Four-legged chairs are a fundamental element in any home. They are always present, and in large quantities, from the living room to the dining room, from the kitchen to the bedrooms and even in the bathroom, where they sometimes serve as a footrest. They are, therefore, a flexible and highly versatile element that accompanies us through daily life. Who knows how many models of four-legged chairs are on the market? Without a doubt tens of thousands, all with their own specific identity. From the simplest models to the more eloquent ones, there is no person on Earth who hasn’t used one, whatever type it may have been. On the other hand, think
Four-legged chairs are a fundamental element in any home. They are always present, and in large quantities, from the living room to the dining room, from the kitchen to the bedrooms and even in the bathroom, where they sometimes serve as a footrest. They are, therefore, a flexible and highly versatile element that accompanies us through daily life. Who knows how many models of four-legged chairs are on the market? Without a doubt tens of thousands, all with their own specific identity. From the simplest models to the more eloquent ones, there is no person on Earth who hasn’t used one, whatever type it may have been. On the other hand, think about how even thrones are nothing more than extravagant four-legged chairs. Historically, designers have ventured into the construction of four-legged chairs, creating models that are often seen by the public as genuine masterpieces, stylish elements and furniture that go way beyond mere functionality in order to become a spectacular and special piece, meeting the aesthetic needs of an ever-demanding consumer. In reality, four-legged chairs also differ depending on how they are used, as the pieces can be especially reflective of the layout where they are placed, working with the room’s style while also playing an important aesthetic role. These chairs generally steal the show in genuine works of art. Just think about paintings or photographs, or even the many films where the main scenes show actors sitting on chairs, very often designer chairs, where the pieces have become must-have items for furniture enthusiasts. The history of the chair So when did the chair come about? Its current shape, although a rudimentary structure, was first conceived in the Middle Ages, around 1000 AD. The faldstool is the first prototype of the single-person seat, deriving from the bench as the first true ancestor of four-legged chairs. The bench’s origin is unknown, its invention has been lost over time and there is no reliable evidence. Truth be told, even for primitive man it was likely easy to come up with something simply by placing a wooden beam horizontally and resting it on two vertical supports for an end product that was definitely more comfortable than the often wet and damp land. As previously mentioned, even the throne can be regarded as a close relative of four-legged chairs, and this type of seat has been equally present since the dawn of time, most likely even before the pharaohs were ruling, although the first evidence gathered dates back to the very civilization of the pharaohs. To put it in context, this goes back to 3000 BC and humans were already feeling the need to provide seats for individuals, generally aimed at those holding more prestigious positions. A particularly interesting part of chair history is the curule chair, perhaps the first example of a folding chair, which was used by those in power when on the go. It was a status symbol and when it was in use by magistrates, and wherever you found a curule chair alongside other elements that generally reflected such power, a court could be set up. It is distinguished by criss-cross legs that form an X, in turn creating a sitting area that was used by the Etruscans. It is perhaps here that the faldstool came about, given how similar its structure is. The chair’s frame comes closest to that of today’s when compared to the chairs from the past, and today this term refers to the chairs intended for Catholic leaders during religious celebrations. In the past, it was a chair found only in the wealthiest of homes. The iron structure, with its crossed legs, featured a slight padding on the seat, marking the new needs of the lords to use a comfortable and practical element to sit in. From the faldstool, we can safely assume that the first idea for chair upholstery was inspired, since even the thrones during this period were made of simple, hard wooden chairs that weren’t much good for long-term comfort. For many years the faldstool was the only sturdy one-piece seat around, not including the thrones that had padding, since the introduction of the first """"modern"""" chair dates back to the Renaissance. In fact, the cathedra and stool, two elements that appear frequently in religious representation, actually are not relatives of the chair itself, except for the portable feature they have in common. The first true modern chair model is made with rods, sometimes called scissors. Some of these chairs can still be admired in the San Marco Convent in Florence, where Girolamo Savonarola, one of the most controversial figures of the Italian Renaissance, lived for an extended