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More chairs are purchased during the
process of furnishing a home than any other design element perhaps with the exception of light
fixtures. Selecting the right chair for a specific setting or style can make or break a
design scheme, or transform it from ordinary to extraordinary.
Chairs must be comfortable as well as beautiful,
so buy the best quality you can afford. If you buy a
trendy style or color don't spend a fortune because you’ll probably want to change it in a few years.
One size does not fit all. Balancing
scale and proportion with
a chair's surroundings is vital, but
there are times when a bit of unpredictability and surprise enlivens and brings
a space to life. The less expected, the more captivating. Even something as
basic as a chair can serve as art as well as function as are the the classic Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona, the Egg, and Eero Saarinen's Tulip.
There are four basic categories for chairs:
The cozy reading corner requires a
roomy or overstuffed chaise or armchair and ottoman. The grouping should
include a good reading lamp and an accent table for essentials. I prefer a
floor lamp to leave more room on the table top for a mug of coffee and a book.
For dining, a high-backed
upholstered chair at about a 105 degree angle allows guests tosettle back
comfortably following a wonderful meal and enjoy great conversation. A wood frame
keeps greasy fingers from soiling fabric.
A chair for the office should have an
adjustable back so you can sit up or lean back for inspiration, adjustable seat
and arm heights, and wheels for zipping around the room from computer to file
cabinet. Occasional chairs, partnered with a sofa, create a permanent conversation grouping, or more light weight arm chairs can be moved where needed.