This year’s Architectural Digest Design Show has come and gone but we’re still talking about the great designs we saw at the show. Among all our favorites is a collection of cool chairs for your home that can help upgrade your decor. A chair might seem like a really basic piece but there are countless designs in the full range of styles that can either freshen up your spice or totally change the look. Either way, we found plenty of inspiration at the show, so take a look at these 30 chairs.
A Novel Wood Design
Campagna’s Sit Set chair has an amazing design that combines a chair with a small surface to set a cup, book or other item. The all-in-one design is very stylish and finely crafted, making it a focal piece. It’s available in white oak, walnut or black dyed ash with a leather cushion available in a few different colors. It’s ideal in almost any room, but would be really great in an entryway instead of the typical bench.
Mid-Century Modern Inspiration
The August Lounge chair was created by Alexander Giray and combines a modern design with traditional craftsmanship techniques. The solid wood frame is hand-carved, including the armrests. Upholstery options include leather as well as other textiles. The Boulder-based maker is entirely self-taught and has a full collection of complementary pieces.
A little reminiscent of a retro lawn chair, this metal and leather chair from Amigo Modern has the free-feeling California vibe that the company promotes. It is relaxed and simple, yet created with quality wood and durable woven leather. Take it from the family room to the patio — it’s comfortable for any space.
A sturdy industrial look combined with comfortable leather upholstery makes the Plate Chair by APD a good choice for an office, den or living room. The chair has a substantial feel, and it should, given that it is made from steel plates and secured by bronze wedges. The finish is applied by hand and accentuates the texture that comes from the sheet metal fabrication.
Who doesn’t love a good swivel chair? This one from Apropos, called the Jude, is a sophisticated number that works well in a living room or office. The seat is comfortable and roomy without being overstuffed or oversized. The blue leather upholstery gives it a sophisticated feeling and one can be used to make a statement or a couple can make up a conversation area.
Tweedy upholstery and mid-century modern legs give this chair a contemporary appeal that will last. From Calligaris, this one is an excellent choice for a living room or a sitting area in a bedroom. It’s roomy and comfortable but does not have an imposing size that would take up a lot of space. Swapping out the throw pillow will give it an entirely different look too.
Trendy and Traditional
How can a chair be trendy and traditional at the same time? With a classic shape and dark floral upholstery that is very of-the-moment, these chairs manage to be both. The ornate lines — and separate back unit — are a good match with the fabric, which is still quite vibrant given its dark background.
This serpentine seat from Arcana is certainly quirky but it’s also super comfortable (we tried it). The shirred fabric upholstery hides the structure, which is a combination of steel and pool noodles. This chair, no matter where you place it, will be a statement piece because it’s so unusual. The creators say that the collection, which includes this chair, is “built to create whimsy and tension in rooms full of architecture
Ribbons of Steel
The Ribbon Chair by J Liston Design is a very artful metal construction. The representation of ribbons wrapped around a hollow space, which you could never sit on, are rendered in extremely sturdy metal that is then powder coated. Available in a wide range of colors, it looks so delicate but is by far the opposite. This is another chair that will become a statement piece in whatever space it is placed.
The inviting and comfortable look of this Constellation chair by the Richard Clarkson Studio is far more stylish than the old-style barca-lounger. You can’t help but want to sink down and put your feet up in the slung leather seat atop a minimalist black steel frame. The natural vegetable-tanned leather is sleek and makes the piece destined to become a favorite for generations.
With its vertical tufts, luxurious velvet and sumptuous seat, the Andes Chair from the world of armchairs, it channels a serious glam factor that will turn your bedroom or living room into a much more stylish space. The graceful slope of the back and sides ads an extra special touch.
Different in so many ways, the Drillium chair from Opiary is definitely an upgrade for your outdoor space as well as an ideal way to bring a tiny bit of the outdoors inside. We love the tiny pocket tucked in the top of each leg that allows for a small planting of moss or a succulent. The form is inspired by aircraft construction and bones and is rendered in galvanized steel coated with multiple layers of increasingly fine resin fortified cement. The seat features removable cushions.
A Little Girly
Included in Shash Bickoff’s design for the AD Apartment at the Show, this chair combines a glamorous Lucite frame — a little reminiscent of the Disco days — with upholstery that looks like a modern, pastel version of a Liberty of London print. The slight sheen of the upholstery upgrades the whole piece and gives it a true “uptown” feeling, which is what Bickoff was aiming for.
Plump and Plush
A little like a tube squeezing out a glob, the metal frame of the Madda chair by Michael Felix can barely contain this happy pouf of a suede-covered chair. His contemporary interpretation of the classic club chair comes in a range of bright — as well as more sedate — color options. Regardless, this third-generation upholstery designer has crafted a statement armchair that’s a delight to look at…as well as sit in.
Great Rear View
We love a chair with a great rear view and the Eero Armchair by Porus Studio is definitely one of them. Inspired by Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St.Louis, Missouri, the chair is like a circular sculpture that surrounds the color and texture of the upholstery in the interior of the seat. Ideal for a living room or bedroom, it’s a cool design that you’ll want to place somewhere you can appreciate the back as much as the front!
