Are you sitting comfortably? Enjoy the ringside seat

From traditional button back to sculptural shapes – take a seat in these slick styles


Best in Class 1
This Arco seat by Spanish brand Masquespacio features tubular steel in a much more fun way that its very serious Bauhaus origins.

The frame, which is available in bubblegum pink is one of the latest pieces by Valencia-based Spanish design house Masquespacio whose wink pendant light was a big hit last year.

Stocked by Houtique and Made In Design, it features eyelash-like fringing in a way never before seen in lighting. The chair pictured is a prototype and is being redesigned, but the firm hopes to make it available from July. Colour options have yet to be finalised but prices are expected to start from about €899.;

Best in Class 2


The Quartet chair is so-called because it is basically four pieces held together by its belt-like base that is described in some of the more colourful descriptions of this seat as being “a comfortable embrace”.

The low-set seat was designed by Mario Bellini for Cassina. The multiple Compas d'Oro-award winning architect also worked extensively with B&B Italia and Archimede, but for Irish readers it is probably his typewriter for Olivetti in the 1980s that is his most recognisable piece. This chair was launched in the 1960s and is available in fabric or leather options starting from €4,290. The design pictured costs €7,255 from Minima. Minimahome. com

Best in Class 3

Mixing antique chairs with new designs gives a room a much more layered look that can make a newly decorated space feel like its been there for eons.

Portuguese design studio Oitoeponto collaborated with up-market French fabric and wallpaper house De Gournay on this custom motif for an interiors show Architectural Digest magazine organised with several hand-picked designers to decorate rooms of the historic interior of Paris’ Hotel des Monnaie.

The gunmetal Gingko dyed-silk paper pictured evokes the artwork of imperial Japan. The abstract seascape is illustrated in a 3D gold-leaf pattern. A flock of soaring cranes also spans the composition, which costs from €1,100 per 915mm wide panel. But it is its marriage with the antique ebonised frame-occasion chair, one of a pair that were upholstered in Honey, a silk velvet with hand-embroidered peonies in metallic thread that really sets up the umber colourscape. The chairs cost €5,360 each. Degournay. com; Oitoemponto. com

Best in Class 4

Sometimes you just need to refresh an existing seat to refresh a room but what fabric to choose? One floral print that has enough edge to work in most homes is this Bloomsbury Estate print by Glasgow-based Timorous Beasties. The homage to William Morris comes in several colourways but is pictured in teal. Costing about €150 per metre, the linen cotton mix will work well as a single statement piece in a room. The wallpaper in the background is Stormblotch. It costs about €139 per metre. Timorousbeasties. com

Best in Class 5

The wingback chair has been give a style update by insterior specialists Milimetre Design who did the much of the public spaces at the recently refurbished Johnston Estate.

It had the Imperial chairs, pictured, upholstered in a two-tone design using fabrics by Cremins Moiselle to make the back as interesting to look at as the front. On the seats is a Genova velvet in colour 202, €100 per metre. The back is covered in Art Deco Eclipse, €159 per metre. The chairs were fabricated and upholstered by Co Armagh-based Derrys. Jaclyn Smith for Trend Fabrics did the cushions. Millimetredesign. com;; Creminsmoiselle. com;

Best in Class 6

Decorator Helen Turkington designs and upholsters her own furniture so that each seat is bespoke and to the exact request of her client.

Pictured is a pair of Grafton armchairs with skirts to hind their legs, as the Victorians used to do. This is a classic style, pictured in an ecru-coloured linen viscos mix fabric, that will look most at home in a big period pile where the rooms can carry such forms. The chair, whose seat includes foam and fibre fillers, costs €1,980. Helenturkington. com

Best in Class 7

This shadowy design takes its form from the classic porter’s chair, an outline that shrouded the overnight staff member’s head and neck from chills at a hotel. It also enabled them catch 40 winks unobserved by incoming guests.

Patricia Moroso's creative thinking took the form to the African velt to make use of its traditional use of colour and creative materials in her M'Afrique Collection. While designed for outdoor use, the top providing the sitter with valuable shade, the way it is styled here shows that it is equally dramatic when used indoors. It costs about €1,703, ex-delivery, from UK-based Chaplins.;

Best in Class 8

Florence-based former textile manufacturer Arketipo started manufacturing furniture in the 1980s. Jupiter is a light lounge chair that looks good whether seen from the front or back. The easy chair has duvet-soft goose down padding, comes in several metal finishes including black nickel (pictured) titanium, varnished micaceous brown or oxy grey and can be ordered in myriad colours and textures. Prices start from €3,200. The leather style (pictured) costs €3,630. Bushellinteriors. com

Best in Class 9

Private members' club group Soho House launched a furniture and furnishings collection last year and this deep-button backed version of its Spoon armchair has been used everywhere from The Ned to Soho House Greek Street with a low table for drinks and relaxed dining.

Handmade by George Smith's skilled craftsmen in the north of England, its streamlined design makes it ideal for smaller spaces as it can double-job as a dining chair and armchair. It costs about €2,537, ex-delivery, from Soho House Retail but local furniture makers The Sofa Factory and Finline Furniture should also be able to make something similar.; Thesofafactory. com;

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors