Sitting Pretty: Sustainable Armchairs

Sitting Pretty: Sustainable Armchairs

Sarah Firshein
Apr 16, 2010

Whatever your fancy, from modernist to traditional to just plain wacky, there's an armchair to suit your tastes. These are a handful to choose from, all with a bent on sustainability and high design. Consider them investment pieces with a conscience—then sick back, relax and take a load off.

Shown above the jump, from left to right:

1. New Hope, Penn.-based wood master George Nakashima updates the old schoolhouse standby with his Lounge Chair (price upon request) made from reclaimed lumber. No. 2 pencils not included.

2. From Ettore Sottsass (the brain behind the Olivetti Valentine typewriter) comes something else you can rat-rat-rat with your fingers: the Nine-0 Stacking Armchair from DWR (starting at $485) is made from 80 percent recycled aluminum and designed to last 150 years.

3. Parlor games may be a thing of chivalry's past, but the Parlour Chair from CB2 ($699) is very much alive, a tangerine statement with a certified sustainable, kiln-dried hardwood frame and a seat cushion made of soy-based polyfoam and fiber.

4. Once on view at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Relief Chair by Mickus Projects ($3,998) is composed of renewable materials with non-toxic, water-based adhesives. Industrial-wool felt and stainless steel combine to form a low-slung geometric perch all its own.

5. The Brave Lounge (price upon request) from Brooklyn-based Brave Space Design is inspired by architecture and sharp angles. But with a frame treated with a non-toxic water-based finished and cushions upholstered in sustainable fabric, it's actually a soft place to land.

6. Deco goes green with the Anderson Dining Chair from Verde Design Studio (price upon request), a firm devoted to nontoxic clues, water-based finishes (no VOC), low-VOC lacquers and recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials.

7. Along with cheddar and microbrews, we can count green furniture among Vermont's exports. The natural-cherry Round Back Chair from Vermont Wood Studios ($729) is handcrafted from sustainably sourced woods and treated with a non-toxic matte finish.

8. Please fasten your seatbelt—one of the many post-industrial ones that form the base of the Gotham Arm Chair by designer J. Persing ($450). The unusual bent-ply design is made from laminated maple and covered with a non-toxic, water-based finish.

9. Zola Furnishings' Lorenzo chair (price upon request) fuses modern diagonals with rustic-feeling Kirei board, an eco-friendly substance made from compressed Sorghum-plant stalks.

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