth Form & Function: The “Draftsman” Stool

Whether a vintage stool is acquired with varnished oakwood, bent plywood or a striking modern variation, the timeless silhouette of industrial appeal endures. Variations abound. Consider with appreciation the classic, industrial draftsman stool within the interior. Whether with a fully adjustable seat with a backrest or an adjustable stool from which to perch, the function of this skillfully designed stool is certainly a classic icon of 20th century design. Mid Century appeal that swivels with patina. A perch with industrial appeal. A durable steel seating option with the warmth of wood that endures. A sculptural form with function, indeed…

Kristin

The “Parsons Chair”: A “Slipper Chair” Of Timeless Appeal

Streamlined & Timeless Style:  The Parsons Chair
Streamlined & Timeless Style: The Parsons Chair

The “Parsons Chair”. Streamlined versatility of function and comfort. A classic chair of timeless design, the upholstered or slipcovered chair is typically crafted of hardwoods and features a slightly curving, squared backrest and legs. A visually solid chair iconically embellished in fabric. The Parsons Chair provides simplicity with distinctive style. Perhaps, to deepen one’s appreciation for this unique and timeless design, an appreciation of its past is in order…

The “Parsons Chair” was created in Paris in the 1930’s by the Parsons School of Design. Of interest, what is known as the Parsons school was begun as the Chase School in 1896 by renowned American Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). Chase founded the New York school and led a small group of students who withdrew from the Art Students League of New York in search of individualistic expression. The Chase School and the icons of early American Modernism perhaps is what brought to the school in 1904 the vision of Arts educator Frank Alvah Parsons. In 1921, with a vision of art and design’s link to industry, Parson would initiate a satellite school in Paris, France. This satellite school is said to have been the first art and design school founded abroad by an American school. Who knew? In 1941, the school would be named in his honor. Parsons would soon become the sole director of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art and continue to provide vision for the future. A vision that would continue to inspire the world of art and design, indeed…

Frank Alvah Parsons  (1866-1901)
Frank Alvah Parsons (1866-1901)

And of this chair of simplistic and linear design from the 1930’s? The Parsons School designers are said have streamlined “excess ornamentation” and the historical influences that reflected the periods of Arts & Crafts (1880-1910), Art Nouveau (1890-1905) and of course, the era that the 1930’s was layered within: the Art Deco period (1910-1940). The styles that dominated furniture designs of the time would certainly inspire the design of this enduringly modern, yet timeless chair. Function and comfort were also a focus in addition to the classic and modern influences resulting in a chair of distinction. Said to present “Classic Modernists traits of natural, simplistic and linear design” the enduring traits follow this stylish object of purpose and function within the interior, for certain. Of note, the original Parsons design is said to have been upholstered in leather. Again, who knew?

The  1930's "Parsons Chair" /Parsons School of Design
The 1930’s “Parsons Chair” /Parsons School of Design

However the chair is covered over its linear form, the chair itself was historically considered to be a transitional piece of furniture. Of additional interest, the Parsons Chair was first designed as a part of a matched set of furnishings. Designed for use in a dining table suite with 4 chairs and a table, both were intended to reflect a similar aesthetic. The linear and simple design of both provided a contrast to the heavier dining furniture of the early 20th century that tended to visually dominate a room. The light and airy appeal of the sleek variation to interior style provided a versatile and functional appeal. The Parsons Table and Parsons Chair were created as companion pieces yet perhaps due to the simplicity and versatility of both has led them to be incorporated separately into many interior styles. Parting ways within the interior, the adaptable style certainly provides a striking appeal in any setting. Certainly, an evolution in design. Both, perhaps, integrate historical influences while presenting a modern edge that still stand the test of time today. The table, like the chair, holds a simple elegance that endures. (Alas, perhaps the iconic Parsons Table is another topic to dwell upon…)

The Classic Parsons Table
The Classic Parsons Table
Upholstered Slipcover Of Classic Style:  The Parsons Chair
Upholstered Slipcover Of Classic Style: The Parsons Chair
Classic Influences Of Adaptable Style:  The Parsons Chair
Classic Influences Of Adaptable Style: The Parsons Chair
Transitional Simplicity Of Enduring Design:  The Parsons Chair
Transitional Simplicity Of Enduring Design: The Parsons Chair

Consider the versatility and timeless appeal of the Parsons Chair. Choices and stylistic preferences abound, for certain. Incorporated into the interior, this stylish chair blends in any setting while standing out in distinctive style. Although there are variations of this classic chair that are absent of the adornment of fabric, perhaps it is the classic beauty of this chair is the fabric that swathes its upholstered form. Although there is an almost regal elegance when covered in upholstered or slipcovered fabric, there are certainly variations that retain no layering in upholstered style but rather the linear form itself. Options absent of the adornment of fabric yet options of great design. For certain, the design has evolved. But what remains consistent is the elegant simplicity of design. Enduring style. Whether wrapped in leather, tailored coverings of slipcovered style or even smaller and shorter designed chairs with or without armrests, the classic “Parsons Chair” holds a timeless appeal that endures, indeed….

