Cold is Cool: Steel & Wire Frame Chairs

We know… they’re uncomfortable, they’re cold in the winter and hot in the summer, they’re too expensive. But there’s something so simple and sculptural about a wire-frame chair. It’s lovable in spite of — or maybe even because of — its standoffishness.

If you’ll let me project human characteristics onto a chair for a minute, a wire-frame is like that kid in high school that wore all black and never spoke, but you totally wanted to sweat her style because she just looked so cool. Here are 10 versions, most of them on the high end, but with a couple more affordable options thrown into the mix.

  1. Hay: Based in Denmark, this store commissions work by cutting-edge Scandinavian designers, and they also stock several modern European collections. Shown: Spiderwoman Chair by Louise Campbell, 1,799 DKK.
  2. ABC Carpet: This Essai Chair ($295) is made in Italy from powdercoated steel. They also have a few other modern and vintage options for dining chairs or outdoor seating.
  3. Quintessentia: This vintage shop is a good source for quality mid-century modern furniture at reasonable prices. Right now, they have a Vintage Charles Eames Wire Chair with Coral Bikini available for $300.
  4. Design Public: This web shop is known for taking chances on young, up-and-coming designers, and they’re the first store we know of to stock Guarav Nanda’s Bend Seating — which we blogged when it launched in January 2011. Shown: Bend Seating Farm House Chair, $450.
  5. 1stDibs: A great place to search for classic modern wire chairs for your dining room or patio, as long as you don’t mind paying highly curated antique store prices. Shown: Russell Woodard Wire Mesh Dining Chairs at Tom Gibbs Studio, $2,600 for a set of 6.
  6. Design Within Reach: They stock licensed versions of Harry Bertoia’s wire-frame collection, including the famous Bertoia Side Chair, shown here in kelly green for $500.
  7. Hive Modern: This online shop is another good resource for modern classics from Bertoia, Platner, and other mid-century designers who worked in wire. Shown: Platner Arm Chair, $2,636.
  8. The Conran Shop: They have a nice mix of modern and transitional wire-frame chairs for dining rooms or outdoor use. The Antelope Chair ($975) is a new addition to their collection.
  9. Gardenhouse: This webshop carries brightly painted vintage steel chairs for outdoor use. Most of their inventory tends towards traditional styles, but there are some modern pieces in the mix as well, like the Red Mid-Century Metal Chairs shown above (SOLD).
  10. CB2: Their outdoor and dining collections include some basic powdercoated steel dining chairs, as well as one rocking version — the Hatfield Grellow Chair for $199.
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