I’ve been searching high and low for a new office chair. Depending on when this post goes up, you will or won’t know that I had a complete change of heart with my office decor and decided to go very light and airy rather than dark and Tom Ford-y. My whole house is dark and Tom Ford-y, with its rich woods and grey slate and green-gold carpets, so I thought that the office space, which is at the end of the garden, should be feminine and bright. It’s still rather retro in feel, but with pale wood and white detailing – not a spec of rosewood in sight!
So chairs. I’m saying goodbye to my beloved Herman Miller Sayl Chair and its exemplary back-supporting properties (Mr AMR is adopting it for his office, lucky him!) and going pale and interesting – whites, greys, perhaps some chrome. Chairs that you’d see in those lovely bright Instagram pictures – you know, the ones where they have a cactus and then three white books leaning up against some sort of fancy lamp.
I’ll warn you in advance; I’m a bit of a furniture freak so most of my chair picks will be on the pricier side. I appreciate a classic design that will last for decades and I find that in the long run the top quality pieces are actually better value for money – our De Sede sofa was made in the late sixties and, though a little “vintaged” in places, is still an incredibly good-looking piece.
The chairs, then…
A Philippe Starck design, I love the feminine egg-shaped seat and the contrast with the hard chrome legs. This is actually very similar to the chair that I ended up buying, which you’ll have to read until the end of the post to find out about! The Ero/S is £287 at Amara and comes in quite a few different colours as well as the classic, easy-on-the-eye white.
Eames DAW Armchair
Very close indeed to the chair that I ended up buying – the Eames DAW is just a timeless piece of furniture that looks good in any interior. I have seen these in contemporary houses, old Victorian terraces and battered-up studios and they never fail to look stylish. There are many, many copies of this chair at every price-point, starting from around twenty-five quid but I have NO idea what sort of quality they’d be! The official design, reproduced by Vitra, is £412 at Heals here.
Genoa Office Chair
Much plainer than the Eames but this will appeal to those who like to keep things simple. I like the grey upholstery and the chrome legs look very smart. This one is £199 at John Lewis.
Panton S Chair
Oh, the Panton S Chair! Another iconic design and – like the Eames – I have loved this for years. It’s not right for my office, but I’m wondering whether I can convince Mr AMR that a couple of them would look very sculptural and beautiful under our roof overhang that runs around the outside of the kitchen. Bit expensive for garden chairs, at £207 each (!) but they would definitely make an impact. How would they fare, do you think, being made from plastic? You can find more details here.
I had to check IKEA as they often do really great and inexpensive chairs – but this one isn’t at all cheap! Lovely grey upholstery (I seem to have a thing for grey) and a wooden back that looks at once modern and sort of retro. The chrome base is simple and non-officey. £150 here.
Jerry Dining Chair
Something about this makes me think of an Eames chair, but an Eames chair looked at through one of those circus mirrors so that everything’s a bit chubbier. Or an Eames chair drawn by a seven year old. The proportions are somehow inviting and comfortable, but it’s a lot less refined. A snip, though, at £80 and there are various colours to choose from if you’re not into white. Find it here.
In case you’re intrigued to know what I actually ended up with: a chair that I would have thought was beyond my wildest dreams! The Eames DAR – which is like the DAW, pretty much, but with entirely upholstered rather than just the seat pad and the eiffel legs rather than wooden. These chairs are usually about £700 each, but I found an excellent second-hand chap who had one – with grey hopsack upholstery – for £275. All genuine, stamped, etc – it was from an office clearance (a very posh office) and in great condition. I’m over the moon with it. Now and then, good genuine ones do pop up on eBay but you have to watch like a hawk – there are hundreds and hundreds of copies.
My winner, had I not found the Eames DAR? Probably the Eames DAW, if money was no object. Not very inventive of me, but what can I say? I like a design classic!