If you have some design luck, a heritage piece has come into your life at one point or another. Maybe it was unique nordic dinnerware passed down from your grandma or a one-of-a-kind vintage bureau that you found at an estate sale. But with designs made by Carl Hansen trusted to last for decades, you can be the start of the chain and pass down pieces to a future generation of furniture lovers. The power!
Since the Carl Hansen Dining Sale is happening thru 2.23, we thought it was our duty to run through a few of our favorite + bestselling dining chairs in a little more depth if you’re looking to change your interior scenery or your design lineage.
Here are our picks
The most celebrated chair on the list designed by Hans Wegner and produced by Carl Hansen since the ’50s is sort of a design dichotomy. At first glance, it’s light, elegant, and almost effortless, but the chair’s construction backstory is much more laborious. It takes over 100 steps to build the Wishbone Chair, with the seat being the best example of the craftsmanship, requiring more than 120 meters of paper cord. Every meter of that paper-cord is woven by hand, see part of the weaving process below:
Its namesake? Wegner developed the characteristic Y-shaped wishbone-like back and Wishbone quickly became its moniker. The Wishbone Chair is now a symbol for Danish design, universally beloved by the design community, and is the only chair in the lineup that offers painted wood finishes in a variety of fun colors from Olive Green to Steel Blue.
The Embrace Chair is part of the Embrace collection by Austrian design trio EOOS and incorporates plush upholstery in a departure from the all-wood designs Carl Hansen is known for. The chair was born out of the idea for perfect wooden construction combined with soft upholstery folded in two dimensions, and the precise but relaxed Embrace Chair came to be. When the collection was newly released (which includes the matching table above, an armchair, and more), we were lucky enough to visit the Carl Hansen showroom in New York because we desperately wanted to experience this new direction.
At the same time that Hans Wegner designed the Wishbone Chair, he crafted the more subtle CH23 Dining Chair. The CH23 was largely overshadowed by the other designs released at the time, including the CH22 and CH25, and faded into the background until it was re-released in 2017.
Again we have a woven paper cord seat like the Wishbone, but this is a special double-woven pattern and takes about 1.5 hours to weave! With no arms, this chair becomes very agile and can be tucked around all different types of tables.
The CH20’s “elbow” is the steam-bent backrest, bent from a single piece of solid wood providing unique elbow and lower back support if you’re looking for some back alignment after all these months of working from home. And the elbow shape is visually interesting but not all-consuming, so it won’t take up all the visual space in a kitchen or dining room. The seat is upholstered in leather or fabric with a sturdy interior of 11 layers of veneer. Plus, it’s an ideal chair for stacking!
A Børge Mogensen classic, the original Huntsman Chair was outfitted with smoked oak and saddle leather (two of his favorite materials) and designed as a part of his hunting-cabin-themed exhibition at the Copenhagen Cabinetmaker’s Furniture Guild in 1950. That’s a mouthful, but the chair helped define his style for years to come. The Huntsman Chair is now available in walnut or oak with that same saddle leather and can function as a dining chair or a lounge chair if you need pieces that do double duty.