From “in-your-dreams-list” expensive to really very affordable, my hot10 list of delectible dining chairs (although there’s actually 13!)
1. The Pilotta Chair.
Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Cassina in 2007.
Preferred configuration: Black without armrest.
£1,074 from Aram
2. The Isabell armchair
Designed by Sika Design.
£189 from SCP.
3. The 675 Case chair.
Designed by Robin Day in 1952.
Preferred configuration: walnut and chrome.
£275 from John Lewis
4. The Standard Chair
Designed by Jean Prouvé in 1934 for Vitra.
Preferred configuration: Black base with walnut backrest and seat; or Japanese red base with oak backrest and seat.
£547 from Aram.
5. The 699 Superleggera for Cassina.
Designed by Gio Ponti in 1957.
Black with cane seat.
£1,169 from Aram.
6. The Almsta chair
Handmade in bamboo and rattan.
£70 from IKEA.
7. The 214 Bentwood chair by Thonet.
Designed by Michael Thonet in the 1800s.
Preferred configuration: black stained beech with natural cane seat.
£552 from Aram.
A variant on the 214 is Chair 14. It has a wooden seat instead of woven cane, and the swoop of the back is less refined. Nevertheless, it’s still a thing of beauty and considerably cheaper.
£149 from SCP.
There’s also Chair 18 designed by Michael Thonet’s son, August Thonet.
£149 from SCP.
8. Chair 77 by Thonet.
Closer to the 214 in terms of the elegance of the back leading straight down into the legs, but more utilitarian in feel and form. Also no cane seat.
£95 from SCP.
9. The Ercol Originals All Purpose chair.
Updated version based on a 1950s design by Lucian R Ercolani.
(I have several of the 50s versions at home; they have 4 central spindles in the backrest, rather than three!)
£315 from The White Company
10. The Gentle chair.
Designed by Front for Porro in 2012.
£645 from Aram.