Back in the old country when large homes of the 1% were drafty and there were no such thing as doorbells they installed what is called a Porter Chair in the entrance hall. A Porter was the servant who waited by the front door to hear the knocker and determine who was fit for being announced. Being a good employer meant keeping him healthy, so a chair was created to shield him comfortably from the cold as he spend long hours at his post. In recent years this chair has seen a resurgence since interior designer Kelly Wearstler used them in the BG Restaurant (photo) at Bergdorf Goodman, where they remain the coveted seat as the high cupped back allows perfect acoustics for intimate conversations. Porter Chairs were easy to find at Fall High Point Market. This design oriented chair becomes an exercise in combining fabric and details. Using gimp or ribbon tape (trim) emphasizes the shapes created by the upholstery. But as you can see it doesn’t matter if the fabric is plain or heavily patterned, both look smashing. Ignoring the whole concept of old world this chair can go completely modern and be about the bones of the shape and less about the fabric. But don’t let all the architecture fool you, this is a surprisingly comfortable chair. Perfect flanking a living room fireplace, alone in a bedroom or for cozy conversations in a library or intimate breakfast area.
We may no longer employ a porter but his chair can take center stage in today’s home. It can easily replace the much used, stately, but tired looking wing chair in both traditional or modern interiors. Between the size, the shape, the possibilities for upholstery and additional details – this is the ultimate statement chair.