Most Popular Designer Chairs Made by the British
British furniture design has always managed to encapsulate the essence of luxury, nature and elegance, as floral and organic shapes are evident throughout the Elizabethen period, all the way up to the 21st century. Over the years, most furniture pieces were made using wood. Decorative finishes were often added to create charming, curled designs.
The Bent Plywood Chair by Gerald Summers – 1933
It took Gerald Summer many years of exploring other avenues before finding his true calling in the early 1930’s, after he designed and made two furniture pieces for his then future wife, Marjorie Amy Butcher. Butcher became his greatest fan, and encouraged him to further step into his true potential.
In the year 1931, the married couple opened their own company together. Just two years later, the Bent Plywood Chair was born, which turned out to be his most famous piece. The Bent Plywood Chair came to fruition soon after Summers began exploring with airplane plywood, a revolutionary material at the time.
Amongst the traditional steel furniture frames of the period, the use of airplane plywood brought with it new ideas and inspiration. Now, furniture pieces could be made to be lighter, more functional and cheaper than ever before.
The Bent Plywood Chair was created using a single sheet of ply, made up of 7 layers, each placed directly upon one another. The layers were adhered together with aviation adhesive, and set to dry in a mould for only 8 hours. Once dried, the chair received its final finishes, which took minimal effort to complete.
The Emeco 1006 Chair by Wilton C. Dinges – 1944
Wilton C. Dinges started his career as a toolmaker, after studying engineering. In 1944, he decided that it was time for a change, and founded the now world-famous company, Emeco. Emeco has since become known for their sustainable furniture pieces that stand the test of time.
During the Second World War, Dinges designed a chair for the U.S. military to be used on warships. It was called the 1006 Chair, or otherwise known as the Navy Chair. It was crafted to be extremely durable, and later was used by high-end restaurants and interior designers alike.
In the 1990’s, designer versions of the chair were created using recyclable plastic, which made them lighter and easily stackable. The original design was crafted using aluminum with eye bolts on each leg, so that the chair could be tied to the bottom of the ships to keep them in place.
The Katakana Lounge Chair by Sean Dare – 2009
In 2009, Sean Dare started his own company called Dare studios. Soon, his loved ones became actively involved and it turned into a family-run business. As with many great furniture designers, Dare did not start out designing furniture pieces, but rather, he hoped to design cars for Porsche.
When he discovered that dream was no longer for him, he set about to find a new path, one which ultimately led him to be one of Britain’s greatest furniture designers today. Influenced by the well-made, solid furniture his mom so cherished around her house, he sought to create his own takes on his most-loved pieces.
Dare believes that furniture should be built to last, so that each piece can be passed onto future generations – a refreshing take on today’s fast furniture and fashion. Instead of striving to be the most famous designer the world has ever known, he only wishes to create pieces that bring those who use them joy and happiness.
The Katakana Chair takes inspiration from the Japanese alphabet for its unique and fluid shape. He created the timeless, durable frame using smooth, black walnut wood with a wax oil finish. The chair is upholstered using top-grain Italian leather, and made by hand in his studio.