furnitureliving in

10 Classic Movies and Their Alter Ego Chairs

by Grace Bonney

When I first started Design*Sponge, I had a bit of a chair problem (which has now been replaced by a ceramics obsession). At one point I had at least four chairs for every person living in my home and it got to be a little ridiculous. I ended up giving them away to good homes (what was I doing with a child’s mid-century rocking chair, anyway?) but I still have a soft spot for chairs that makes me want to take them all home like shelter puppies.

Last week Amy, Max and I were talking about a new light that was coming out and I said it reminded me so much of the movie Sleeper. We started talking about furniture that reminded us of certain movies (which was the original inspiration for our column, Living In). I thought it would be fun to turn this idea into one big post, so I decided to focus on my favorite piece of furniture: the humble chair. It’s funny how a single piece of furniture can encapsulate a style, time and look so clearly and, for me, these chairs feel exactly like the movies we’ve paired them with here. So if you need ideas for extra seating at home – or just a great movie to watch while you sit in that chair – this list is for you. xo, grace

Click through for all 10 pairs after the jump!

Marie Antoinette: Sofia Coppola’s take on this classic tale of excess is matched perfectly by a classic French chair that’s been given a bit of a modern (and candy-colored) spin.

Vertigo: This classic movie needs to be paired with a chair that has as much mod flair as the movie itself. From the iconic orange color of the poster to the Bertoia chair making an appearance in the movie itself, this pairing feels just right.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Though I prefer the book version of this classic story, this chair with its woodland-inspired carving reminds me of the magical forest world where The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe takes place. All that’s missing is a chair back with a lion…

What Dreams May Come: It’s hard to mention this film without talking about the sad passing of Robin Williams. This was not one of the most critically acclaimed films, but I loved it beyond words and found it to be one of the most inventive and creative movies I’ve seen in a long long time. Williams’ character wanders through the most incredible dreamland full of painted flowers and this chair captures that moment and that feel wonderfully.

A Clockwork Orange: One of my favorite films is also one of the most disturbing, but the imagery (design wise) is hard to forget. Anything 70s era and egg-shaped will always remind me of the futuristic homes and creepy (but cool) outfits in this movie.

Toys: This movie is one of my favorite films, visually, and highlights how powerful great sets and design can be when combined with actors like Joan Cusack and Robin Williams. Though it feels a bit dated now, the super primary colors and block-like sets remind me so much of this classic Charles Mackintosh chair.

chocolat copy
Chocolat: This romantic film instantly reminds me of the sort of simple but beautiful wooden chairs you often see in French restaurants and homes in the countryside. This wooden chair is a classic and recalls the sort of worn in elegance and romance Chocolat is so known for.

Avatar: James Cameron’s ode to blue body paint is best represented by another ode to blue, this little blue pouf that feels a bit alien, too.

Clueless: Anything fun, hot pink and showy will always remind me of my most beloved childhood movie: Clueless. I think Cher would approve of this hot pink chair.

Behind the Candelabra: This made for TV movie is fairly new, but our whole team loved it so much we felt like it was bound to be a classic one day. While the true star here is the makeup artist behind Rob Lowe’s progressively creepy plastic surgery, the over the top satin and velvet sofas and chairs got some showtime, too.

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