Wednesday, April 20, 2005

First review: Austin's chair

DesignAddict forum member Austin is the first to review a Barcelona chair in this blog. His was purchased from, a Florida based company whose furniture is manufactured in Italy. They ship out of both Italy and Florida, and sell direct as well as through eBay.

This is what Austin says about his chair:

Quality is good, but not as good as the original I've seen again last Saturday.

In fact, I notice three differences:

  • Leather quality, nicest on the Knoll. The leather shines and seems to be stronger, with no visible grain;

  • The density of the foam. I don't know what is inside the Knoll version, but it is much more dense than the one I bought. I guess the Knoll I've seen has been used for very few time, but so does mine. On the other hand, the density of the foam makes mine more comfortable;

  • The color of the leather. I've been a couple of time in the Conran Shop in Paris to see the Knoll Barcelona, and it is more shiny than mine. As a result, the black seems more black than mine. This is may be due to the artificial light there was in the Conran Shop, but mine seems to be not as black as the Knoll. As if mine has a very dark grey color. I mainly compare mine, which I mostly see on natural light, to the Knoll' s, which I only see in artificial light. But mine is actually to young to be changed by sunlight.
I emailed the Italian Company who sold me the Chair and here is the reply:

"I think it's of the light in the Conrad shop and the leather can be more shiny of Knoll.

We delivered you dull black Florida leather of Dani tannery - Italy. High grade full-grain aniline-dyed leather with breathable protective finish. In use the leather will become in years only nicer and the leather will become more shiny.

Florida is a top quality upholstery leather. You can maintain the leather easely with a towel of water and once a year you can treath it with leather oil. Always use the same leather oil.

We use a dense of foam SG 52 KG . High resilient polyurethane foam for a long durability."

The light argument does not convince me at all, and as I'm too impatient to wait, I have contacted a French company, who specializes in leather oil. I ordered two bottles of nutritive black oil from them, which I will try on an invisible part of my chair... as soon as I received it.

The straps are riveted, but the rivet is very small. The cushions are riveted to the strap.

The rest of the chair (everything but the cushions) seems to be identical. I mean it may be different, but an amateur cannot make any difference.

To conclude, I need to say that I am satisfied enough to keep this chair.

Top view

Front view

Side view

View of back with straps

Close-up of cushion fixating strap


Anonymous said...

I see that you have your chair on a wood floor- I have a Barcelona chair from, and it scratches my soft-wood floors quite badly, as the legs don't sit quite flat on the ground. I've inspected photos of other reproductions and they seem to have the same issue, but I've not heard of others with this problem. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

(I am Austin)

To avoid scratches, you just have to put something under the "4 touching point" of the chair, exactly as you would do for any other furniture !

I personnaly use that kind of thing :


hipmodern said...

I found your blog in designaddict
and really impressed...I will send you by e-mail my previous post about barcelona chair..if any questions I ll try to answer if I can...

Josh H said...

Anyone know of a review of a barcelona chair from Just wondering because I was considering buying a chair from them.