You probably think that a chair is a chair, but today’s designs are as artful and unexpected as they can be. Cool chairs can take many forms and shapes, including pedestal types and three-legged styles, as well as the more standard four-legged variety. The materials used to make them can be really different too. Adding a new chair to a room can instantly upgrade a space and give it that sometimes undefinable characteristic we all call “cool.” Not sure what we mean? Check out these amazing picks:
A Little Futuristic
A little futuristic, a little retro, the Bixib from Adrenalina is a cool chair because it straddles the styles. The name is from the Latin term for a silkworm: Bombyx Mori. The geometry of the chairs adds to their appeal because the shape appears to change depending on what angle it is being viewed from: It might look symmetrical from one vantage point while from another it looks more organic. The material used for the base also makes it different because it is printed in silk and a bio-resin composite, transforming the ancient into a three-dimensional artifact using an innovative lamination process that is environmentally friendly.
Pleasingly plump, this is the first armchair from Palpo, fittingly named oooh. The deep seat sits atop sturdy legs and is surrounded by a semicircle of well-padded velvet. The classic luxury upholstery choice takes on a whole new look in this piece because of the minimalist aesthetic and lack or any channels, tufts or other detailing. While it’s perfect for a modern space the clean lines help it fit in with many decor styles. It’s available in red green, blue and black.
Those who are guilty of throwing their clothes over a chair in the bedroom will want to take a closer look at this Joly chair for Colé. This is a super cool and functional type of chair that is termed a “chairdrobe.” It serves as a butler, a chair or an occasional table depending on how you need it to function. Besides the bedroom, this is great in the family room or bathroom too. Use the back of the chair or the crossbar to hang items and keep them from getting wrinkled. The wooden seat can be used as a tray for jewelry of change overnight, or as a small tray. The chair is made of gold or black powder-coated metal with a solid natural walnut or blue lacquered top/seat. An optional cushion is also available.
If there was ever a chair that makes you want to sink in and snuggle, it is this one, the Undecided by Manerba. Tall sides form an insulating cocoon around the seat, enveloping the person in softness and comfort. It is a lightweight chair that comes in myriad colors and several sizes. Sitting in it is almost like hiding away in plain sight. This style of chair is great for a sitting room, living room or better yet, a bedroom.
Some of the coolest chairs are those that have unexpected shapes and proportions, like the Aliko. The cushions of this small chair are all tubular, with the back made from a full tube while the seat itself is made from a larger unit that was halved. Upholstered in pink velvet, it has a feminine touch, but it’s also available in gray or blue velvet. The frame — which can be had in black or gold — is assembled by hand. The design was created by Gianni Arnaudo in 1977 for a nightclub that was part of the Night Fever exhibition in 2018.
With the air of a throne — but a casual one — the libellule is actually a princess high-backed chair from Brühl. Designed by Kati Meyer-Brühl, the chair’s unusual silhouette features slender, wing-like backrests. The lower part of the backrest is curved, which is a nod to the Empire style. Despite their impressive size, the chairs are lightweight and can easily be used for dining room seating. Now that would be a dinner table fit for a king…or queen!
Another cool chair from Brühl is the Grace, which has an elegant, minimalist frame. While the frame is the same on every variation of this piece, the seat, upholstery and colors are different on each one. Some have a wooden seat painted in a high-gloss finish, while others have a seat formed from interwoven bungee cords, which are also used for detailing. Yet another version called the grace cut-out has closed armrests with circular openings. Surface finish, colors and material options for these armchairs are very wide-ranging to create a very special chair.
The design may be a few simple lines but the resulting profile of the Line Chair from Riluc is far more complex. Made entirely from stainless steel, the craftsmanship is a challenging proposition. Elegant in appearance and daring in form, the Line Chair is just as much a sculpture as it is a piece of seating. The slight chair is available in bright stainless steel or with a titanium coating for a gold or copper version.
Bowl of Balls
At first glance, the Many Worlds sofa (which we think is more like an ample chair) looks like a bowl of balls. The sight of it is cool but offers little if any clue to the complex construction technique required. The stainless steel shell of half-orbs is hand formed, tooled and polished, then filled with handmade padded balls to create the comfortable seat. The 40 individual spheres come together in one piece of very cool seating that challenges the limits of furniture-making.
