Casalino Chairs: The New Old Classic

Casalino Chairs: The New Old Classic

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Nancy Mitchell
Oct 29, 2014
Pink Casalino chairs in a home from Inside Out, via SF Girl by Bay.
(Image credit: Inside Out)

Some classic furniture pieces get a lot of press, and others fly under the radar a little. I will admit that until recently, I wouldn't have been able to identify these groovy, swoopy 70s chairs. I saw them crop up every once in a while, in this interior or that, and I even had a picture of one in my giant Evernote collection, with a note underneath: "WHAT IS THIS CHAIR CALLED?" But now I know: this is the Casalino chair, an old classic that's enjoying a new surge in popularity.

Image from DWR.
(Image credit: DWR)

The Casalino chair, designed in 1971, doesn't really belong under the heading of Midcentury Modern, unless you have a very generous definition of 'mid'. They were popular in the 70s (I remember the public library in Lafayette, Louisiana having the child version) but have been forgotten ever since. I suspect it's because they're just a little bit too groovy — similar in shape to their cousin the Panton Chair, but not quite so well behaved.

A library from AD Russia.
(Image credit: AD Russia)

I think we've been avoiding all things 70s for a long time — they were a very exuberant time, design-wise, and we're just now starting to be ready for those things to come back. Which means that the Casalino chair is perfectly poised for a comeback: it's the perfect thing to add just a little funk to an interior. And like a lot of classic designs, it plays well with pieces from other styles and time periods.

Spotted on Desire to Inspire.
(Image credit: Desire to Inspire)

The Casalino chair's designer, Alexander Begge, made a single collection before retiring from design entirely. He said about the chair, at the time he designed it, that "I had this image of a wisp of fog, and elaborated on that." After languishing in obscurity for some time, these little wisps were re-introduced in 2007, and made available in the US at DWR in 2013.

Casalino chairs in an interior from Design Sponge.
(Image credit: Design Sponge)

Although the new chairs sell for a hefty $495, the older ones can still be found on Ebay and in vintage stores for less. Which means, if you're so inclined, that this would be a great time to snap some up.

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