Top 10 dining chairs
Gather round, take a seat and add the finishing touch to your dining experience with these delightful dining chairs.
What’s the perfect chair? A question that design lovers have been asking for decades, there’s no right answer. Depending on your needs, style and budget, the perfect chair is different for all of us.
However, there’s something in the best chairs that makes them stand out, an undeniable quality that pulls on your heartstrings and draws you in. Here, we’ve gathered together our top 10 dining chairs, a collection of both classic and contemporary designs that we think have that star quality.
Vitra Eames Shell Chair Collection
Now we may be cheating slightly here, as the customisable Eames Shell Chair Collection encompasses so many chair designs, but we believe this iconic collection more than deserves a place in our top 10.
Something many of us takes for granted today, the option to customise the Shell Chairs for multifunctional uses was a unique idea in the 1940s and 50s. With the invention of a seat shell that could be combined with a variety of different bases, the Eames’s created a modular design that could be configured for every kind of situation, looking as at home in an office as it did at the dining table. Discover more about the Eames Shell Chair story in our ‘The chair of a century’ journal article.
&Tradition In Between Chair
Merging man and machine by combining classic woodturning techniques with compression moulding – designer Sami Kallio has created a collection that showcases Nordic craftsmanship. The legs and the armrests of the In Between Chair are turned from solid wood, whereas the seat and side panels are form-pressed from wood veneer. Available in wooden or upholstered finishes for extra comfort.
Carl Hansen & Son CH24 Wishbone Chair
He may have designed more than 500 chairs during his lifetime, but Hans J. Wegner’s CH24 Wishbone chair is considered by many to be his greatest. One of the most famous symbols of Danish furniture design, the CH24 or Wishbone Chair has been in continuous production since 1950.
Every Wishbone Chair is made by hand at the Carl Hansen & Son factory in Denmark, following Wegner’s original specifications. Using only sustainable, high-quality Danish timber, they’re comprised of 14 separate components and require over 100 individual processes to ensure they’re chiselled, carved, sanded and shaped to perfection. Because of this, every chair takes around 3 weeks to make – but it’s definitely worth the wait.
Marcel Gascoin designed the C-Chair in 1947, hoping to solve the issue of space inside small apartments being built in France following World War II. This chair has a compact footprint, which allows more chairs and therefore more people to gather around a dining table – making it the perfect solution for small-space living today also.
Never compromising on style, the C-Chair is characterised by voluminous wooden legs and an inviting seat constructed from cane, straw or fabric. Simple and functional but also bold and elegant, this is one of our favourites here at Nest.
The 1958 moulded plywood armchair by Norman Cherner is a mid-century icon found in design collections worldwide. It was out of production for decades until Norman Cherner’s sons, Benjamin and Thomas, brought back production in 1999.
Reissued in exacting detail from the original drawings and moulds, this is an instantly eye-catching design that embraces the sitter in its curves. The eagle-eyed among you might even recognise the Cherner Chair from its cameo in Toy Story II.
HAY About A Chair
Another customisable seating solution that offers almost infinite possibilities; mix and match bases, seat shells and upholstery from the HAY About A Chair collection to find your perfect match.
A collaboration between HAY and Hee Welling, the idea behind the About A Chair was to develop a deliberately simple seating solution that would work as well in an office as it does in a restaurant, perfect for around a conference table or your dining table. Its timeless, organic aesthetic is distinctly Scandinavian and has quickly become a best seller.
Knoll Studio Tulip Chair
“The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs. I wanted to make the chair all one thing again.” Eero Saarinen
With these words in mind, Finnish architect Eero Saarinen designed the streamlined form of the Tulip Chair. Characterised by a flute-like base and a sculptural moulded fibreglass seat reminiscent of the flower it is named after – the Tulip helped get rid of the ‘slum of legs’ underneath a dining table and changed the way we dined forever. Discover more in our ‘Design icon: Knoll Tulip Chair’ journal article.
Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chair
One of the most iconic chairs in design history, the Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chair needs no introduction. Designed in 1955 by the father of Danish modernism, Arne Jacobsen – this design gained its popularity from its distinctive curved design, its ability to be practically stacked and expert craftsmanship.
To get the signature Series 7 shape, a carpenter stacks 9 sheets of veneer and cuts them by hand, before they are bent into shape with the help of a press. After the shape is set, the edges are rounded by a computer-controlled mill, followed by a final sanding which done by hand to achieve the perfect finish.
Knoll Studio Cesca Chair
We couldn’t create a list of our top 10 dining chairs without including a gravity-defying cantilevered design. An innovative form that pushes materials to their limits, the Cesca was one of the first cantilevered chairs to be conceived.
A student and then teacher at the Bauhaus, Marcel Breuer became interested in the possibilities of tubular steel within furniture design. Allowing for minimum use of structure, whilst providing maximum strength, Breuer quickly became known for his tubular steel designs – and thanks to its combination with contrasting natural rattan, the Cesca has become an enduring favourite of design lovers everywhere.
Vitra Tip Ton Chair
Just like its name suggests, the Vitra Tip Ton Chair has a unique rocking-chair style base that allows the user to tip forward when seated. This adjustment, although only by a few degrees, helps to encourage good posture, straightening the pelvis and spine and improving blood circulation. We think that’s pretty clever.
And what’s better? In 2021 Vitra have released the Tip Ton RE, a new version of the chair made from 100% recycled household plastics. Also 100% recyclable, this new design fully embraces the idea of a circular economy and is just one way in which Vitra are exploring more sustainable production methods.
To browse even more classic and contemporary dining chair designs, head over to our Dining Chairs page.
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