DESIGN: Vintage Wassily Chairs

Hello, lovelies. I've seen you in mid-century design books and architecture textbooks and on fabulous websites that I drool over daily and in my dreams. Never, and I mean NEVER, in my wildest dreams did I see you perched so comfortably in my own living room.

Yet here you sit, a matching pair of you, and we sit on you. Daily. All of us. And, wow, are you comfortable. Not to mention striking in your form and perfect in our little ranch house. And to make this whole thing even more unbelievable, you came to me one sunny afternoon as a gift. As in, FOR FREE. And we all know you can be purchased for, you know, around $1000 each. A piece.

My friend Wendy, who lives right across the street (yep, as in the house you see out the front window here), through a strange series of events, ended up with these Marcel Breuer chairs that she needed to get rid of and she knew who might love them. And was she right. Except, I don't just love them, I CHERISH them. Designed in the 1920s by a true master of Modernism architecture and furniture, Marcel Breuer, the Wassily chairs came out of the infamous Bahaus movement, of which Breuer was a student and a teacher. The Wassily chair was one of his first and most famous furniture designs, and was made of bent tubular steel and leather in a square, boxy and minimal profile. The chair was re-released in the 1960s (which was when my chairs were made) by an Italian manufacturer. It was at that time it really became known as the Wassily, named for the famous painter Wassily Kandinsky, for whom Breuer made a version of the chair for back in the 20s. Besides this chair, Breuer is also famous for designing such buildings as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and many buildings at St. Johns University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

I cannot express in written words how excited I am to have these in my life and in my home. Everyone who's come into our house lately comments on them, first because of their uniqueness and second because of their comfort. What a treat it is to have such good friends, good fortune, and good design.