Kristin

“Industry is the nation’s life, art is the quality of beauty in expression, and industrial art is the cornerstone of our national art” – Frank Alvah Parsons, 1920

Natural Woven Octagonal Patterns Of Distinction: The “Caned” Chair

Distinctive Design:  Laced Straps Of Cane
Distinctive Design: Laced Straps Of Cane

An appreciation of the beauty of the woven artistry and craftsmanship of cane weaving. Laced straps of cane in a pattern of distinction. Natural appeal, for certain.

The artistry that is entwined in a woven seat or panels of a chair is worthy to be appreciated. Woven in what is referred to as the “Seven-Step Caning” (producing the the pattern of octagonal holes), the caned chair gains appreciation within interiors, laced with its history. Crafted from peeled off bark/outer skin from the flexible, woody rattan stalks (a climbing vine plant in the palm family and commonly found in Indonesia), the natural cane that laces a distinctive pattern assumes a glorious yellow coloring during the drying process. Durable and light, the added benefit beyond its design is the ability to not warp or crack from high heat or humidity. Interior bliss in warmer climates, for certain. Of interest, the “skin” of the bark is cut into “cane strips” of uniform width and depth. The strips are referred to as the “peel”. Processed into thin strands, the “cane” is used for not only weaving seats and backs for chairs, but is also used as a “Binding Cane” to “wrap” the arms and legs of furniture. Stylistic designs within history, for certain. To summarize, the material is referred to as “Cane”, the process (or art) is referred to as “Caning” and the product is referred to as “Caned Furniture”. However it is referred, the artistry of the craft of caning is certain to be appreciated. A design element of ancient style.

“Caning” is an ancient technique of weaving that originated as basket material that Egyptian Pharaohs would possess and utilize. The art of “caning” has certainly withstood the test of time as an art form of distinction. Of note, the art of the cane bottom chairs is believed to have originated in China. Lightweight and airy, it is perhaps the European inclusion of this natural element that brings forth historical distinction even today. Cane furniture first appeared in Holland, England and France during the 1600’s due to trade with Asia. As a style that remained popular during the 17th century Jacobean period, American and European craftsmen hand constructed and incorporated woven cane into the furniture that adorned the interior. Alas, it is even said that Marie-Antoinette coiffed her hair (with assistance, that is) while perched on a lightly covered caned chair. Who knew? In 18th century England’s Regency period caned chairs (often referred to as “faux bamboo”) were designed with finely crafted cane seats. It is no wonder that the “caned” furniture would continue with its lightweight appeal. At the turn of the century a revival of the Regency style brought forth an increase in the number of pieces of furniture using cane. Bergere chairs would also became popular with cane back and side panels. Classic and elegant elements of interior design. In the 19th century, it is said that “Cane” furniture became associated with Dutch and English Colonial furniture as both countries had colonies within Indonesia and India. Supply and demand. A direct source for rattan that was easily accessed. Of course, one must mention the gift in cane that was presented during the mid 19th century- Thonet’s cafe chair (Chair No.14) (A previous post: Unchanging Style & Design: The Bentwood Chair, N. 14). In 1859, Thonet revolutionized the furniture industry with the simplicity of the cafe chair and its “caned” seat version. Considered a modernist endorsement, the chair of “caned” style has continued to represent timeless design with extraordinary lightness.

