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California Look: Chairs by Downtown, Sean Knibb, Bend Seating

September 12, 2011 |  9:00 am

The California Look 2011 poll, Round 7: Chairs

Many Los Angeles machine shops retooled their operations to build indoor-outdoor furniture after World War II. Designers such as Walter Lamb and Van Keppel-Green and manufacturers including Brown Jordan shaped the look of patio furniture. 

Today, the metal frame chair is a staple. It's tough enough for the outdoors, and dressed up in citrus shades of lime green and orange, it's also pretty enough for sophisticated interiors. As part of our two-week poll to define the California Look of 2011, we have asked you to vote on patio planters, outdoor lamps, side tables and more. Today we ask: Which of these metal chairs best exemplifies California design of the present?

And the nominees are ...

1-Elkins-loop-metalA. The Loop chair from Downtown takes its cues from a midcentury design by interior decorator Frances Elkins. The chair was the subject of an L.A. at Home feature in February 2010, when we noted that the steel piece is available in about 200 powder-coated colors. We've selected it as a nominee for our poll because it's a great example of indoor designs translated for modern outdoor living.










KNIBB 2 B. Venice-based landscape designer Sean Knibb created the SK 1 Collection of furniture using L-shaped angle-iron steel.  The Negril chair is powder-coated in a variety of colors. The cushions have outdoor foam plus burlap or outdoor fabric upholstery. We like the the low-slung profile and how the legs are cleverly bent to show the interior and exterior sides of the steel.






Farm11 C. Gaurav Nanda, an L.A. transplant from Detroit, brought his skills as a designer for General Motors to the drawing board when creating the Bend Seating collection, comprising five wire chairs including the Farmhouse, shown here. Influenced by the midcentury work of Harry Bertoia for Knoll, Nanda's work caught our eye and appeared in L.A. at Home earlier this year. 







Have a favorite? Voting in this category will close in three days, so share your opinions now. Winning pieces and reader comments will be featured in a forthcoming article.



Coming Tuesday: Indoor chairs


0-LAT-Home-1951 ALSO:

The California Look: Round 1, patio planters

The California Look, Round 2: outdoor lamps

The California Look, Round 3: outdoor fabrics

The California Look, Round 4: fire features

The California Look, Round 5: room dividers

The California Look, Round 6: side tables

-- David A. Keeps

Corrected: An earlier version of this post left off the last "a" on Gaurav Nanda's name. We have slapped ourselves for the error.

Photo credits: Downtown, Sean Knibb Design, Bend Seating