Everything You Need to Know About Adirondack Chairs

furniture1-300x175  People spend, on average, about 90% of their time inside. If you’re hoping to break that pattern and get a little extra sunshine, then making your outdoor space more attractive and inviting with some outdoor furniture may be the best strategy — personal taste and comfort are the two biggest factors people consider when making furnishing decisions (at 84% and 75%, respectively), and there are plenty of outdoor furniture options that can meet both those criteria. One of the most classic choices for wooden outdoor furniture is the Adirondack chair. Here’s a little more about the design, which can make you feel closer to an idyllic mountain lake retreat as soon as you take a seat:

The Origin of the Adirondack Chair
The iconic Adirondack Chair, made of simple planks and featuring a sloped seat and slightly reclined back, was designed by Thomas Lee, who was vacationing in Westport, NY, in 1903. He originally called it the “Westport plank chair” and shared the design with a carpenter friend, Harry Bunnell. Bunnell filed a patent for the design in 1905 (apparently without Lee’s permission, actually), and sold the chairs for the next two decades. Each one was painted green or dark brown, and was individually signed.

Contemporary Adirondack Chairs
The Westport chair was eventually renamed after the mountain range in which Westport is located, the Adirondacks. Most modern Adirondack chairs are actually based off a modified design patented by Irving Wolpin in 1938; they have a slightly rounded back and a contoured seat for extra comfort. Many cheap versions of Adirondack chairs sold in home improvement stores are made of plastic; if you’re interested in higher quality, you might want to consider chairs from an Amish furniture supplier instead. Amish products are often known for being made out of 100% wood, though some may also be treated for weather resistance (saving you the trouble of using outdoor furniture covers each and every time).

Variations on Adirondack Chairs
The style of Adirondack Chairs has been widely adapted for other outdoor pieces, including benches, love seats and even swing gliders. Side/end tables and coffee tables are also widely available in matching sets — that way, you won’t have to budge from your comfortable position when you want someplace to rest your drink or your book to simply relax. You should note in your shopping that in parts of Canada, the same design is known as the Muskoka chair, after a well-known cottage and vacation area.


Would Adirondack chairs fit your outside design aesthetic, or are you looking for something a bit less rustic? Discuss your thoughts in the comments.