As a side note, it is said that during the 18th century the decline of seats in woven cane resulted as the affluent began to request period chairs (such as Chippendale and Sheridan) with leather or tapestry seats. Who knew that during this time the “caned” bottom chairs would eventually be found primarily within “Common” interiors? Yet there is nothing common about a “caned” chair. It is timeless within the interior. Whether found as a seat base or lining the panels of a chair in a stylized manner, the cane pattern is appealing with its textural interest and open woven style. Classic design, indeed…

Archival Images Of Caning:  The Cane Chair
Archival Images Of Caning: The Cane Chair

And to provide additional insights into the arrival of woven cane embellished chairs in American interiors? Cane bottom chairs gained popularity in America around 1820 with the arrival of industrialization and the dawn of factory built furniture. The beginning of the American expansion post the war of 1812 paired with economic independence from Great Britain was met with a rapidly growing population. In addition, new technologies and industrialization created wealth and a widespread middle class. To meet the supply and demand, it is believed that the ease of production of the spindle and dowel chair with a caned bottom (requiring less wood) provided a solution. “Cane” was the perfect natural element. Mass production resulted with the creation of a seat weaving “cottage industry” in which the seat frames would be constructed in the factory and then distributed to the local weavers to cane the seat at their private residences. Imagine! The completed seats would be collected and quickly assembled with the chairs in the factory. Artistry paired with industrialization, indeed. Of note, cane bottom chairs are said to have reached the peak of popularity between 1860-1890. After 1890, the decline it is thought to be a direct result of the increasing expense of the weaving. Manufacturers replaced the hand crafted weaving with machines. Alas, the artisan demise at the hands of industrialization. Producing the machine woven cane in sheets, like woven cloth, the sheets of cane would be glued into a groove around the edge of a seat rather than the peg system that supported the hand woven cane. By 1900, all American furniture manufacturers began using machine woven cane for chair bottoms in the full range of their furniture styles. It’s distinctive pattern of woven style has never left the interior world. Perhaps, with an appreciation of its appeal within our modern world proves that the octagonal patterns will remain in enduring style

Distinctive Style With Natural Woven Cane
Distinctive Style With Natural Woven Cane
Patterned Weaving: The Octagonal Holes Of Caning
Patterned Weaving: The Octagonal Holes Of Caning
The Timeless Beauty Of The Woven Caned Chair
The Timeless Beauty Of The Woven Caned Chair
Distinctive Patterns Entwined With Artistry:  The Caned Chair
Distinctive Patterns Entwined With Artistry: The Caned Chair

Consider the “caned” chair. Whether a chair that is an original classic example of woven artistry or a completely restored and rewoven cane chair, whether paired with walnut or mahogany wood with distinctive inlays or simple in form, the “caned” chair earns distinction within our interiors. Classic and timeless appeal within any space. Woven craftsmanship. Natural laced straps of octagonal pattern of distinction, indeed…

Kristin

The Timeless Allure Of Elegance & Whimsy: “Chinoiserie”

The Timeless Appeal Of "Chinoiserie"
The Timeless Appeal Of “Chinoiserie”

“Chinoiserie” is a French term that is said to signify “Chinese-esque”. An Asian influence that impacted interior design, for certain. “Chinoiserie “ was expressed in architecture and the decorative arts of Europe since the mid to late 17th century. The term “Chinoiserie” has referred to the “recurring theme in European artistic styles which reflect Chinese artistic influences”. The peak of its popularity is said to have occurred around the middle of the 18th century. Considered a “mixture of Eastern and Western stylistic elements for both the decoration and shape”, it is no wonder that its classic design has remained an interior design standard. Of note, not every adaption of Chinese design falls within “Chinoiserie”. “Chinoiserie” is characterized by the use of fanciful and whimsical Chinese imagery by “asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale”. Not to be confused with deliberate or naturalistic depictions of Chinese designs, the world of Chinoiserie was more of imaginative imagery and whimsy. Featuring pagoda shapes, birds, fish, chrysanthemums and even dragons, bells and latticework, the incorporation of Chinoiserie was certainly varied. Bamboo detailing and fretwork further embellished the world of Chinoiserie. Chinoiserie was produced in fabrics and elegant hand-painted sheets of wallpaper, and an array of furnishings, textiles and decoration which brought with it an appearance of fanciful representations of Asian inspired interior decoration. The elements of Chinese porcelain vases, ceramic figurines and details of tabletop ornamentation provided a myriad of incorporations of Asian style within the interior. Beyond the fabrics and stylized furniture and decoration, the imitation of Chinese porcelain was a large part of Chinoiserie. The imitation technique known as “Japanned” involved the heavy use of black “lacquer” with a smooth, glossy finish. Thus, the world of Chinoiserie covered a multitude of decoration that went beyond the interior to include architecture and influences within the garden. That said, it is the interior influence that my attention falls. The designs of Asian influence that fill interior spaces.

