Modern Icons: The Barcelona Chair
Classic Tufted Leather Chairs Go From Bauhaus to Your House
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta that I'll describe as "collected." I got into design via Landscape Architecture, which I studied at the University of Virginia. I've been writing about design online for quite a few years over at Hatch: The Design Public Blog.
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta... More »
The Barcelona chair, designed by Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, made its debut in his German Pavilion at the International Exposition of 1929 in Barcelona, Spain (hence the name). This pavilion has been so exhaustively studied and revered that it has been rebuilt so that you may visit it today. Mies went on to direct the Bauhaus School the next year until it closed in 1933. Currently, Knoll has the rights to produce the licensed chair, which is available through some of our favorite modern furniture suppliers. These chairs are handmade and are very high quality. The collection also includes the a coordinating ottoman and the very popular Barcelona Daybed.
This full set of Barcelona furniture keeps a low profile in a two-story room, letting the large painting and window steal the show. The piece at the end is the Barcelona daybed. Note how the curvy Wiggle Stool keeps the arrangement from being too perfectly aligned.
Four Barcelona chairs arranged like this take the place of a pair of sofas.
This room is very sleek and modern, yet has a lot of warmth, much of which is provided by the bisque Barcelona chairs.
This room has a very subdued color palette which is made interesting by all of the textures. The tufted leather of the Barcelona chairs is a big part of this texture palette.
A pair of chairs is creates a conversation area.
These chairs are often in a group of furniture that includes the Barcelona daybed. Mies added the daybed to the collection in 1930. They are great choices for a study, living room or lounge.
The combination also works well in a large bedroom.
Photo stylists often leave a modern room quite cleared out. A Barcelona chair is that magical piece of furniture that can stand on its own.
Here's another example of a lone chair that proves "less is more." Wow, I totally forgot that Mies is the one who made that phrase so popular until just this second. You know how Oprah has "aha moments"? I have "DUH moments" a lot more often than I have "ahas." One thing I did not know is that the phrase originally appeared in a Robert Browning poem in 1855. Aha!
These crisp white chairs add to the spectacular view here.
The chair is versatile enough to sit atop a traditional oriental rug.
Technically these are Barcelona ottomans, but I couldn't resist showing you the clever way this designer has used them in a bathroom.
Here a rich saddle brown version sits with its contemporary, an Eames Lounge Chair.
The chairs fit right into this interesting palette: exposed duct (so genius that is in the center of the ceiling), scads of glass windows, glass and wood furniture and a tribal rug. If there's one thing I hope you take away from this ideabook, it's how versatile this chair is. You don't have to live in a Bauhaus pavilion to have one.
Next: More modern icons in home design
Ideabook published on April 19, 2011.
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