Design seats inspired by vintage school chairs

Functionality and comfort were the most important features for furnishing in the industrial era, particularly in factories, schools but also in theaters and restaurants.

The chairs in particular had to be cheap but also practical and comfortable. Iron chairs with wooden seat and back became the standard, not very different from the school chairs we know. The shape has remained similar over time but the wood has been gradually replaced by plywood, Formica and finally plastic.

In the vintage markets and shops you can find original school chairs. You can keep them with their original finish or you can color the iron parts with pastel shades or with “vitamin” tones.

Many contemporary design brands today are inspired by old school chairs and reinvent them with new colors, materials and finishes.


If we talk about school chairs, we cannot fail to mention the Standar SP designed by Jean Prouvé in 1934.

Today produced by Vitra, the chair has become a true design icon. The special feature is the innovative shape of the rear legs, thus conceived by the designer to better support the weight of the seated person and the stresses.


Among the brands that design chairs inspired by the school seats, my favorite is a French brand: LES GAMBETTES.

They create metal and Formica chairs, tables, desks,stools inspired by school furniture and with a ’50 style. The nice thing is that you can find the chairs in many colors and also with beautiful patterns such as flowers, palms, Venetian terrace or the veins of marble. And there are also chairs and desks for children!


Here I offer you the selection of my 8 favorite design chairs that are inspired by vintage school chairs.

1. Sedia Suzie – LES GAMBETTES

2. Sedia Nota – ATIPICO

3. Result chair – HAY

4. Sedia Marny – MAISONS DU MONDE

5. Sedia Suzie – LES GAMBETTES

6. Co-chair – MENU

7. Sedia Standard SP – VITRA

8. Halftime chair – HAY


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