Design classic (8) – Panton chair

So Wednesday’s post on all things reclaimed wood inspired me to have a closer look at the Panton Chair for today’s design classic musings. 


Danish designer Verner Panton came up with this ‘first serially produced cantilever-base chair made of one single piece of plastic’ (‘100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection’, you are sooooooo interesting) in the early 1960s and, in collaboration with Vitra, launched it publicly in 1968.  The official version still manufactured by Vitra only has three colourways: red, white and black. 


I personally would not stray from the black/white options but anybody looking for a more colourful Panton chair is forced to go to the dark side.  Cult Furniture do a good fakey:


Don’t they look so comfortable?!  So comfy one might slip off them and under the dining table (Raccy, I’m looking at YOU).  It must have been such an exciting time back then with this new wonderful material, plastic, breaking all the conventional wisdom and boundaries of wood/metal/glass etc that had been used to make furniture previously. 

Anyhoo, here are my fave inspiration piccies from the thousands out there.  As I may have mentioned 250 times before, I really am not a fan of ultra-contemporary schemes, especially when they incorporate modern furniture such as these badboys or, say, the Tulip Table/Chairs I (slightly incoherently) wrote about a while back.  But the schemes that bring together these contemporary pieces with more traditional finishes and furnishings into one big eclectic mishmash – which also, incidentally, are the ones it takes real skill to pull off – I find extremely inspirational.

So first up, the image resposible for this Friday morning blathering, and another similar yet toned down scheme – there’s something about all the structure of the bookcase/beams/panelling/windows that really sets these curved babies on fire: 

The first of the ‘glam set’ – that chandie is absobloominglutely divine:

TOTALLY GOING CRAZY over the pairing with the metallic desk on the LHS here, and these lime green puppies are my sole concession to colour for this post – they look great set again the zebra, no?

And this next one shows you can even pair them with Moroccan lanterns and doggy (or should that be ‘dodgy’?!) throw pillows – who’d have thunk?

More gorgeous structural reclaimed wood + white curvacious chairs:

Sleek and chic – that modern fireplace is bonkers:

Faaabulous accent to the gallery wall here!




Here the pair of Panton chairs and other-miscellaneous-modern-chair rev up an otherwise totally traditional scheme:

And on the RHS here, see them paired with another of my current loves, a blue/grey Chinese cabinet – not sure whether that’s taking eclecticism a smidge too far, but it kinda works I guess…

And I don’t think I’d personally pair them with a farmhouse table, but this image shows off their curves to the max!

(credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19)

So what do you think – fan or foe?!

We’ve got a great weekend in the sun with lots of our new friends lined up.  What are you folks up to?  Have a happy weekend whatever you’re doing!


  1. Rachel says:

    Haha will I never live that down?! 22 years later…
    I’m loving the inspiration pics – I’m the same as Ali, I didn’t particularly like the chairs at first but seeing them in amongst other furniture turned me into a fan. I love the ‘LOVE’ pics and the one with the modern fireplace especially, though that may well have been because of the fireplace itself…

    • Elly says:

      No you shall not, you will be accountable for your 4 year old self for the rest of time, mahaha.

      Agreed re the fireplace, amazing no?!

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