Replica Bertoia wire side chair
Choose the colour of the seat pad.
Inwhite, the chairs seem to disappear making them so right for small apartments.
My Bertoia side chairs and why I love them
Of course, my Bertoia chairs aren't the real,genuine thing. I've wanted to own a pair for many,many years but I could never quite manage to justify the expense - the genuine items are incredibly expensive and beyond my means. I have several friends who are as crazy about Mid-Century Modern furniture as I am but they are all - please don't tell them I told you this - rather snooty when it comes to replicas and reproductions.
I prefer to live for today
'Oh' they would say, haughtily 'I would rather save up for twenty years and get the real thing, not a mere reproduction'. For some years, I went along with this and then wondered if I'd actually be around in twenty years and why on earth I couldn't enjoy wonderful design in my home right now?
I grew up with these chairs
In the photograph section below, you'll see a photograph of a receipt that I have in my possession. It dates from the 1960s when my dad bought six originals (new at the time) from a fashionable department store in London. They graced our dining room for years. That's another reason why I was desperate to have some; they are the chair equivalent of comfort food for me. Memories.
But I love the design
The flowing shapes, the way they seem almost to disappear, the way they cast shadows, the wonderful fact that these are sculptures, not merely something to sit on whilst you're eating your pizza - they are art. Purely and simply, art.
Perfect for small spaces
Our apartment is tiny but because these chairs seem to be made of air, they don't interrupt the eye. They are beautiful, practical and I really don't care at all that they are replicas. When I bought them online and they were delivered,I didn't expect fantastic quality. But they are. Considering myself an expert, after all I lived with the real thing for years, I examined them closely. I really believe that saving for twenty years would have been completely bonkers. Truly.
These are just stunningly beautiful.I don't have the space in my home though. And like the side version, this chair is supremely comfortable. I once stayed at a restored Mid-Century hotel in West Palm Beach (the Hotel Biba) that had these in the rooms.I wanted to steal it and take it home.
If you have more space, which I don't,then the butterfly chair is probably even more gorgeous.Like the side chair, it is a Mid-Century Modern design icon. The wonderful thing about these is that they are suitable for almost any décor style.
See too the bar stools. Because the airy design is so easy on the eye, they are perfect for small bars or kitchen dining areas where heavier furniture would be completely unsuitable.
Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
All photographs above are copyright Andy Royston.
Note that two of the photographs are of receipts for Bertoia chairs - the ones we had in our dining room when I was a child. They were bought from Heal's of London (a very stylish store) in the nineteen sixties. Part of my love for these chairs is surely nostalgia but as a designer I fully appreciate their beauty and the fact that they are completely timeless in style.
Meet Harry Bertoia
Learn more about Harry Bertoia and his background in sculpture. Discover how the famous chair developed and how it became a Mid-Century Modern icon.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson