"Why buy a new chair when you can dress up the one you have?" asked a team of designers in Amsterdam. There's the upholstery option, of course, but that means enlisting a professional, which quickly gets expensive. Plus, you can't scale in places like offices and schools.
So why not give that chair a new look by throwing something on quick and easy with little investment, the way you do a piece of clothing? A hoodie perhaps?
These bizarre slipcovers from Bernotat & Co. give your furniture a makeover in this fashion. The Chair Wear series includes four designs: Pique-Pocket, Knit-Net, Hoodini, and Big Baggy. It should come as no surprise that the prêt-a-porter collection began as a joke—Hoodini is, after all, only a branch or two away from the Snuggie on the infomercial family tree.
Anke Bernotat got the idea while designing the Triennial chair for The Netherlands-based Gispen furniture line. The Triennial has a cushion affixed to the backrest and two sections of upholstery. "With Chair Wear, the idea is taken even further" said Bernotat in a press release. "[We] looked at upholstery as a separate item, as clothing for chairs."
The Chair Wear outfits all tout a certain cartoonish personality: Pique-Pocket resembles a giant oven mitt, swallowing a desk chair whole. Knit-Net was inspired by the foam packaging that protects cases of apples. And Hoodini looks like a Grim Reaper cloak—one that would be sure to drive teachers everywhere crazy, were it found in schools as suggested by the designers.
But there is a utility built into these, beyond classroom mischief: Chair Wear "stimulates re-use by upgrading old furniture," Bernotat says. "The aim is not just restyling." The designers "researched the possibilities of adding comfort to hard wooden chairs, or of creating additional functions for simple chairs. For this purpose, the chairs are dressed up with unexpected textiles, ranging from high-tech to industrial to traditional."
And as for us desk drones, until all our offices have these teched-out nap pods, the Hoodini should tide us over (or under, or whatever).
Contact Bernotat & Co for Chair Wear pricing and availability.