Style Guide: Klismos Chair

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I have been reading a lot about ancient furniture lately, and it’s fascinating to trace iconic furniture designs to their roots in antiquity. Take for example the klismos chair, an Ancient Greek design circa the mid-fifth century BC. The klismos has a concave upper backrest and tapered legs that curve outwards. The seat was usually woven leather or some other cording, upon which sat a cushion or animal pelt. Our knowledge about klismoi has mostly been gleaned from depictions in carvings and other artwork. Depictions of klismoi in antiquity. Source: House Appeal.   The klismos fell out of style during the Hellenistic period, in part due to a design flaw: without the support of stretchers, the outward curving legs eventually splay too far and break. Nevertheless European Neoclassicism returned the klismos to favor. Painter Jacques Louis-David commissioned klismoi as set props for his historical paintings. British-born Neoclassicist Benjamin Henry Latrobe helped insinuate this chair into American culture. Latrobe built a set of klismos chairs– with reinforcing stretchers– for the White …

Bergère Chairs

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I just bought a beautiful bergère chair for a master bedroom project, and it got me thinking about how much I love this style. Bergère chairs are characterized by upholstered backs, seat frames, and arm rests, loose upholstered cushions, and exposed wooden frames. This style, which originated in France in the mid-eighteenth century, strikes the perfect balance between elegance and comfort. There are three types of bergère chair: bergère à la reine has a flat back, while bergère en cabriolet has a rounded back. Bergère marquise has a low, coved back which curves uninterrupted into the arms.