Exploring the Papa Bear Chair

The Papa Bear chair is one of the original chair designs created by prolific designer Hans J. Wegner. Wegner (1914-2007) was an architect, and is still today considered one of the pioneering forces in furniture design. In his lifetime, Wegner created nearly 500 chair designs, many of which are considered masterpieces. One of his most widely utilized chairs is the Wishbone Chair, but the Papa Bear chair is also seen quite often in today’s interiors.

The Papa Bear chair received its name after “a critic had referred to its armrests as great bear paws embracing you from behind.” Looking at a few images of the namesake chair, this description seems accurate – most of the chair’s “weight” is really at the top and in the arms of the chair. There is a tapering of the chair’s width from top to bottom, and the encapsulating back of the chair really does appear to “hug” or embrace the user. Perfect for relaxing in cozy, comfort.

On its own, the chair’s shape might appear unusual, strong, or highly “retro” or mid-century modern – but the truth is, this chair style can fit into any number of different styles of room designs. Take a look at some of the following instances of the Papa Bear chair fitting in just right with other design elements.

In this scene, the Papa Bear chair’s unique shape brings a structural and stately look to a neutral room full of grays and soft tones.

Upholstered in bright colors – especially a mismatched chair and ottoman combo –  the Papa Bear chair can take on a bolder, mid-century modern look.

A Papa Bear chair in a cozy, sun-kissed nook is the perfect place to curl up, lean back and read a book or just unwind. Available in nearly endless colors and upholstery finishes, the shape of this chair can be utilized in a number of different room styles.

You really can’t go wrong with the Papa Bear chair, no matter the vibe or style you’re aiming for. The chair can take up as much or as little attention in a room as a designer or individual would like. Here, the bright magenta color of the chair is seen in other pieces such as the wall art and the leather pouf, so the color doesn’t stand out. The warm wood tones  of the credenza and an art piece seem to balance and marry the bright colors in this room, and the eye has plenty of places to wander in this space before landing on the Papa Bear chair.

Overall, the Papa Bear chair is a timeless piece of furniture that stands against the test of time, pointing high, spreading wide, showing off its beautiful strong angles balanced with gentle curves and slopes. The chair’s comfort and appearance together are probably what make this such a timeless piece.

What do you think of the Papa Bear chair? Would you ever try this piece of furniture in your home?

By Interiors by Jacquin intern – Christiana Metrakos

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Author: Christiana Metrakos

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