period. This chair is also derived from the curule chair but is also inspired by the field chair used by Arab generals. This chair continues to maintain the typical X shape but the padding was removed. One of the most famous models of all time, it has two comfortable, sturdy armrests and a backrest which can prove to be rather comfortable for those who use it. The Savonarola chair, named in honour of the politician and preacher, led to modern chairs over a process that took centuries of evolution. These pieces are also a common sight in houses, as well. Over the years they have evolved into increasingly practical and comfortable elements, deriving from benches with 4 simpler legs, perhaps the predecessor to chairs that are now present in our homes. The intuition leading to the dividing of benches into individual parts, entrusting two supports or 4 columns each, revolutionised the concept of space and paved the way for chairs which eventually evolved to what we now use daily. From this rich and lavish history, it is rather obvious that no single inventor or time period can be narrowed down. An object that has such great cultural and everyday life importance means that it is constantly evolving and with both ideas and technical skills, creating more practical and comfortable versions. As of today, the chair certainly isn’t finished evolving, as demonstrated by the many designers who spend years of their lives studying the best solutions for future products. It is no coincidence that new models are regularly released on the market, adding to the pre-existing ones for a wide array of choice for any and every customer. Behind the creation of a chair is a boundless universe: We mustn’t overlook the fact that this object, although it may seem simple in appearance, actually has to hold the entire weight of the human body. You can not afford the possibility of making mistakes in calculating size and proportions, because the risk would be to create unstable, unsafe elements that could be a hazard to those who sit there. Among the most famous of chairs, and proudly Italian, is the Chiavari chair, which was conceived in the early nineteenth century in Liguria, in a little tucked away town. This is currently one of the most common chairs in the world and is derived from chairs from the French empire. A customer asked Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi, one of the best-known furniture makers in the city, to make something simpler and less ornate than the exotic French chair, which was more practical and lighter. The customer wished to have a more unwieldy and much less flashy chair compared to those in France, and Descalzi decided to minimize the load-bearing structure, reducing the material and proportion it to the side of the chair. The result was a piece flaunting great simplicity while at the same time an eye-catching look, which in a few years was able to conquer the entire market. As a matter of fact, the Chiavari chair was the first to use woven straw instead of wood. In this way the body is able to rest on a soft and supple texture that’s also durable and more comfortable. It didn’t require the use of pillows either, which were destined to become decorative accessories rather than essential elements needed for comfort. The most famous four-legged chairs The very Chiavari chair was actually modified by the great modern designer Giò Ponti who, in the twentieth century, got his hands on this classic Italian furniture piece which at that time had already made its way into every home from the countryside to the city, drawing up a model that was even more lightweight and extraordinary, though he didn’t revolutionize its essence and uniqueness. He named it Superleggera (Super lightweight) and, as a matter of fact, it does not exceed 1.7 kg, a miniscule weight if you consider that it was a wooden model and not made of modern synthetic materials. The revolutionary work of Giò Ponti has every right to be placed among the most important elements of industrial design in the twentieth century, a real cultural symbol of modern and contemporary society despite the designer having simply repeatedly redefined a simple chair. The concept behind Ponti’s chair is based on simple benchmarks that initially led to Descalzi’s production of the Chiavari Chair: - simplicity - lightness - stability Giò Ponti’s work, however, must be contextualized in the period of immediate post-second world war Italy, as back then the Milanese designer was undergoing an economically grave situation which forced him to find low-cost manufacturing solutions that did not sacrifice quality. The result was an unprecedented success, also supported by an inspired and original advertising campaign, as even the ads themselves became symbols of Italian culture in the second half of the twentieth century for their revolutionary ideas in the marketing field. A special mention also goes out to the LC1 four-legged chair made by one of the most famous French designers ever, Le Corbusier. Much like Ponti's Superleggera, this model by Le Corbusier captured both the market and the critics. It was called the icon of industrial design, and the result of the modern cultural movement. For some an armchair, for others a chair, this