ISSUE 12  |  Rustic Modern

Furniture: Lost & Found Chairs at Summer House in Mill Valley

March 15, 2010 8:00 PM

BY Julie Carlson

Making a first appearance in the US: communist-chic seating from Lost & Found in Beijing. A while back, we posted on Lost & Found, a store in the Chaoyang district owned by ex-pat American Paul Gelinas and local Xiao Mao. Gelinas and Mao reproduce a handful of classic Chinese chair designs (think mid-century bureaucracy) and reproduce them locally as limited editions. Our friends at the Summer House in Mill Valley just received a first shipment of the finely crafted, pleasingly sturdy chairs last week; go to Summer House for contact and ordering information.

Above: The Danwei Chair is "the quintessential China street chair: simple, practical, durable, friendly, old-fashioned, familiar, and just plain right. For sheer omnipresence, this humble chair deserves respect. We construct ours with solid elm; hand-waxed repeatedly." $220 each (Summer House also has the chairs in a white-painted finish).

Above: "The Iron Pipe Chair was all the rage in Shanghainese office design circa 1970. Nowadays, you’re more likely to see one permanently parked on a sidewalk in Nanjing. Well, we’ve brought the Iron Pipe Chair back. Lost & Found makes these one-by-one. Slowly. Interior frame constructed of elm; armrests carved from salvaged teak. Upholstered in our custom-woven corduroy or thrice-washed wool. These are our best-selling chairs." $1,100 each at Summer House.

Above: "This is our Old Guy chair. It’s inspired by the mass-produced danwei-issue armchairs of the 1960s now scattered all over the streets of Beijing. Lost & Found makes these one by one in Beijing, entirely by hand. The frame is constructed of handrubbed oak." $1,595 in leather; $1,395 at corduroy at Summer House.