The Karuselli Chair – Comfort and Formal Refinement

October 26, 2019
This decorative piece is considered a true work of art. It conveys a sense of movement, elegance, seriousness, and a truly contemporary spirit.

Is it possible to find furniture that gives a sense of both seriousness and determination? One answer to this is the Karuselli chair. This piece is about comfort and formal refinement, with an aesthetic that clearly reflects contemporary lines.

It’s the kind of furniture that goes perfectly in formal environments. In other words, it’s great when you want to create a sense of professionalism and sophistication. This makes it a perfect choice of chair for places involved with the business world.

It’s also worth pointing out that a chair like this is a clear example of maintaining functionality without giving up the aesthetic qualities that help to link it to its user’s profession. Another key detail to this piece is the absolutely avant-garde, original concept behind its design.

The chair’s creator: Yrjö Kukkapuro

The creator of the Kuraselli chair, Yrjo Kukkapuro.

Born in Viipuri, Finland, in 1933, Yrjö Kukkapuro has come to be seen as one of the most important architects and designers in both his country and the entire world. Even at an early age, he already showed a clear interest in building and interior design.

But the truly important moment came when he began his studies at the Helsinki Design School in 1950. It was there that he could be shaped and taught by masters of the profession, as well as create his own pieces and earn a reputation on his terms.

He also created a design firm with his wife in Kauniainen, Finland. This is where his career really took off. Here, he developed lots of creations which are a clear reflection of the deep knowledge he has of historical avant-garde movements and more modern trends in interior design.

Kukkapuro is without doubt one of the greatest designers of the 20th century.

5 fundamental characteristics of the Karuselli chair

There’s no doubt about it, the Karuselli chair is absolutely iconic. The success Kukapurro has achieved in his career owes a lot to this decorative piece. In fact, the New York Times called it the most comfortable chair in the world in 1974. How did it earn that title? Let’s look at its main characteristics.

  1. The first thing you’ll notice is that there are basically two separate pieces to the structure. On the top, you have a large, puffy seat. On the bottom, you have four legs that act as a stable, sturdy base and a piece of curved metal that gives the chair its height.
  2. The chair is inclined slightly backward, which is meant to add greater comfort. This is very much a furniture design technique. It’s good for your body and helps you feel much more relaxed and calm.
  3. The curve of the chair is kind of like its centerpiece. The curvature running from the top down to the arms and the base of the seat is meant to best suit the human body. It’s a compact system with a single line that keeps everything together.
  4. The chair’s upholstery is black leatherThat’s great because leather is extremely durable. It doesn’t wear out very quickly and is an extremely comfortable material. The shape also gives you room to add a separate footrest to maximize comfort.
  5. Although it’s technically a regular “chair,” it has the same basic function as an armchair. In other words, it’s great for reading and watching movies, or as the chair for a waiting room or an office.

A serious, dynamic, sophisticated look

A profile shot of the Karuselli chair.

Like we said earlier, the Karuselli chair is a great choice of furniture for a room in which you want to convey a sense of seriousness. That means it goes perfectly in places like offices, where you want both employees as well as clients to feel comfortable.

In the same way, this seat also gives off a wonderfully dynamic feeling because of its shape. There’s a kind of conversation between the lines in all its various parts, which convey a sense of flexibility and plasticity. Plus, the sophisticated look of this chair definitely gives off a powerful, somber air.

Kukkapuro was able to distill a whole host of sensations into a single piece of furniture.

What styles is the Karuselli chair good with?

This is probably no surprise, but modern spaces are the perfect place for this chair. It’ll truly be the star of the room. It’s also good with both a minimalist style and a more avant-garde design.

It can even work with a futurist space, so long as the rest of the furniture isn’t too different in terms of shape and color.

All that being said, the absolute best style for the Karuselli chair is mid-century. That was the predominant style at the time when the chair was created, so it’s a natural match.

So, what do you think? Try one of these chairs and you may find yourself agreeing that it’s the most comfortable chair in the world. 

  • Fiell, Charlote; Fiell, Peter: Design of the 20th Century, Taschen, 1999.