When you're setting up a nursery, a rocking chair is one of the most significant and symbolic purchases you'll make. It's also a piece that can easily last beyond the baby stages if it's well chosen. Here are ten types we like, from the iconic Eames RAR to traditional Shaker styles.
The Eames RAR is probably the most iconic mid-century modern rocking chair, and it's hugely popular among stylish parents today. There are several versions: Modernica sells fiberglass reproductions and Herman Miller produces the newer, molded plastic versions. (For a run-down of the difference, see this thread.)
If you're looking for something that's nearer to the cutting edge, there are a number of talented living designers who've experimented with recreating the classic rocking chair.
You can often find simple modern wooden rocker frames with cushions at thrift stores — all it takes to make them new again is some cleaning and perhaps new cushions.
Bentwood-frame rockers have a simple, streamlined design that fits well in a modern room. On the high end, look for classics by Jens Risom and Ralph Rapson. On the low end, there's the ever-popular IKEA Poang Chair.
This term doesn't define 'organic' in terms of production materials (although it may include organic pieces). Rather, it describes a style that's organic in form — comfortable, but still somewhat streamlined and modern.
Solid wood rockers are available in several classic American styles, including Mission, Arts and Crafts, and even Adirondack.
These classic American rockers are handmade with a webbed or slat back. They're very traditional, but they're also simple enough that they can sometimes work with more modern decor.
The Thonet Rocker is a classic late 19th century design that feels very traditional now, but was revolutionary when it was designed. Michael Thonet invented the bentwood production process, which made these chairs relatively inexpensive to produce.
Deco / Industrial
Emeco's chairs have a machine-age aesthetic that comes in part from the aluminum used to make them. These aren't the most comfortable chairs ever, but they look great and they're extremely durable.
If you care a lot about design and you want to invest in a piece that stands out and will have no trouble surviving beyond the baby years, search the selection at cutting-edge companies like Droog, Generate, and De La Espada.
• Guide to Dining Chairs: 10 Styles & Sources
• Metal and Wire Frame Rockers | Apartment Therapy
• The Illustrated History of the Rocking Chair | Design Boom
Photo: Wes & Kayla Schwartz | Apartment Therapy