The chair has been used to define social status through the ages. In ancient Egypt for example, sitting on a stool was better than being seated on the floor, but a sidechair was better than a stool and armchairs were the top of the seating hierarchy and were therefore reserved for Pharaohs. This practice eventually evolved into the design of elaborate thrones still used by royalty today.
These days, thrones are still used by the British monarchy, who were photographed seated at elaborate red and gold thrones at Kate and Wills’ wedding last year.
Celebrities such as Victoria and David Beckham have also used thrones to cement their status as a power couple. The Beckham’s famously spent their first hours as man and wife sitting in gold his and hers thrones on a stage at their lavish wedding reception.
Perhaps this goes so way to explaining our continuing love affair with the humble chair or perhaps it is something much simpler.
Chairs are the pinnacle of form meeting function. Designed to support a person’s weight comfortably the basic design is a seat, back support and legs, everything else is an embellishment or design feature.
The Coe, with its bold design and low cushioned seating will really make a statement in your home.
Speaking of statement chairs, some of the most famous chairs in the world have come from TV shows, such as the iconic Mastermind chair and the many incarnations of the Big Brother chair will forever be linked in the viewers’ minds with their respective programmes.
The Mastermind chair has undergone subtle changes since the show first aired in 1972, but in keeping with the serious nature of the show, it remains big, black and padded. It is also usually a swivel chair to cope with studio lighting. The Carter office chair from Barker and Stonehouse has a similar look but for an office chair you can relax in, try the Bellamy.
Our love affair with the chair has been explored in a new exhibition by Barker and Stonehouse favourite Natuzzi, ‘A Chair Affair’ where ten designers were challenged to re-design the iconic Natuzzi Sound Chair, a classic egg shaped chair which incorporates concealed speakers within the back of the cushion, and mini-jack cable for connection to any MP3 player. They were allowed to re-upholster, re-model or simply embellish their chairs.
‘Eden’, the Tenango Sound Chair by Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers & Studio 180 has been re-upholstered in a vibrant bird and beast print inspired by Mexico’s Otomi Indians. While Screw Me Up by Davide Bianchi features 9,400 gold screws and Gordon by Melanie Porter is recovered in Porter’s trademark knitted style.
All of the products are from Barker and Stonehouse (www.barkerandstonehouse.co.uk) and you can follow us at www.facebook.com/barkerandstonehouse.
- Unique Chairs (uniquedesignco.wordpress.com)