Louis Ghost Chair

This playful and daring chair was designed as a fresh, modern take on ponderous and flourish Louis XVI chairs found in places like the Palace of Versailles or mansions of French aristocrats. The Louis Ghost Chair is a flamboyant hybrid of classical style and modern technology. This extraordinary piece of furniture with its extravagant and intriguing appeal, makes a great, dazzling addition to any modern interior.

Lily Wright Category Curator
Last update: 25 April 2018
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History

The design of the Louis Ghost Chair was conceived by Philippe Starck, an innovative French industrial and interior designer in 2002. However, the history of the chair’s form dates back to the 18th century. Starck drew inspiration from the French decorative style developed during the reign of Louis XVI. The style known in art history as a mix of ornamental Rococo and more acetic Neoclassicism. Starck successfully reinvented the opulent Baroque form and brought it back into the 21st century. The prototype of the Louis Ghost Chair was first brought to the lime light at the International Furniture Fair in Milan in 2002. Well received by the critics and public, the chair was an instant success and was soon after launched into mass-production. It is commercially available under the Kartell brand. The chair is manufactured in Italy.
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Design

The chair can be described as the quintessence of Baroque clad in a contemporary, exciting attire. The overall appearance of the chair is extraordinarily appealing and stylish, which should come as no surprise since it is one of the items on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is very proportional and well-balanced and the use of the transparent polycarbonate makes it look both airy and light. In contrast to fully-upholstered furniture, it does not obstruct the room in which it is placed but enhances the perception of spaciousness, making it a perfect chair for modern “tiny” living. Although the chair looks like a masterpiece of modern art, it is fully functional and very comfortable. Despite its translucent and evanescent appearance, the chair is famous for its durability. This delicate-looking piece of furniture is weather, scratch and shock resistant. The chair is injection molded in a single piece. The seamless form of the chair, without any joints and binders, makes it even more robust and stable. Additionally, it can also be stacked six high to save storage space.
The oval back rest and slightly undulated arm rests create a form that should be familiar to anyone who has heard of Versailles. The high level of comfort can be attributed to the deep seat pan and waterfall seat edge, which reduces the pressure exerted on the back side of the user’s thighs. The chair was originally available only in the translucent, clear plastic. Today, customers can order their Louis Ghost Chairs in either translucent or opaque variants. The translucent chair is available in five colours: Crystal, Smoke Grey, Straw Yellow, Sunset Orange and Ice Blue. However, the opaque version can only be white or black, both with a glossy surface finish.
Despite its young age, Starck’s creation has already become a modern classic. The cutting-edge futuristic design, combined with the innovative use of materials, has earned the chair a very special place in the history of interior design.
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Interesting facts

  • The Louis Ghost Chair was appraised upon its debut at the International Furniture Fair in Milan by the New York Times, which pointed that: “It makes Louis XV modern; it stacks to save storage space; and it sells for $198.” (The price was later corrected it to $225.)

  • Due to its universal character, the chair can be used to furnish all the different types of interiors, starting from houses and ending with restaurants and ballrooms.

  • Since its debut in 2002 until 2012, over 1.5 million pieces of the chair has been sold, making it the most widely purchased “designer” chair in the world.

  • The Louis Ghost Chairs were used to furnish the dining room of Blair Waldorf, the main character of the TV series Gossip Girl.

  • The Louis Ghost Chair initiated the entire line of translucent furniture designs, including: the Victoria Ghost Chair and the Ema Sao Chair.

SUPPLEMENTAL RESULTS FROM USERS AND STORES