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Art of Design: Crazy about Chairs

Joseph Pubillones on

I am fascinated and intrigued by the beauty and diversity of designs contained in some households. I am always curious about the relationship between furniture and owner. Yes, your furniture speaks volumes about you. There are certain pieces of furniture that do stand out and are as iconic as the Grand Canyon or their design -- so pure they remind me of the line of the horizon over the ocean. No kidding, some furniture does elicit a love affair. I know my weakness is for chairs. Chairs drive me absolutely crazy, and I believe they are the building blocks of any great room.

There are a lot of memorable chairs, like those created by legendary designers Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Jean Prouve and Eero Saarinen. Why stop there? Who couldn't recognize a chair by Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia or Michael Thonet? There are still other chairs less recognizable by name but equally as sculptural, like the plethora of furniture of 1960s Danish design. Each era has its design icons that become engrained in our consciousness, and, like the return of the new Beetle or the Fiat 500, make a comeback and are coveted by furniture lovers and collectors alike.

Sometimes, we are convinced by standard edicts, preconceived notions or the advice of a friend that all living rooms require the ubiquitous sofa and coffee table. But why not just chairs? Throughout history, and in many parts of the world, the sofa has been a more private type of furniture for reclining. In fact, individual chairs have typically been the preferred seating, as they were able to be easily moved from room to room to catch prevailing breezes or huddle near a blazing fire. The White House's most fashion-forward room, the Cabinet Room, is a collection of beautiful chairs and tables -- no sofa in sight.

Some chairs can be airy with frames made of metal, bamboo or wood. These types of chairs are generally upright and perfect for working or dining. Some will have armrests for comfort or simply to denote status for the head of a table. Other chairs can be fully upholstered in fabric or leather for relaxing or reading; these are best known as club chairs. Chairs that fall in between these two styles are often referred to as occasional chairs. Let us not forget the cumbersome reclining chair, now available in some sleek designs.

 

Finally, we can't take a look at chairs without commenting on sofas. Sofas do provide an obvious anchor for creating a seating area; however, it is curious that although sofas are built to seat three or four, most sofas remain underused with only two guests sitting at either end. Sitting patterns show that unless there is no other seat, most people will avoid seating in a middle seat, not only because of comfort but also due to personal space and lack of privacy. This observation reinforces my stance and preference for the chair. Here is why: Chairs are unique and individual, and in the right combination of pairings, they can furnish any room adequately. Did I tell you I love chairs?

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Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

 

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