Wednesday, June 9, 2010

{le dome chair}

Is it just me or have you noticed the dome chair popping up more frequently these days? As I was flipping through the latest issue of Elle Decor, I came across this ad from Restoration Hardware:

What an interesting shape! This chair really adds the look of vintage glamour to any space, and I find it rather intriguing! It’s a reproduction of a French regency period chair that retains the dramatic dome and deep wings of the original which were intended to fend off drafts in the grand chateaux of 18th-century France. According to, in the grand chateaux of 18th-century France, the porter who would be stationed by the entrance to admit visitors would have sat in a chair much like this. The dome chair is said to block out some of the noise when you sit in it and therefore make an excellent book-reading chair!

via Parker Sims Interiors and High Fashion Home

Kelly Wearstler is known for using these chairs in several of her private and commercial projects {images via Kelly Wearstler Interior Design}:

Doheny Estate

Lounge of the cafe at Bergdorf Goodman

BG at Bergdorf Goodman

Depending on the fabrics and finishes used, I think the canopied wing back chair can go from extremely funky and hip to chic and sophisticated. I do love the height the dome chair adds, and it certainly injects drama into Kelly’s designs.

The Tides South Beach

The Tides South Beach

Domicilium Decoratus by Kelly Wearstler

So after doing my research, I had to sit in one of these chairs on my last trip to Restoration Hardware … you know, for investigative purposes of course! My first thought was, boy, if these chairs were side by side, you couldn’t see the person sitting next to you!! Well, Kelly fixed that problem with this interesting creation, check out the cut-out holes in the side of these chairs!

And it’s not just Ms. Wearstler who is infatuated with these chairs, here is an example from Thom Filicia’s book, Thom Filicia STYLE. Filicia describes canopied wing backs as “personal cocoons of coziness.”

San Francisco designer Gabriella Sarlo also carries these fine chairs in her showroom:

The dome chair even popped up in a Crocodile embossed leather on the set of the television show Ugly Betty!

So what do you think? Love ‘em or could live without ‘em? I think it could easily go either way for most people, but I find the history of this handsome chair so interesting that it makes it seem regal and glamorous!

PS. Victoria-based designer Ivan Meade has posted a lovely interview with Kelly Wearstler herself, be sure to pop over to Meade Design Group blog for the inside scoop!


Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

Yes, I see these a lot as well! Nice round up.

barbara@hodge:podge said...

The chair reminds me of Austin Powers when Dr. Evil swiveled around in a dome type chair! I would feel "evil" and sneaky in one! I

Marcus Design said...

Ha ha! Barbara you made me giggle, yes I could see Dr. Evil perched nicely on one of these chairs!!

Dale at Hospitality Design Inspirations said...

I especially like the one she used in the Doheny Estate project. It looks like a draped hoodie or monk's outfit interpreted into a chair. Love it.

DesignTies said...

I saw a couple of white dome chairs at the Interior Design Show in January. The history behind the dome chair is interesting, but the chair itself doesn't really appeal to me. It's a bit too over-the-top, plus I'd feel claustrophobic sitting on one!!

Weird -- for some reason, an image of ET just popped into my head.... he's sort of the same shape as a done chair!!



Thank you very much for the mention!

This chair has definitely become a signature in Kelly Wearstler's style, also this chair is a proof of how can you re-interpret an old piece and make it current.

Vanessa@decor happy said...

So interesting hearing of the history but I'm not a big fan. Great research and images!

thelennoxx said...

Nancy, thank you for writing this up, I've been wondering what's the story behind these crazy chairs popping up all over the place (but was too lazy to research it).

I have a love- hate relationship with these, I think it leans more over to the hate side. It really reminds me of a coffin, esp the darker designs. But in the 2nd image you pasted they look so great. It probably depends a lot on how thy are used, so it's a tie for me.

Thank you for teaching us something new today!!

Marcus Design said...

I totally agree that these chairs would not be on my personal wishlist, but it's crazy how much I feel like I am seeing them EVERYWHERE! Did anyone happen to see that photo of a dome chair in the June/July issue of Lonny magazine??

Lisa said...

Very interesting chair! I've seen them around but I think of them as dramatic props - a bit hard to live with in real life. But still, maybe they could work in a private library with a roaring fire and a kitty on your lap.

Things That Inspire said...

In general I strongly dislike this chair - it just rubs me wrong. However, seeing so many images of this chair in such fabulous environments makes me appreciate it a bit more!

I prefer a wing chair that has depth but is open on top - I love a chair that feels like it is hugging and protecting you when sitting in it! The Victoria Hagan wing chair is my favorite.

Leigha said...

Those mustard yellow chairs are amazing. I think dome chair requires extreme editing and careful use, a little goes a long way. But, oh, those yellow ones!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

© 2010-2017 Nancy Marcus. All Rights Reserved. | Blog Design By Brittany Douglas