Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth

During our recent visit to Chatsworth we bought a combined House and Garden ticket for although our main motivation for visiting was to see the Beyond Limits exhibition in he gardens, we also wanted to have another look around the house to revisit the collection of Modern Art on display. We’d also read that there was an exhibition of contemporary seating taking place. Initially I wasn’t sure it would be of much interest, but, as it happened, I was wrong!

The Chatsworth website told us that:

Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth will see items from the private collection of the Duke and Duchess showcased alongside furniture by internationally acclaimed and innovative designers – from Thomas Heatherwick and Amanda Levete, to Marc Newson, Tokujin Yoshioka, Piet Hein Eek and Moritz Waldemeyer. The exhibition will also showcase thought-provoking, specially commissioned pieces, including Raw Edges’ End Grain seating which will become part of the Sculpture Gallery, and Synthesis IV by emerging designer Tom Price which will be on display in the Chapel.

Chairs and other types of seating were positioned around the house and visitors were allowed to take advantage of them, try them out and rest their legs for a while.

Some of the chairs were very comfortable


Others less so!


These were the first we saw. Designed to spin around so you could view the painted ceiling in the entrance hall (if you didn’t lose you balance and fall off!)


These were chairs designed for readers (I think Milady would like these)




A bench made of coal


and one of resin infused with bitumen


both reflecting the Dukes of Devonshire’s association with the mineral extraction industries.

Some others we saw









Towards the end of the tour of the house, in the dining room, around the large dining table there were chairs designed by students from Sheffield




Finally, in the sculpture hall a very interesting collection specially created for the exhibition

(an) indoor landscape created by Raw Edges in the Sculpture Gallery, where benches and stools emerge like tree trunks from the coloured grid-like floor and offer new perspectives of the sculptures.


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4 thoughts on “Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth

  1. There isn’t much that looks comfortable there! However, I really fancy the book one that looks like a hamster wheel, and I love the stools growing out of the floor. Chatsworth has obviously changed since I last visited!

  2. Oh dear! I made a comment here yesterday but it doesn’t seem to have arrived. Basically I was agreeing with Annabel over the chairs not looking too comfortable (but you say they were, so looks can deceive). How nice to be able sit on them as well; instead of ‘do not touch’ notices. Looks like the books have been read too.

  3. Hi Barbara. It was fun to be able to try out the chairs. Some were uncomfortable, especially the 501 chair – the red plastic one in my post. We weren’t allowed to sit on all of them, though, particularly the more “arty” ones which looked like they were not so practical and uncomfortable. I did sit down in the cubic book chair and tried out reading one of the books from the arms.

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