• Jessica Bellef

5 done right: The lone chair

In this series, I pull together 5 images that give us insight into a certain styling topic that deserves a little analysis and explanation.

I love chairs of all shapes and sizes. In fact, I think I need to stop 'saving' them from secondhand stores and the side of the road. I have ended up with a miscellaneous, but merry, bunch of seats and am running out of spots to show them off.

A chair's presence in a room signifies a moment of pause. There's an anthropological quality to them- where there are chairs, there are people. They can be as cheap as chips and found anywhere, or they can be rare pieces of design history that have launched modes of thinking and aesthetic approaches. A beautiful chair is a functional sculpture that you can appreciate and utilise at the same time. And who doesn't want more of that in their every day?

Today we are celebrating those solo dining chairs that have wandered away from their kin. No armchairs, settees or loveseats here; this is all about a single timber dining chair giving life to an empty corner.

Image by Anson Smart

The slightly beaten up chair, possibly a Jean Prouvé design, matches the tactile, raw finish of the walls and floors. It all feels a little bit industrial, and definitely mid-century. On the chair is a timber Bojesen monkey sitting in wait, overseen by the mask on the wall. Here is a prime example of a chair adding to the character of a home and giving a further dimension to the displays.

Image by Amy Neunsinger

A sombre leather and timber chair creeps into a nostalgia-infused space (with the gloriously nonchalant addition of a midcentury plastic fantastic orange lamp). Notice the overlap of the chair's headrest over the small artwork, a slight visual detail that cements the position of the chair in the corner. This room was curated by design studio Nickey Kehoe who has an incredible eye for spectacular vintage furniture.

Image by Michael Wee

Now if this isn't a case for a chair as a sculpture then I don't know what is. From the previously owned holiday home of design authorities Karen Mc Cartney and David Harrison, this timber ply beauty is perfectly placed against the veneer wall and deserving of the admiring glances it receives as people travel past.

Image by Wichmann + Bendtsen Photography

Making a moment of it by working the chair into a composition that flows from the floor and up the wall.

Suggesting a chair rail with a paint stripe gives this vignette a sense of informal formality. Love that the artwork looks like a window with an epic mountain view - another trick of the eye masterstroke seen in the Brooklyn home of the duo behind Apparatus Studio.

Image by Jeremiah Brent

Ok. Yes. That's technically two chairs, but together they tell a story of the cast-off furniture piece. One hiding in a corner, the other sitting in the middle of the room like a chess piece. The strong lines and unexpected design detail of each match the honest rawness of the stripped back utilitarian space.