Trend Spotting & Sourcing: Safari Chairs

updated Jul 16, 2020
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Lately we’ve been spotting quite a few of these vintage safari chairs in interiors across the web. Their shape is clean and minimal, but the materials are rustic — perfect for injecting a bit of warmth into a modern interior.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The style has its roots in the campaign furniture of the 19th century. Danish furniture designer Kaare Klint based his 1933 design for a ‘safari chair’ on the Rorkhee chair, which was created by British Army engineers stationed in the Indian town of the same name. Swedish designer Arne Norell put his own unique twist on the style with his 1964 “Sirocco” chair, and in 1965 Jens Quistgaard created a version in wood and chrome. Owing to the design’s long history, it’s possible to find many different variations — in leather, canvas, or even animal hide, all with their own unique appeal.

Shown above, left to right:
1. Safari chairs look right at home in this airy beach cottage in Canada. From Kitka.
2. Home of Helena Rohner, as seen in Elle Decor.
3. A safari chair in a room at the Ace Hotel.
4. Seen in the offices of Refinery29 (via Design*Sponge).
5. Safari chairs warm up a modern interior in this photo by Magnus Anesund.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

1. A replica of a folding Rorkhee chair from Popular Woodworking.
2. Kaare Klint’s 1933 design, after the Rorhkee chair. This pair is selling for $4,000, from 1stDibs.
3. An Arne Norell Safari chair from the 1960s; $2,250 on 1stDibs.
4. Jens Quistgaard’s 1965 design (still in production) puts a modern spin on the chair’s traditionally rustic materials.
5. A Hans Wegner interpretation of the design. From 1stDibs.

6. A 1960s vintage Danish design, selling for about $450 on Ebay.
7. Another Danish design, this one by Eric Worts, with a tall back. $595 on Ebay.
8. This pair of black leather safari chairs is appealingly minimal. $1,200 for the pair, from 1stDibs.
9. A black and white canvas safari chair; $495 on Etsy.
10. The Rhys chair, from Anthropologie, is a modern design that shows a bit of the campaign influence.

(Images: as linked above)