For many of us, we spend more hours in the desk chair than we do at the dining table, in the car seat, or even the bed. This is one piece of furniture that is worth investing in. Chairs don't have to break the bank, though I've found that some of the priciest ones are indeed worth the investment. I go by a simple rule when evaluating a desk chair; is it Cute, Comfortable, or full of Character? Here's the breakdown, starting with my own two: I'm a big mid-century furniture fan. The chair on the right is where I spend most of my waking hours at home. It is a Saarinen Executive chair (circa 1960s) with a rare walnut base. New, these go for about $1800, so you can imagine my delight when finding a crusty old stained one for $50 last summer on craigslist. I had it reupholstered in a linen blend, and voila! I think I've nailed all three C's with this one.
The wooden one on the left was passed on to me in June by my friend's mother in North Carolina. It's been in their family for decades and came from her grandfather's antique shop. We guessed it's from the late 1880s. It's a rare, but exciting day when a piece of furniture makes the cut and comes home with me. It's definitely got character, and with a newly oiled reclining swivel base, is comfy too.
If you're looking for maximum comfort and are willing to invest, then consider the Rolls Royce's of office chairs: the Liberty and Freedom by Humanscale. Once upon a time I worked at Design Within Reach and sat in the Liberty at work. The beauty of it is you forget it's there. I just floated through my day, feeling absolutely no pressure points. We sold a lot of these to folks with chronic back issues.
Need comfort on a budget? Try out the Container Store's Bungee Chair. I've spent many client sessions sitting in one of these and was pleasantly surprised at the comfort.