Chair Bliss.


People who know me know that I am crazy about chairs, good chairs, designer chairs. A well designed chair is a piece of art.

In February I spent an afternoon at the Art Institute in Chicago. I wandered into the Architectural Design room and said, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh," loud enough that people turned and looked at me. Pure bliss. SO. MANY. AMAZING. CHAIRS. And all in one place.


I was beside myself to see this Small Diamond Chair designed by Harry Bertoia, 1952. Why? Because I own two.

One day my friend Nita called me and said, "When Terry and I come to see you for lunch I am bringing you 3 chairs and you will pay me $____ . I thanked her and said that was nice but I didn't need any chairs. She said, "You need these chairs." And by god I did.


I so love this Mid Century Modern Tulip Chair designed by Eero Saarinen, 1957. I wish I had a set of 4 and the marble table that goes with it.

More great lines... with the DKR Side Chair designed by Charles and Ray (Kaiser) Eames, 1951. Love those little feet and the openness of this chair.

Brillo stool

Just look at this stool. The base... the repeating shapes... that tiny little circle back. The Birillo Stool by Joe Colombo, 1971

If you get to the Art Institute do visit this exhibit. I could easily go back again and again.

I love chairs



some would say I have too many. Or that I can't have anymore. I disagree because I am always upgrading and getting rid of. (2 chairs, a foot stool and a desk chair await a Spring trip to St. Vinnie's after a posting on Craigslist.) Our main living space is not large and small mid-century chairs fit the space. They are not visually heavy and have dainty legs which help visually in a smaller space.

The above Bertoia Diamond Chair is a particular favorite. Bertoia said about the chairs: "They are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them."

To make these even better they were originally owned by my dear friend Nita. I was once meeting her and another friend in another town for lunch.

Phone call from Nita: Rae I am going to bring you 3 chairs and you will pay me $ ___  for them.

Rae: Oh thanks Nita but I don't need any chairs.

Nita: You need these.

And she was right. I have 2 of these Diamond chairs and one side chair. I wish I had the upholstered cushions too. I think these came with orange leather ones many years ago.




I recently scored these Thonet chairs at the UWSwap here in Madison. I went to buy one to go with my Dad's 1950's desk but there were five and they were all taped together. A kind man was willing to put them in the car for me. (The are oddly heavy.) So I have five, but they are stackable and that works well when we need extra seating. I thought these were 50s chairs because the legs look like the Bertoia. But it has been suggested that they are probably 60s because they are painted red. If anyone knows anything about these I would love it if you would leave a comment.




This is the Eames Molded Plastic Chair from Herman Miller. I almost bought these in lime but instead got blue. Now I sort of wish I had bought either black or white. These are our four dining chairs around a white circular table. Each chair while new is a replica of the original design. Each also comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity. I got these here in Madison at Atomic Interiors. If you haven't been there drop by for some interesting browsing.




This is my most recent find. I assume this is a knock-off of some kind. The base is metal. Chair part looks like it is fiberglass and the black cushion is attached. I am using it as a desk chair at the moment. I am guessing this is a 50s or 60s chair too. I like it and it goes well with my Techline desk.

If you are counting that does make 12 chairs in a small, but open space. Surprisingly we do not look like a chair showroom.

But good design is good design whether it is old or new. All these chairs feel like pieces of art to me.



thonet chairs?


As you know I have a real weakness for chairs. When I saw that the UW SWAP was featuring these I made an early morning trip to stand in the rain for a half an hour to try and score them. I really wanted one to use with my Dad's small mid-century desk. But they were heavy and all stacked together so I took them all. I thought I was buying 4 and was surprised when I got home to find I had 5. So I sent them a check for the one I didn't pay for.

They are in good shape and sturdy and surprisingly heavy. They have the 'Thonet Original' mark burnt into the underside of the seat. I love the red legs. The shape of the leg and the bent plywood suggests to me that they are mid-century.

I looked online and found absolutely nothing. Has anyone ever seen chairs like these? I am curious as to whether they are important enough that I should be cautious in what I do or if I can just take them apart and refurbish. Any ideas anyone?