Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Seated Savoir Faire

Would you believe that one of the 21st century’s most popular chairs has its design roots firmly planted in the 4th century BC in Ancient Greece? The Klismos chair is instantly recognisable for its four gently curving splayed legs; it’s elegantly curved back rails with a narrow concave backrest between them. It has been depicted on Ancient Greek pottery and has been resurrected in the French Directoire, English Regency, and American Empire styles, only to resurface again in the design repertoire of the 21st century.

The klismos has endured for centuries and has seen many interpretations. One of my favourites is English regency, especially teemed with a classic regency striped fabric seat. (As a child growing up many a Sunday roast was spent sitting on my parent’s regency dining chairs).

The classicizing phase of Modernism allied with Art Deco found the simple lines of the klismos once again in favor and they have endured ever since with examples coming from sources as diverse as IKEA and Ralph Lauren! They add a touch of elegant classicism to any interior as in the example below with them teamed with the ever so stylish table from Eero Saarinen.

Those Ancient Greeks certainly knew how to sit with savoir faire!


  1. Just proves, good design is timeless.

    LOVE the last image. I could very easily have that in my home.

  2. I adore a good Klismos chair...timeless chic!

  3. Love the neo-classic chairs, especially when paired with the Saarinen table.

  4. With the Saarinen table they are brilliant!

    THL- something to dream for!

  5. My ideal chair! I've wanted one since I was 10.

  6. Jason- I hope you have fulfilled that want!


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