The latest design trend is chairs that don’t look like chairs

Chairs are often an indicator of wider societal changes. What makes a person seem comfortable or coveted changes with time and tastes: Stiff Chippendale chairs suited the formal dining habits of wealthy Americans in the 1800s, but in the Europe of the 1960s and 1970s, obsessed with leisure, the seats have become softer and more colorful. “The design is meant to fit our current lifestyle,” says Emma Scully, who runs a furniture gallery on New York’s Upper East Side. “When our chairs change, it’s usually because the way we live changes.”

After more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, our definition of comfort is definitely in transition. It can mean the traditional cocooning feel of a La-Z-Boy, but just as often it’s just something you love to watch.


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