element stands out for its elegance and simplicity. In this way, it’s completely different from Giò Ponti’s piece. The French chair has a metal frame and an upholstered seat that tilts backwards. In a simple chair, Le Corbusier embodied functional perfection as a whole, with an essential design and great stability. One of the most iconic products of the Le Corbusier production, it is still today one of the best-selling chairs in the world. Modern four-legged chairs Aside from the greatest designer masterpieces out there, the modern market is still full of different chairs, appropriate for every situation and any use. The chair, after all, is a very important element that needs to perfectly flow with the decor of the rest of the house, and for this reason it is necessary to identify elements that can enhance your style, while at the same time serving as important objects that break continuity or monotony, enlivening the environment. Among the most interesting examples of modern four-legged chairs are those made by Metalmobil, in particular the Luna chair. It is a product with a very simple line that still flaunts a wonderful minimal design, drawing inspiration from the past in order to get its modern flair. It's a concept that reflects all Metalmobil production, as this chair is its most important representative. The visible structure is made of chrome-plated steel, displaying great aesthetic impact, while the seat and back are made of one piece of high quality laminated cinderblocks, assembled in such a way that it can be durable, stable and safe. Why is it called Luna? Because the seat was painted in a particular shade of white that closely resembles the colour of the Earth’s natural satellite, the moon. This aspect means the Luna chair can be placed perfectly in any context, without ever feeling out of place. It can also be perfectly placed in the dining room as well as the kitchen. However, it fits nicely in an adult's or child’s bedroom, near the desk for study time. Its refined and delicate design characterises the product itself, making it an eye-catching piece for all those who are looking for an original chair while still trying to be discreet. For those looking for something a little stronger, while also giving off a greater visual impact, Villa Salotti is your best bet. The brand offers a very original four-legged chair in its catalogue. As often happens, this model is inspired in part by the Chiavari chair, but has been completely revamped and revisited in a more modern and original tone to create a product with unique features. The Chiavari chair sports woven straw to form the seat, while for this piece the natural fibres have been replaced by a system of soft and elastic straps, making the chair’s appearance truly amazing. The Intrecci chair can be considered an evolution of the Chiavari chair with a strong personality, where the structural simplicity of the lines is in stark contrast with interwoven elements that make up the seat and seatback, deliberately arranged in a random order to emphasize the character of this object of great design. The piece is perfect for a living room or a kitchen, but also for a study where you want to add a touch of originality that brings out the best of an otherwise extremely classic solution. The Intrecci chair by Villa Salotti is available in a wide range of colours. The Park chair by B-Line, however, is a riveting display of clean-cut furniture. Imagine a chair that is just a chair, without too many frills. This is the concept the chair is based on, and the company responsible for designing this model, composed of a simple structure in steel coated rods, offers improved ergonomics and cushion comfort while at the same time completely freeing itself from anything seen as superfluous that obtains the same result. Minimalism is one of the main elements of modern design and B-Line went all out with this concept, creating a refined and elegant four-legged chair that ensures maximum stability and safety in any situation. Being such an essential product, the Park chair fits well in any environment, satisfying to perfection its style and essence. These are just some of the four-legged chair models that can be purchased on LOVEThESIGN’s website. The refined design and quality materials make these chairs real furniture gems that combine functionality with a hint of creativity and originality, creating a unique layout wherever they go. Whether wood, metal, plastic or synthetic material, chairs are an indispensable furniture accessory that should be chosen to reflect your own style tastes. A chair can completely revolutionize the perception of space, as a simple element that is able to completely transform any area of the house. Technological advances have made it possible to make further changes in recent years to this area, also completely revolutionizing the manufacturing sector. It’s still in the experimental phase, but 3D furniture printing, including chairs, could be the next step in mass production, leading to a further reduction in costs and increased manufacturing quality. Additionally, the plastic polymers are increasingly sophisticated and easy on the eyes and touch, and can also easily replace wood and steel while reducing overall costs.