Chairs – comfort vs style

If there’s one item of furniture that designers gravitate to, it’s the chair. Over the years, I’ve seen huge variations and wondered why.

Are we obsessed with sitting (maybe), unsatisfied with the current choice on offer (unlikely) or does it just lend itself well to being constantly redesigned (bingo)?

Personally, there are few things that I ask of from my chair. Comfort is top of the list, closely followed by being able to sit gracefully and conversely, rise effortlessly.

But the world of design seems intent on making them works of art in themselves. Here’s a case in point from Aram Furniture:

Medici Chair, £810 from Aram

Medici Chair, £810 from Aram

This sexy little number won The Design Museum’s Furniture Design of the Year 2013 award (the Oscars of the design world) and the Icon Awards 2012 Furniture Design of the Year. It’s arguably stunning to look at, and possibly owes some of its charm to origami, but I don’t fancy my chances of managing to get up from it without some kind of wardrobe malfunction.

Over at Studiomama, its chairs are ‘Reimagined’. Gorgeous to look at but that dinky seat could be a challenge to hit without rear parking sensors.

Studiomama's Reimagined Chairs

Studiomama’s Reimagined Chairs

What I do really like though, is its instructions for making your own furniture – some are free, some a modest £10 – but I imagine all are quite good fun.

It could be that I’m too much of a traditionalist. However, I’ve found a halfway house that suits me – this Rockingham chair from The Chairmen:

Rockingham chairs, £465 each

Rockingham chairs, £465 each

A 21st century interpretation of a traditional Windsor chair, it comes in 120 paint options and combines a comfy dished seat with modern style. Perfect!