Full of Function
These Milano 2015 chairs from Colico are cool for more than just their looks. The materials used mean that these can be used indoors and out, which means that they can do double duty, eliminating the need for a lot of extra chairs. Crafted from soft-touch polypropylene or transparent polycarbonate the chairs are also stackable. On top of that, they are available in a range of colors that can match your dining space and still be appropriate for the deck or patio,
Like a Line Drawing
These marvelous Jackie dining and bar chairs, also from Colico, look like line drawings. The simple silhouette and hairpin leg are rendered in steel rods for the frame of the chair. The seat is fashioned from rope and upholstered with durable, quality leather. These are versatile for the kitchen, dining room, or bar area and will shine in any room, with their metallic finishes, highlighting whatever area they are placed in.
All curves and cushions, the Daydreamer from JORI looks a bit like the usual recliner, but the upholstered extension on the front makes it completely new. Instead of a big, fat cushioned leg piece, the support is sleek and slim, making it great for today’s pared-down living room environments. A mix of upholstery and leather make this uber comfortable chair on-trend with regard to mixed materials. The central base is available in black or bronze finish. This cool chair is the company’s first collaboration with German designer Joachim Nees.
Good things come in small packages and that is certainly the case with the Pre chair from Bensen. The compact piece has clean lines and takes up very little space, yet offers great comfort along with a swivel base. As an armless chair, the Pre is modeled after the traditional slipper chair silhouette, but the designer took it a step further adding the 360-degree swivel mechanism and base that is undercut. It has a crisp and fresh appearance, which is not always the case with fully upholstered chairs.
If swiveling isn’t enough movement, then perhaps the LAZY by Calligaris is the right choice. This generous armchair has modern lines and a swivel — as well as a swinging — mechanism. The shape is perfect for settling in and relaxing and the seat cushions the lower back as it wraps around the body. No matter what the choice of upholstery, LAZY is a cool design that works well in a living room, home office or bedroom.
Low and Loungy
Called the Alpe, this armchair is meant to evoke the profile of mountains with their varying heights. The plump seat and ample back are fixed atop slim legs that contrast with the volume of the chair. With an optional ottoman, the chair — with or without arms — becomes a very comfortable lounge. Designed by Yonoh Studio for Mobboli, the Alpe has a solid wood frame, elastic strap suspension and totally customizable look
Relying on traditional joinery techniques, Wewood of Portugal created this very sophisticated chair design. The Caravela Lounge is a cool chair that was inspired by the traditional Portuguese Caravela boat. Designer Gonçalo Campos conceived this as a tribute to the small, maneuverable ship that the Portuguese used in the 15th century to explore the Atlantic Ocean and the western coast of Africa. With so much historical inspiration, this chair will be a conversation piece as well as a comfortable seat in your living room!
When searching for a cool chair, you can never go wrong with an iconic piece like the sculpted Ox Chair by Hans Wegner. Known as one of the most difficult chairs to upholster, it was designed in 1960 but not produced until 1989 when Wegner entrusted the job to Erik Jørgensen. The first ones produced had to be made without a drawing because none existed. The unique shape came from Wenger’s desire to challenge the “neat and understated expression” he was taught at the School of Arts and Crafts. The modern shape sitting on the slim angled legs is a profile that will help change the nature of your room.
Wear your heart on your sleeve? Why not show it off in the form of this delicate Love Chair from Ghidini 1961. Designed by Nina Zupac, this cool chair features an airy twist of brass that forms the back along with a sumptuously padded velvet seat. This beautiful chair is ideal by a vanity, as shown here, but a pair of them would be oh-so-adorable matched with a small bistro table. The design is so light and elegant that it’s hard to think of a space where it would not add a special touch.
The Stool Option
For those spots where a chair just isn’t the right choice, a really cool stool may be the best pick. This bright brass-topped number is called the Leporello Junior, also from Ghidini 1961. Not only is it a stylish space-saver, but it adjustable, which makes it extra functional. Designed by Paolo Rizzato, the stool comes in light or dark Durmast oak for the legs, which feature an ever-so-slightly bent shape. The brass seat spins on a central screw that adjusts the height. This is a very attractive stool for lots of locations in the house, especially in a row at the kitchen counter.
Either one of the variations of this Vuelta FD Chair would add an understated edge to the decor in a room. Created by well-known designer Jamie Hayon, it is an enveloping upholstered form that sits on four legs — with two very different looks. Produced by Wittman, the chair’s back tapers slightly to form an armrest. At the base, the chair can sit on four tubular legs or on a central swivel base supported by the four legs. This latter option makes it look like the seat is floating above the legs. These are some very cool chairs to add to your dining table. These would be very cool chairs — and very comfortable ones — to add to your dining table.
These cool chairs run the gamut of styles and materials but they all have that special something that will make friends and family look twice — and probably ask, “Where did you get this cool chair?”