Neo Chair, Same Problem

by Grace Bonney

This morning I woke up convinced that I could find a steel/wire frame chair that would work in my living room. Since my very first post back in 2004, I’ve been coveting wire-style chairs because they have such a light visual footprint and always keep their shape. But sadly, they are some of the least comfortable chairs around. When I was 24 I started saving up to buy a set of Bertoia chairs, but stopped when I actually went to sit on them and realized that no amount of adorable seat cushions would make them chairs that I wanted to sit in for any extended amount of time. I gave up the dream, but never stopped lusting after them. Then I bumped into this gorgeous chair, the Neo, at Jayson Home. I know I shouldn’t want it- it’s probably not super comfortable. But man if those lines aren’t beautiful and that gridded form look so light and airy and would be the perfect addition to a small space that doesn’t need a lot of heavy wood weighing it down. Has anyone ever been able to make these sorts of wire/grid type chairs work for them as regular everyday pieces? I feel like every dining room and office styled for Domino magazine back in the day had a set, but I can’t imagine anyone actually used those chairs to eat or work for more than an hour. If you have, please let me in on your secret… xo, grace


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  • I have a set of Bertoia chairs and tbh I dont find them that uncomfy. I made slim seat pads for them and they are fine. Perhaps you could fluff them up with sheepskins or other beautiful textiles for long dinner parties? Mind you I now have twins of a year old and they love to use the chairs as climbing frames these days….

  • I have friends with Bertoia Diamond chairs and have spent hours in them, but they wouldn’t be my first choice where I would my recliner at in a house. I have a set of Woodard Sculptura for my patio and I did have to break down and get cushions for those even though I like the look better without them. I pretty much always choose style over comfort except a select few places in the house though

  • I have four vintage Bertoia dining chairs, got the set for $50 total, and was thrilled but ultimately disappointed by the lack of comfort. I’d always dreamed of putting them with a Saarinen table, and lucked out when the vintage store around the corner from my house tossed a vintage imitation Saarinen tulip base. I topped it with a white round tabletop from CB2, and the whole set looked like it belonged poolside at some 1950s motel. It just looked “too” twee-ly mid-century in my nearly 100-year old house. Fixed both problems (comfort, aesthetics) by getting four round pillows from West Elm (gray linen, looks like they just disappeared off the WE website) for seat cushions, and four sets of new plastic gliders for the bottom of the chairs from ebay. Now they’re super-comfy dining chairs, and I really like the way the trashed white wire (previous owner used them in the garden for, I dunno, 50 or so years) juxtaposes against the gray linen.

  • Funny you ask that! After falling in love and purchasing a pair of Bertoia bar stools, I started enjoying them after I began using Crate and Barrel accent pillows for the bottom, now I sit on my bar stools for hours!

  • Well, this answers the question ” what do you get when you cross polinate a Panton & Bertoia”…ugh. Even the Neo pitch looks uncomfortable.And, that pad looks like an afterthought…too little too late. I’ve had and used the Bertoia side chair for years on projects with no comfort complaints, particularly with the “full cover”.

  • I always have to laugh when I see people using it as an office chair, I tried that with my modernica wire chair (w/ seat pad) and it was NOT comfortable. However, I still love that chair, along with my Bertoia diamond lounge chair and ottoman – for now they are in storage awaiting the day I finally have a yard. I’m going to love the graphic statement they will make with a new powder coat against the foliage of my dream garden :)

  • I was fortunate to inherit my parents’ 1976 collection of Warren Platner for Knoll furniture. We use the arm chairs as our dining room chairs and dinner parties can go on for hours… They are sculptural, sturdy and timeless. And most importantly, REALLY comfortable!

  • I produced these chairs back in the 70s made 2000 f them under contract in London England ,made the tools to produce them everything, charged 2 pounds each for the wire shells no bases, wish I coukld make them now at the prices they go for,I have a set made from the original jigs and tooling, the tooling was very complicated no one would guess how the shape was made,maybe Ill get back to make them,just the tooling is very time consumeing to make

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