The influence of the study of Orientalism brought Chinoiserie to the European sphere and was embraced into the various designs of the artisans of the time. Perhaps inspired by the mystique of the Orient, admiration of Chinoiserie grew in popularity. In fact, European monarchs, such as Louis XV of France, favored Chinoiserie blended among the designs of the 18th century Rococo style of painting and decoration characterized by lightness, delicacy, and elaborate ornamentation. Certainly a perfect blend for the whimsical form of Chinoiserie elegance. Of interest, it is believed that the decline of Chinoiserie occured when Europeans began to view it as the very “antithesis of Neo-Classicism”. Who knew? Certainly, in time, the Chinoiserie style had secured itself as a timeless design style of its own…

"Chinoiserie":  Visual Representations Of Stylized Design
“Chinoiserie”: Visual Representations Of Stylized Design
Themes Of Whimsy:  "Chinoiserie"
Themes Of Whimsy: “Chinoiserie”
"Chinoiserie":  Elements Of Worldly Appeal
“Chinoiserie”: Elements Of Worldly Appeal
Bright Delight:  "Chinoiserie" Style
Bright Delight: “Chinoiserie” Style
Representations Of Asian Inspiration:  "Chinoiserie"
Representations Of Asian Inspiration: “Chinoiserie”
"Chinoiserie"  Styled Chairs
“Chinoiserie” Styled Chairs

Of course, one cannot touch on the subject of Chinoiserie without referencing the chairs influenced by the style of Chinoiserie. A century after the introduction of the Chinoiserie style, English cabinetmaker, Thomas Chippendale, interpreted the Chinese motifs and applied the designs which included the embellishment with fretwork elements to furniture and chairs. The chair itself is referred today as “Chinese Chippendale” and remains a design icon. The provisions by an array of artisans over time have further embellished the Chinoiserie style chairs. Timeless, indeed. Whether carved embellishments or the addition of faux bamboo elements, heavy lacquer and Asian influences created an appeal to tastemakers from the past up until the present. An enduring design classic..

"Chinoiserie" Chair Inspirations
“Chinoiserie” Chair Inspirations
Colorful & Bold Interpretations Of Timeless Design:  "Chinoiserie" Designs
Colorful & Bold Interpretations Of Timeless Design: “Chinoiserie” Designs

And of the modern influences of the Chinoiserie style? Like fashion, the reinterpretation of a classic in a myriad of colors add a modern element to these legends of Asian influence.

For certain, various styles of interior decor blend with the stunning elegance and whimsy of the far Eastern designs. A harmonization of 18th century style with modern day style. The whimsical delight of Asian influence provides a timeless allure of classic appeal. Elegance and whimsy, indeed.

Kristin

Distinctive Aroma And Appeal: The Sublime “Cup Of Coffee”

Distinction Of Flavor:  Coffee
Distinction Of Flavor: Coffee
Daily Enchantment Of Dark Roasted Strength
The Daily Enchantment Of Dark Roasted Strength

Coffee. That heavenly brewed beverage of distinctive aroma and flavor. The appeal and allure of the dark brew. The start of my day. A morning requirement, indeed…

Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks in the world. It is no wonder. The “Coffea plant”, with its seed (or “Cherries”) that grow on its small evergreen bush, is cultivated in over 70 countries but primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. The two most commonly grown and most highly regarded are the “Coffea Arabica” and the “Robusta” form of the hardy “Coffea Canephora” plant. Of note, it is said that “Green” (Unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Who knew? But pitter-patter goes my heart for the ripened “berries” that are roasted to varying degrees to produce the desired flavor of perfection before being ground to one’s brewing standards of perfection. A gift of nature, indeed. The preparation and presentation of coffee could certainly be considered an art. What we can all agree upon, on a daily basis, is that the slightly acidic brew certainly provides a stimulating effect on us. Alas, caffeine. The caffeine content in coffee is perhaps a draw to those of us awakening our senses in the early hours of morning’s dawn. But beyond this attraction and allure, the deep love for the taste of this dark brew is my focus of appreciation. The sublime “cup of coffee”