Furry and Fun
Take a classic director’s chair shape and add fur and you get this fun Mongolian Fur Chair from Pasargad Home. The brushed nickel finish on the base is the perfect glam pairing for the fluffy white seat, which is cozy and very distinctive. Add this to a living room or bedroom and instantly up the style factor in the space.
In a new twist on a very traditional piece, Ottra has created this hand-crafted rocking chair that sports a large and contemporary shaped base. Instead of the usual two arcs at the bottom of the legs, the chair sits on a large curved base that is substantial and sturdy. The lively and unexpected chartreuse-stained wood makes it an eye-catching piece.
A More Comfortable Classic
This more ergonomic rocking chair from Erickson Woodworking is almost a classic in itself because the company has been hand-crafting its version for more than 45 years. The South Yuba rocking chair is named for the firm’s neighborhood river. The contoured back has flexible back slats that look graceful but are really comfortable for sitting. We love the seamless look of the overall construction.
This low-slung beauty of a chair was designed by Justin Nelson, the woodworker behind Fernweh. The aesthetic is Danish mid-century with some innovative twists. The award-winning Sling chair is fashioned from wood and leather and is the first piece created by Fernweh Woodworking. American White Ash is stained black and combined with high quality, hand-stitched leather.
Short and Stylish
Small in stature but big on style, the Lofty dining chair from Hachi Collections has a low profile that will let your dining table shine. Made from Medex in gloss white with a polyurethane finish, the short and stout piece can be created in custom colors as well as sizes. The round seat is simple and sleek and can be finished in a variety of materials
The Rainbow chair by Hamilton Holmes is the result of taking a traditional form — the Windsor chair — and bringing the base to a new level of creative style. The low slung chair is actually perched on a rainbow shape that forms the front legs. The back legs intersect the curve and slant backward, extending far beyond the chair back. A swath of Mongolian sheep wool pads the seat for extra comfort.
A Hand-Crafted Homage
The Shepherd’s chair, the first Lounge chair from Hinterland, is an homage to the tools of traditional herders and their relationship with the animals and the land. The bones of the chair include three arcs that are crafted from solid bent white ash or black walnut, finished with either natural leather or sheepskin. The comfortable chair is oiled and waxed by hand with natural low-VOC oils and polishes.
Iconic chairs from the likes of designers such as Saarinen, Eames and Knoll get renewed life at the hands of Montage Modern. The company searches out classic pieces and then uses the highest quality materials to revive them, allowing additional generations to enjoy these design gems for many more years. In an age of throw-away shopping, the integrity and timelessness of these pieces are an example of the ultimate in quality furniture.
Updated Parisian Style
The leather experts and Moore and Giles have capitalized on their long history as leather suppliers to produce their own lines of furniture and leather goods, including the 33 Chair. This piece — destined to be a family heirloom — has the pared-down silhouette of a Parisian club chair that fits into today’s more compact spaces. It has the comforting vibe of a supremely comfortable classic with the tailored details that make it modern and fresh.
A Velvet Slipper
Slipper chairs may traditionally have a slight and feminine silhouette, but this updated version from Naula is made for today’s living rooms. The ample, velvet-upholstered Morgan Slipper Chair still has its namesake armless style, but it is well padded and large enough for comfortable lounging. As an accent or in a pair for a conversation area, it’s a timeless and versatile piece.
There’s no faster route to making a chair more individualized than using an artistic textile for the upholstery. The beauty of customizing the upholstery means that you have total freedom to make the chair as distinctive as you like. These chairs — and the wall covering — are from the new line of home textiles by California-based artist and designer Stevie Howell. The new fabric-by-the-yard collection comes in a range of colorful, as well as neutral, floral and graphic prints.
Ideal for spaces that need seating with a minimalist aesthetic, the Archetype Chair from Studio Cidra of Philadelphia is very sturdy yet looks light. In designing this piece, the Studio aimed to “distill down the chair as an object.” The steel frame gives the chair its “skeleton” and the wooden seat is a more welcoming material for sitting. The frame can be copper plated or powder coated in a range of colors.
Vonnegut Kraft’s new Kana Chair is all about style and comfort in a very elegant way. The very sturdy and somewhat sticky base is totally transformed by the seat and chair back, which has a very refined upholstered curve. Sumptuous velvet creates a comfortable vibe that makes it great for a dining chair or just as an accent chair.
Wood with a Twist
Woodsport has taken the sturdiness and rigidity of wood and transformed it into an unbelievably comfortable chair that molds to your shape. The Easy Chair is made of walnut or ash tiles that are woven together using a prusik cord. The stretchy material allows the seat and back to bend, making it hard to believe that you are sitting on wood. The studio is known for using traditional techniques but melding them with an experimental approach that creates fresh works of heirloom quality.
The ball-topped hand turned legs of the Ursa Chair by Wren and Cooper remind us of a four-poster bed, and the thick eight-inch upholstered seat looks as comfortable as a cozy bed. The arms of the chair feature hand-stitched leather sleeves and the feet are capped off with bronze feet. This substantial chair, which comes in various woods and finishes, can easily stand alone or anchor a grouping.
Thirty different chairs and an equal number of styles just begin the scratch the surface of the variety of innovative chairs that are out there these days. Just remember — seating does not need to be plain or basic.