Though she studied design at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Honolulu resident Jacqueline Davey has always been fond of architecture and furniture. “I love the ritual of sitting down and sharing food with someone, although I rarely make time for it myself, so I wanted to focus on chairs for such occasions.” Here, Davey rounds up some of her favorite chairs and how they can bring a unique element to an eating experience.
The Comback, designed by Patricia Urquiola, is a reinterpretation of a classic Windsor-style chair. Made of durable technopolymer thermoplastic, this chair is even suitable for use on a covered lānai. “This chair comes in a variety of colors, making it a great accent to any room,” Davey says. “It’s suitable for a dining room, but paired with a comfy cushion it can be used anywhere.” Available from Inspiration Interiors.
Eames La Fonda
“I love the history of this chair,” Davey says. Apparently, it was designed in 1961 in response to a request from a friend of Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, who needed seating for his new restaurant, La Fonda del Sol, in New York City’s Time-Life Building. He asked for chairs with backs no higher than the dining table tops. “It’s so easy to say yes to neutrals and shy away from bright colors, but the fuchsia upholstery is really what makes this chair amazing,” Davey says. “You’ll be surprised how complementary the color is, especially when it comes to nature.” Though not for sale, you can find vintage pieces like this through Hawai‘i Modern @hawaii_modern.
Russell Woodard designed this chair in 1956 for Woodard Furniture Co. Its wire framing and curved design is typically found on patios. “Because these vintage wire chairs are not as ubiquitous as the Bertoia chair, it’s still possible to find them at reasonable prices, and they’re infinitely more comfortable,” Davey says. In 1994, the Sculptura was added to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s permanent collection.
Walter Lamb Patio Dining Chairs
“The combination of bronze and flag line, or cording, are well suited to our tropical climate,” Davey says. “Because their origination is rooted in Hawai‘i, so is much of their history.” The story goes that after World War II, Walter Lamb salvaged bronze and copper tubing from naval ships at Pearl Harbor to create his first pieces. (While this chair is attributed to Walter Lamb, there is some disagreement as to whether he, or Kipp Stewart, who worked for Lamb while he was in college, originally designed this chair.) “This particular piece came from a now-defunct hotel located on the Gold Coast, on the foothills of Diamond Head, in Waikīkī,” Davey says. “This furniture was everywhere in the ’50s and ’60s, but is becoming scarcer, and consequently, higher priced.”
This rosewood chair, dubbed the “Lis,” was designed in the 1960s by Niels Koefoed for Koefoed Hornslet. A unique detail to note is how the armrests extend down and actually wrap around the cross spindle. “I love this chair because its organic shape seems to reference the Art Nouveau movement popular through the early 1900s, although it was designed and manufactured in the 1960s. “This chair would be suitable in a formal dining setting or anywhere you may want a sculptural chair to accent other furniture.” Available from Hawai‘i Modern, whose showroom is located at 527 Cummins St.
The model 79 chair was designed and manufactured in the 1960s by Niels Otto Møller for Møllers Møbelfabrik in Denmark and is suitable for a formal dining setting, although its low back makes it a little less formal than the “Lis” chair. “The back has the perfect arch, and the paper cord, as opposed to upholstery, gives it a more handmade feeling,” Davey says. “Despite its simplistic appearance, this chair is uber comfortable.” Available from Inspiration Interiors.
This ran in our “living well” section, click to read the other story about Kim Chambers.