Prediction: This Is the It Chair of 2019
What’s old is new again.
Published Jan 11, 2019 7:30 AM
The newest It chair isn’t actually new at all. Made from cane and teak wood and featuring a distinctive V-shaped leg design, the unofficially dubbed “Jeanneret chair” is everywhere: Flooding our social media feeds, gracing the pages of design magazines, and being made into high-street replicas. It started regaining popularity over the last few years, picking up traction toward the end of 2018, but would you believe us if we said one of the most sought-after chairs of today actually came from the trash?
Well, sort of. Initially brought about by Swiss architect and furniture designer Pierre Jeanneret in 1950s Chandigarh, India, it was created as a type of functional necessity. There, the now-famous chair was made en masse. It lined the city’s offices and courtrooms—eventually making its way into the city’s junkyards to leave room for more contemporary styles. And now, in something of a design Cinderella story, the chair is a bonafide collector’s item.
Why now? Maybe because the chair speaks to the design world’s growing proclivity to woven materials in recent seasons. The fresh style makes any room into which it’s inserted feel instantly cool. The more likely reason is that the chair combines three of today’s most ubiquitous trends: mid-century, Scandinavian simplicity, and modern minimalism. It’s a chair that’s both timeless and trendy—a winning combination that makes it prime for virality.
If you’re looking to hunt down the original, there are plenty to be found at antique stores and on sites like 1stdibs; just be warned, they come at a pretty steep cost. Here, we’re rounding out some of our favorite Jeanneret-inspired chairs to help you get in on the trend at every budget.
If you’re going to splurge, spring for the real thing. This iteration of the Jeanneret chair is among the more affordable of the style (no, really), and we love it for the rustic patina that comes with any antique. Bring a bit of design history home and make the chair into a living room vignette staple.
Green wood makes for quite the modern twist. Crafted out of solid ash wood and woven cane, it has all the elements of a classic Jeanneret—just with a sleeker finish.
France & Son’s take bears the most resemblance to the original, so if you’re a stickler for tradition but don’t want to have to take out a loan to pay for an armchair, this one’s for you.
Maybe you want a more comfortable take on the chair. In which case, Target’s cushioned option is a great living room accent piece—just add a throw pillow that suits your style, and you’ve got yourself a cozy seating situation.
The glossy black finish looks striking paired against the pale woven cane. Bring the high-contrast drama in a monochrome, minimalist space with one (or two) of these pieces.
This simple option makes a great dining room chair—and with the (relatively) low price, buying a set of two or four won’t set you back too much.