Nature's Gift Of The Coffee Bean
Nature’s Gift Of The Coffee Bean

The first reference to “Coffee” in the English language dates to 1598 in the form of the word “Chaoua”. In English and other European languages, coffee derives from the Ottoman Turkish “Kahve”. The Turkish word, borrowed from the Arabic “Gahwah”, a verb that signified “to have not appetite”, as this beverage of dark, bold strength was thought to dull one’s hunger. Alas, quite the opposite, but that certainly does not stifle my desire to acquire the dense “Cup-O-Joe” on a daily ritualistic basis. The history of the cultivation of coffee began in Southern Arabia. In fact, evidence exists that coffee drinking appeared in the middle of the 15th century in Yemen. In fact, in Yemen and East Africa, coffee is said to have created controversy when it was used in native religious ceremonies that caused competition with the Christian Church. As a result, its secular consumption was banned by the Ethiopian church until the reign of a new Ethiopian Emperor began (Emperor Menelik II). This brew was also banned in Ottoman, Turkey, during the 17th century based on its associations with rebellious political activities in Europe. Again, who knew a cup of coffee could possess such a history? This brew of dark glory certainly had a rough beginning making an indelible mark of distinction to the world! From Ethiopa the beverage was introduced into the Arab world through coffee seeds with traders from Egypt and Yemen. These smitten traders returned to their homeland to cultivate theses berries that offered so much taste and delight. Eventually, it was “smuggled” out of the Middle East from Yemen to India in 1670. In fact, by the 16th century, coffee had reached the rest of the Middle East, including Persia, Turkey and northern Africa. Coffee quickly spread to Italy and the rest of Europe, Indonesia and to the Americas. Of further interest, it is said that it was the thriving trade in Venice, Italy, that brought its introduction to the rest of Europe. Coffee became widely accepted after it was deemed a “Christian beverage” by Pope Clement VIII in 1600. Yet again, who knew? The Dutch East India Company was the first to import coffee on a large scale in the 1700’s. Through this, England took hold of coffee’s allure, as well. Oxford’s infamous Queen’s Lane Coffee House was established in 1654 (still serving this delectable brew today!). France also became enamored with coffee’s power. In 1657, Austria and Poland followed the distinctive aroma’s course of infiltration after the Battle Of Vienna when coffee was captured from the defeated Turks. Alas, the power of history. When coffee arrived in North America during the Colonial period, its popularity and demand heightened further when tea from Britain was temporarily cut-off after the War of 1812. The scarcity of tea gave rise to the American’s taste for coffee. In fact, the high demand that embarked for the allure of the unique aroma and flavor of this dark brew rose during the American Civil War paired with advances in brewing technology. Indeed, coffee was a secured morning commodity in the United States (Interestingly, the consumption of coffee actually decreased in England as the British dedication to tea became its unvarying form of drink perference. Tea is certainly to be revered (that is perhaps another discussion). The history of coffee, however, and its aroma and fine bouquet of scent and its refined taste that traveled through the world that craved it goes beyond what is mentioned here. For those that are intrigued to dig deeper into the importance of this plant and its gift of its yield, I encourage you onward! For me, the appreciation of this drink of intensity is a daily experience that ends in an empty mug (or two…). Drained of the liquid that it held with steaming delight, my love affair with this cup of distinctive aroma and flavor, the esteemed “Cup Of Coffee” continues onward. Daily…

Art Deco Bauhaus Poster Print
Art Deco Bauhaus Poster Print
Daily Pleasures:  The Stimulating Allure Of Coffee
Daily Pleasures: The Stimulating Allure Of Coffee
My Favorite Moment With The  Cup Of Dark Delight:  Paris, France 1997
My Favorite Moment With The Cup Of Dark Delight: Paris, France 1997

And of the chair of perfection from which to perch while reveling in appreciation of drinking the perfectly brewed libation of dark color and intense flavor? Why, the woven “Bistro Chair”, of course. Sharing with you my favorite memory with a memorable espresso in Paris, the photographed image I captured from behind the lens, continually takes me back to a glorious moment. Oh, the taste. I recall it well. Intense, bold and absolutely memorable. And in regard to these chairs that await those passerby’s with anticipation? I adore these chairs (In fact, so much so that I have already expounded upon them in a past blog- “April in Paris- The Bistro Chair”/April of 2012). The Bistro chairs are iconic in the visual image of cafe perfection. Certainly, the French have an inside understanding of the perfect cup of “coffee” and how to enjoy it. In fact, European coffee and its standards have also been upheld in the United States (and the world). That is for certain. The quest for finding and appreciating these coffee houses can be considered a daily and lifelong obsession by many. Oh, the allure of the excellence of coffee! Endless desire and continual appreciation of the exclusive taste of the dark brew...

