Although it sounds like this gorgeous dining chair should originate within the clergy, it was actually designed in 1930s Paris at the now-famous Parsons School of Design. Working with the traditional dining chair form, and paring it down to simple classic lines, the chair takes inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement, with more than a nod to both French Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
Armless, with a squared or slightly curved backrest, the Parsons chair was almost always made from hardwood with leather seat and back upholstery. Often including removable floor length slip covers that hid the legs, many modern models have foregone those in favor of curvaceous cabriole legs, and classic Chippendale styling. Whilst originally only the head-of-the-table chairs featured armrests, they are being seen more frequently on the other models in a seating set.
Later on, Parsons dining tables were designed, echoing the straight, simple lines of the chairs, and with a lighter frame than the heavy, elaborate tables of the era. These were sold as sets, usually featuring at least four chairs; however, both tables and chairs have evolved along different paths over the ensuing decades.
Parsons chairs, although originally designed to be placed around an elegant dining table, can now be purchased individually, and are stylish enough to look great in any modern setting. Chairs with the floor-length slip covers offer a uniquely statuesque appearance, adding an elegance to your dining room, but there’s nothing to stop you mixing and matching – using different colored cover, or eliminating the covers on one or two chairs around the table, and demonstrating a flair for imaginative design.
Why not try a cabriole legged Parsons chair in the hallway, on either side of the front door, in a guest bedroom, or in a living room, alongside a gorgeous tufted velvet couch, and with its comfortable cushioning, the good looking Parsons chair can create a beautiful and elegant reading corner, just perfect for a quiet afternoon with a good book.
For more stylish design ideas, including classic and contemporary touches, watch this video: