Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Modern Rocking Chairs...Rock

Spring cleaning: it's not just a marketing term. It's a very real phenomenon, one that took possession of me this week and hasn't yet released its rubber-gloved grip. Yesterday I vacuumed--not just the rugs, but the corners of the ceilings and the bugs out of the window frames (those were some big dead bugs). I moved things out from under the beds, dusted, and vacuumed them. That's right: I cleaned storage areas. I wiped off the 1/8-inch layer of dust around the computer monitor and am watching it resettle now as I type. That's the bummer of cleaning--everything gets dirty again right away.

That's why we purchase things. To forget for a moment the futility of having to clean them eventually. I've been wanting a modern rocking chair for the living room but it's not an easy find. There's plenty online but not so much in stores. So do I order a chair from the Internet and hope it's comfortable? There's the added element of rocking. Is an online chair capable of satisfactorily providing my rocking urges? I have an energetic child. Can he rock safely (hopefully to sedative effect)?

Why modern? Because I used to have a hand-me-down old-fashioned rocker and it took up a lot of valuable real estate in the room. Plus it traveled across the rug, eventually bumping into walls and furniture. Modern chairs tend to be minimalist and hopefully steady on their simple runners. America, I need your help. Do any of you own these chairs? Let me know how they ride.

Delfino - Home Decorators Outlet, $229.99 (marked down from $329). This is slightly ridiculous, I know. It has no legs and those crazy (cheap looking) industrial arms. It's like a modern rocking chair that's trying too hard to be modern. But it's such a surreal version of a rocker--impressively surreal. In the outlet store; imagine that.

Lillberg - Ikea, $159.00. You have to build it, of course, and it won't last but a few years, no doubt. I know this because half my house is furnished this way, but it's cheap and simple and won't block my fireplace. I actually tried it out and it rocks...OK. Sort of a last-resort choice. Ikea also has some fun woven rocking chairs but they're more sun-porch-like in scope.

Although, saaaay...I am liking this new Hejka chair for $139. Damn you, Ikea, for feeding into my current craving for handwoven furniture! It just needs a big, fat cushion and a sun-porch--not likely in the Northwest.

The Blu Dot Buttercup Rocker from Design Public. I love this. It's $849. Never mind.

The Eames Rocker - EBay, or the molded plastic re-issue from DWR, $449.00. This is the chair all the hipsters want. Daddytypes.com has a primer on this chair written by a modern dad who wanted a cool rocking chair to sit and rock his new baby. Helpful, but WHATEVER, Daddy Types. It looks really uncomfortable to be rocking a baby in. Babies tend to grow and get heavy. An ample base and arm cushion might come in handy. But at least you'll look cool, rocking that baby while your own arm goes numb and then tingly. Note: it's futile to try and be a cool parent. Spit-up at 3 a.m. decrees that you are now a member of practical society. Practical will never be cool.

Verner Panton Relaxer, bonluxat. A re-issue of a Panton design from the 70s. Whee. Could be dangerous, especially next to a fireplace. Potentially not relaxing. Price? I guess if you have to ask...

Aviar Rocker - Chiasso, $698.00. Hey, this looks strangely familiar... Nice. Bulky but comfortable-looking. $698 is not a horrible price for some decent furniture. Yes, it's a long way from Home Decorators Outlet, but not that long. We would get it dirty within 15 minutes. I'll just spin around on my creaky office chair for a few moments and dream of rocking one day. Rocking, rocking, zzzzzz, oops, spilled my drink--GAAAH! (Wipe clean with a damp cloth.)

UPDATE: It's been two years and one move later after this post and I finally found a nice rocking chair that seems to work well in our rental. It's a bentwood and I don't know what year it's from. I'm guessing the 70s. It's got some dings but it was half off at a local consignment store. The magic number sealed the deal: $40. For that amount of money, I'm willing to call this a modern rocker that fulfills our needs. I hate the term: light & airy. I wish it banned from all discussions about design and decor. But this chair is light & airy, dammit. You can actually see through it. And it's easily movable. I promise I'll never use that term again to describe anything. Only this chair.

- Modern rocking chair history from designboom (with rocking chair timeline!).
- Apartment Therapy ponders the topic of rocking with babies.


Tuckers said...

Hey, I love Eames stuff but that chair is butt ugly.

Forget that stuff, vintage is the way to go for rocking chairs. Craigs list baby!

thewheatfieldgroup said...

Do you know how much that chair is worth? It was on sale on fab.com for $1200 last week. My parents had one when I was growing up. Now I need one and can't find one anywhere. Also: this rocking chair sits in the White living room n Breaking Bad.