Classic “Cafe” Seating: The Bistro Chair
Coffee & The “Cafe”: A Love Affair
The Roasted Appeal Of Coffee: A Part Of The “Daily Grind”

Oh, the energizing effect and sublime taste of coffee. Glorious taste paired with a jolt or boost of energy, indeed. No matter how you prefer this brew of boldness, however it is poured, it certainly deserves our appreciation. This fragrant liquid that those of us require and in some way simply adore, could admittedly be considered an ongoing love affair. I will admit it. I am in love, indeed...

Kristin

Myself. Sublimely “In Love” With Coffee
This Morning, With Love From Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans/Morning Coffee During Travels To The French Quarter.  Captured Delight.
Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans/ Morning Coffee (and Beignets)/During Travels To The French Quarter. Captured Delight.

Enduring Design Of Classical Antiquity: The Klismos Chair

The Klismos chair. Enduring design. Proportion and stylistic comfort of classical antiquity, for certain. An ancient style that has a timeless nature in its appeal…

The word of Greek orign, pronounced kliz-mos, was taken from the word “Klino”, “a cause to lean”. The Klismos chair is a distinctive chair with an easily recognizable design that dates back to ancient Greece. (Classical Antiquity/ 8th century BCE to 6th century AD). Extensively used by the Greeks, the classical shape has reappeared in French Directoire, Empire style, English Regency and Duncan Phyfe styles as well as classic modern takes today. The reinterpretations that have evolved over the centuries continue to hold true to the elegance and sophistication of the shape and design of this iconic chair. Used in a variety of interior settings, from traditional to contemporary, its versatility is timeless. The Klismos has certainly stood the test of time with its regal and formal appeal. Function and lightweight practicality with great design.

Characterized by a broad top rail and curved back (Stiles and legs), the 4 saber legs are extended or ‘splayed’ (curved) outward in the front and in the back. However, it is the curved back of this chair that defines its classic shape. The curved back cradles the sitter who is then supported by the stylish legs. These soft, sweeping or flaring legs, placed in opposition to one another, are another common distinction of this glorious chair. The Klismos chair is said to have achieved its greatest popularity around 500 BC. Ancient artifacts showcase its glory with seated figures gracing its elegant shape. Unfortunately, no original Klismos chairs survived to Modern times, but the rich history remains on these pottery sculptures, bas reliefs and paintings. The shape of the chair is also said to have changed slightly in the Hellenistic period after 323 BC when the back became thicker and heavier. Everything changes in time, indeed. Of interest, the Klismos chair created a frenzy of design when its depiction was excavated at Pompeii and Herculaneum in the mid-Eighteenth century. The surge of adoration for all things Grecian (and Roman) were met with the clean lines of this chair. A Greek revival, indeed. Thus, the Klismos design was revived in the 18th century Western Neoclassical movement throughout Europe and again in the early 19th century. Of interest, in France, it is said to have appealed to those that reacted against the excessive Rococo style. Although the shape of the Klismos chair would again undergo changes with variations of its style and proportions, the enduring design of this light and elegant chair of antiquity has remained a classic.

The Klismos Chair In Antiquity

Of importance to the history of this iconic chair, it was during the 20th century that the Klismos chair saw another revival and interpretation. T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings produced a Klismos chair that represented the fine lines yet with a stark, modern appeal. Again, design changes, but the appeal of enduring design remains. Beyond Robsjohn-Gibbings interpretation, modern design has added many versions with the distinctive design elements of the Klismos. Whether a traditional and classic appeal of wooden splayed legs or an upholstered version of style there is surely an interpretation of this iconic design that can suit any interior.

20th Century Designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings & His "Klismos" Chair
20th Century Designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings & His Modern Interpretation Of The “Klismos” Chair

The Timeless & Regal Klismos Chair
The Timeless & Regal Klismos Chair
Distinctive Design Of Pure Style:  The Klismos Chair
Distinctive Design Of Pure Style: The Klismos Chair
Sophistication And Classic Design Paired With Comfort:  The Klismos Chair
Sophistication And Classic Design Paired With Comfort: The Klismos Chair
The Klismos Chair:  Classic Design With A Rich History
The Klismos Chair: Classic Design With A Rich History

Consider the elegance and grace of the Klismos chair. A balance of symmetry and proportion, its regal stature is timeless. “Aesthetic sophistication and craftsmanship of the Ancient Greeks”, for certain. The Klismos chair is a design classic that has survived adaptions and revisions yet has remained faithful to its stylistic design. New interpretations of this iconic chair are certain for its future. Enduring design, indeed.

Kristin

“Goddesses liked the Klismos”- Homer