You’d know a Butterfly Chair if you saw one. Splashed across the pages of interiors magazines and spotted on the top design blogs around the world.
The original Butterfly Chair was created just before World War Two by three Argentinian designers Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy and I’m excited this design is seeing a resurgence. But Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari gave more than just their design skills; the initials of their surnames form the chair’s alias, the B.K.F Chair.
Furniture historians will know the Butterfly was an update of the Paragon Chair, popular in the US as campaign furniture in the 1870s. The Argentinian update was originally intended for a Buenos Aires apartment but the Butterfly fluttered further afield. It also attracted the attention of the MOMA Design Director at the time, Edgar Kauffman Jr, who named the chair as one of the “best efforts of modern chair design.”
Kauffman Jr was right because almost 70 years on the Butterfly Chair is still coveted for its functionality, stylish aesthetic and most importantly, casual comfort.
The chair while often strikingly clad with leather hide, also sits beautifully in a canvas for a more relaxed look. Uocmas has recently introduced the Soho Butterfly Chair with grey canvas and tan leather corners as a striking alternative to the classic occasional chair.
This simple and beautiful chair can become a winter cocoon by adding a hide or sheepskin rug thrown over it. See below for some inspiration on how to style this piece in your home.