Photo by Salt Water New England

Friday, June 10, 2022

The Adirondack Chair

A Pair of Adirondacks Chairs
Adirondacks Chairs are a style of sturdy outdoor seating defined by slats, wide armrests perfect for books and drinks, a high back, and a slanted seat.  While their provenance is inland (in the early 1900s, Thomas Lee invented them in the Adirondack town of Westport, New York, on the shores of Lake Champlain) they have become a staple (or invasive species) of the coastal aesthetic. 

Ideally made of teak, they can be made of other types of wood, and increasingly rot-proof resin.  

Their reputation for comfort may be slightly oversold, given how low and hard they are and the angles involved.  Variants, including rockers and swings, provide some compromises.  

Photo Credit:  Muffy Aldrich
 

22 comments:

  1. Yes, they are iconic, but as you mentioned, not really comfortable.

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    1. Oh, but cats love 'em so! Swear, they sleep for hours lounging, sometimes two or three a chair, a purring pile of happiness.

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  2. The Adirondack chair is comfortable if one leans back in the chair and admires The High Peaks in the distance.

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  3. We bought and use them so that we can imagine how uncomfortable the Kennedys were.

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  4. I am the odd duck who finds them pretty comfortable. I have never encountered teak ones, only pine ones with years of paints, bright yellows, blues, and reds, white, and forest green. At the moment we have four made from recycled milk bottles that are excellent. Set up on the deck around a fire pit, they were our COVID dining room for socially distant entertaining with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres gracing their arms.

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  5. they benefit substantially from adding seat cushions for the reasons you mention - it's not a particularly comfortable chair design.

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    1. Investing in Sunbrella full seat cushions is a game changer!

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  6. They are nice to look at, cushions make all the difference if you want to use them as chairs.

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  7. They are not comfortable for reading, eating, conversing, or even napping. Useless chairs whose popularity I never understood. More comfortable to sit on a blanket on the ground. I read once that the seats at MacDonalds were designed to be comfortable for only 12 minutes so people would eat and then move on because the seats began to hurt. Perhaps Adirondack chairs were used by resorts to get people out of them and off the porch.

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    1. Why be so declarative: "They are not comfortable..."? The fact that many people on this thread (including me) find them to be perfectly comfortable disproves your contention. Next time you might say, "In my opinion" or words to like effect.

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    2. Dearest Sartresky,
      Thanks I'm good- I can speak for myself, so please don't...
      - your whole comment is conflicting and in reasoning.

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  8. As a native I can assure you they are perfectly comfortable. One just needs to know how to sit in them. It's an acquired taste.

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    1. I believe the proper way to "sit" in them is to chop them up, put then on the fire, and go get a different chair to watch them burn.

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  9. I always liked the way they looked more then how they felt sitting on them.

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  10. Had 2 of them with a foot rest made of cypress in Louisiana ...gift of mother in law. Stained them with Duckback. After many years donated them to a young associate with the caveat that the furniture suffered from liver disease & that he should feel at home...he laughed .

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  11. We love them, and have several wooden ones.

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  12. The classic garden chair...

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    1. My grandparents had some back in the day and I never saw anyone sit on in them.

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  13. The town of Hallowell, Maine on the Kennebec River has a long row of multi-colored ones ('The Rainbow Chairs') all along the riverfront. Very popular gathering place.

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  14. But otherwise an 'invasive species' indeed. ;)

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  15. Been sitting in them for years. Perfectly comfortable. Especially after mowing and need a place to rest and cool off.

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  16. They do go better with cushion(s), but the book-drink convenience isn't to be discounted, nosiree.

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