Chairs – how I love them. The ultimate marriage of form and function, they are so essential to our every day lives, and yet can be such beautiful objects in their own right.
My recent purchase of a Robin Day designed Hillestak chair was the culmination of a long search for dining chairs that also saw me purchase some beautifully industrial Dutch Galvanitas chairs (guaranteed to be the subject of a future post).
Designed by the pioneering Day for furniture manufacturer Hille in 1950, the Hillestak was a low-cost, simple timber stacking chair that was supplied in large quantities for schools, canteens and conference halls. At the Festival of Britain in 1951, Hille plywood chairs were everywhere. With its pared-down silhouette, it seemed to float above the ground – a million miles away from the heavy, solid style of other furniture at the time. The Design Museum has a great article about Robin Day and his wife Lucienne – two of the greatest designers of the 20th Century.
I got my chair from a great mid-century modern website called Mark Parrish – definitely worth a visit.
For such a functional object, it gives me great pleasure – the proportions, the beautiful grain of the wood, the simplicity of the design. And of course, it’s exceptionally comfortable to sit on. The only problem with an obsession for dining chairs, however, is that there are only so many you can fit around a table.