A must-read for discerning designer furniture lovers

30 Jun 2015
Even the most blasé designer furniture lovers are probably familiar with the iconic chairs of Hans J. Wegner, the Danish designer whose beginnings as a traditional furniture-maker formed the foundation from which he became a pioneer of Danish organic modernism, and also one of the most significant figures in the designer furniture world. He is the man responsible for what is often called the perfect chair. Just One Good Chair, a compendium of his original designs, sketches and vintage photograph

Overview of the book

Written by Holmsted Olesen of the Designmuseum Danmark, the compilation includes 250 illustrated pages and 500 designs. The layout is unfussy and sophisticated, much like many of Wegner’s cleaner designs.  

Wegner: the man behind the perfect chair

A furniture-maker by trade, Wegner used the joinery techniques of an artisan, using traditional methods such as tongue-and-groove and finger joints. He pushed the boundaries of what could be done with wood. The elegance and beauty of both his chairs and designer furniture was equalled only by their functionality. He never let appearance get in the way of comfort and ergonomics.

Wegner famously said, “If only you could design just one good chair in your life… But you simply cannot.” And he simply did not. As one of history’s most prolific designers, it’s easy to see why he became known as king of the chairs. Within his oeuvre of 500 creations sits the 1943 China Chair, the 1950 Y Chair, and perhaps most famously the design John F. Kennedy chose to sit in, the Round Chair, now more commonly referred to as nothing but The Chair.


With a wonder and playfulness, Wegner was committed to possibility. On a summer’s day in 1950 he sat on the beach watching his kids splashing in the ocean and began to dig in the sand. He dug, pat and shaped the sand into various moulds, experimenting with seating positions until he found the most comfortable, a place to lay back with a clear view of the world around him. The exercise made way for what would become the Flag Halyard Chair, the perfect representation of his attention to comfort, detail and occasional whimsy.

The great substance of the book is evidence of Wegner’s productivity. He was indefatigable when it came to creating the perfect chair but it is said that he knew very well when a design was done. According to him, ‘A chair isn’t finished until someone sits in it.’

  A worthwhile investment
Just one good chair is available online Amazon  and at good local bookstores.

While perusing through Wegner’s gorgeous array of designer furniture designs, it might be difficult to separate the perfect chair from the perfect setting. Whether you’re admiring the stark minimalism of his designs, or playful comfort of something like the Flag Halyard Chair, or something as quintessentially homely as the rocking chair, there’s no doubt that such craftsmanship belongs in an apartment that will do it justice, perhaps overlooking the med, with a flute of cava in hand.

Should this prospect hold some appeal, it might be worth considering the handsome selection of Calpe apartments. For designer furniture lovers in the market for a fine place to sit on one of Wegner’s fine chairs, contact Grupo Esmeralda, specialists in Calpe apartments and the Costa Blanca property market.

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