When it comes to distinctively styled outdoor furniture, few designs are as iconic as Adirondack. Originally hailing from the Adirondack region in Northeastern New York, the Adirondack style offers beautiful craftsmanship and unique designs. Many consider Adirondack furniture to be the perfect style of outdoor furniture for lake homes, beach homes, mountain homes, and so many others! Adirondack sits comfortably in nearly any style home around.
Want to learn more about Adirondack? Let’s explore here.
The Adirondack Chair
Even if you’ve never been to Northeastern New York, chances are you’ve at least seen (and sat in) an Adirondack chair. This chair is made from wood planks and has several planks fanning up and outward vertically for the back, and horizontal planks for the seat. The back can often be adjusted, thanks to the wide contour of the seat.
The History Of The Chair
Thomas Lee first built this form of a wood chair while vacationing in the town of Westport, which is nestled inside the Adirondack Mountains back in 1903. He wanted a comfortable outdoor chair that would be sturdy both on a porch and by the water, so he went to work crafting a chair that instead of relying on four evenly constructed legs, its rear legs arched backward, to give it more stability.
Thomas Lee initially called the chair the Westport plank chair. At the time, Lee was friends with a local carpenter in the town of Westport. When Thomas left for the winter he gave his carpenter friend, Harry Bunnell the chair and told him he could make more during the winter, should he desire.
Harry Bunnell saw the potential for the chair, as it was durable, easy to make, comfortable, and thanks to the fanning of the back it would not tip over when a strong wind came through. However, while Thomas Lee had allowed Bunnell the ability to copy the chair’s design during the winter months, Bunnell went around his back and filed a U.S. patent (patent number 794,777) for the chair in 1905. He went on to manufacture the chair for the next 20 years, selling the chair in both dark brown and green colors (he would even sign the chairs he hand made).
Similar Design, Several Upgrades
The chair style has now been around for well over 100 years. Despite this long history, it looks remarkably the same as the first chair made by Thomas Lee. However, there have been some slight modifications to the chair over the years.
First, the chair will often come with more of a curved contour along the back, in order to curve more comfortably along the human back. Most designs you now fine will also have somewhere between three and seven slats, which helps make the seat longer and it is easier to adjust the positioning of the back.
The other change to the chair’s build is the material used. At the time, Thomas Lee (and eventually Harry Bunnell) used locally sourced wood. One of the reasons why the initial chair designs used a single plank of wood instead of more was because it was difficult to find wood that was knot free. Chairs with knots in the seat would age and warp differently, which would make sitting in the chair uncomfortable. Now it is far easier to find wood that does not have these kinds of knots, which allows for more of planks on the seat. You will typically find modern chairs that are made from pine or other inexpensive wood. There are also chairs made from composite materials, recycled polyethylene, or even some metals.
Whatever the material is, there’s no denying the overall look and style of the Adirondack chair. In terms of American furniture, few chairs have had a lasting influence like this. You will also find a number of Adirondack chair and furniture options at Cottage & Bungalow.
RELATED: Adirondack Style Decorating Ideas
Discover The Perfect Furniture For Your Beach House
When it comes to the perfect furniture for your beach house you need to decide the overall look and feel you’re going for. This will ultimately dictate what kind of furniture is right for your house. However, one thing is for sure, the Adirondack style of furniture is a classic, unassuming style that not only looks great out by the water and on the porch but just about anywhere in the house. It’s an affordable style that can be adjusted to fit nearly any look.
Plus, if you invest in wood furniture, you have the freedom to paint and stain the furniture to fit your exact color palette. So whether you want white, a gray, light blue, or something altogether different from these styles, all you need to do is check out the wide selection of Adirondack furniture available at Cottage & Bungalow. There’s a good chance you’ll find seating and other furniture options that fit exactly what you’re looking for at a friendly price point that fits your budget.