11 DEC 2011

Featherston Contour Chairs in NZ

We love the Contour Range of chairs by Australian Grant Featherston. How could anyone resist the silky smooth curves, perfect proportions and organic design that defines them?

The design for the contour chair came to Featherston while sitting on a tram, casually bending his tram ticket around with his hand. He noticed the shape which was formed by the two ends arched towards each other. That same curve from the ticket became the basis for the plywood shells of the Contour Range.

The Contour range was thoroughly modern and unlike anything currently on the market. Where existing chairs were bulky and overstuffed the contour chair was sleek, elegant and highly comfortable. The allure of this bold new design quickly spread to New Zealand.

Import restrictions in New Zealand during the 1950's meant that local production would be necessary to keep the chairs affordable. Auckland's Central Upholstery Co snapped up licences to produce the Contour Range and the chairs were sold through selected high end furniture retailers throughout the country.

A big seller of the range was Maples Furniture on K'Road. Check out the window display photo for a line-up of Contour chairs to die for! High end commercial fit-outs also embraced the Contour chair. The Hermitage in Mt Cook had also been recently completed and the interior rooms were all furnished with Featherston chairs.

Premier contemporary furniture retailer Jon Jansen also came under the spell of the contour range. Head designer Bob Roukema created a series of his own designs which incorporated the famous 'X' base and plywood seat construction. His creation is a distinctly Kiwi version and also highly desirable.

If you have any stories about these wonderful chairs we'd love to hear from you - drop us an email anytime.


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