Here's a spring-summer look to love: Bend Seating, a recently launched collection of wire chairs that Los Angeles-based Gaurav Nanda spent two years developing. The line's five seats include the Farmhouse chair, above, which takes its name from the barn-shaped back.
Bend Seating takes its cues from the 1950s work of sculptor Harry Bertoia, whose metal rod chairs remain midcentury modern classics. "They are mainly made of air," he once said. "Space passes right through them."
Nanda, a former designer for General Motors, says the Bertoia creations for Knoll Studio are "the standard in wire chairs," though he wanted to find a way to update the concept -- "to offer something different, something edgier, a lot more intricate and comfortable."
String art and Spirograph drawing sets inspired the Drum, which triples as an ottoman, stool or side table. It's shown at right with Nanda's Bunny chair.
With prices from $400 to $475, the pieces fall on the high end of the spectrum for wire chairs. Knoll sells made-in-U.S.A. Bertoia side chairs for more than $600, but knockoffs in the $100 range are plentiful.
Nanda says each of his pieces is machine-molded and receives 300 to 400 handmade spot-welds at a factory in China. The chairs are sandblasted, rust-proofed and powder-coated in Los Angeles. The amount of materials also plays a role in pricing. The wires on Nanda's chairs are spaced less than a quarter-inch apart, much closer than wires on a Bertoia chair.
"They provide tons of support," Nanda says. "You can sit on these chairs without a pad for a long period of time and be extremely comfortable."
Channel-quilted cushions are available starting at $50 and can be special-ordered in outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella for an additional charge. Southern California retailers include Colcha in Venice, but the chairs can be purchased directly from the Bend Seating website.
Keep reading to see more great views of the designer's new seating, including the Bunny lounge chair with cushions and the Lucy and Ethel side chairs.