Often the most helpful thing you can do when wavering on a purchase is to compare it to something similar. As with any other industry, there are classic furniture styles that have reemerged throughout the years – with multiple brands offering their take on an iconic look.
We spoke to Stephanie, our Merchandiser, to discuss the differences between two similar chairs with very different price points: the Inman Chair from our Cambridge Collection and the Design Classic from Thayer Coggin.
We’re breaking down everything you need to know to make the best decision for your home.
The Design Classic from Thayer Coggin was originally designed in 1966 by Milo Baughman, and in their words, is “one of the most iconic chair designs of the midcentury modern era.”
The name says it all, the chair is a classic, recognizable style. It has all of the characteristics of the midcentury modern style that became popular in that time – a streamlined, low-profile look with bold metal arms and an emphasis on comfort.
It starts at $3,465 and is available in fabric, leather, and 3 leg finishes, brushed nickel, bronze, and high polished steel.
The Inman Chair is part of our Cambridge Collection, which is exclusive to Circle Furniture. Peggy Burns, founder and Queen Bee of Circle, says of the collection, “The inspiration to create this line started with our customers in mind. The pieces have a modern design with slender silhouettes.”
The Inman Chair takes inspiration from the Design Classic, with a similar (yet slightly different) metal frame, a low-profile, and a deep seat. Like the Design Classic, it’s available in both fabric and leather, and has 2 finish options on the legs: matte steel and brushed brass. It starts at $1,099.
It’s clear the Inman took inspiration from the Design Classic, but how do they differ?
Stephanie explains, “The Design Classic is an original Milo design, it’s quite literally a classic. They have a very similar look but there are slight differences. The Design Classic has the polished stainless steel legs, whereas the legs on the Inman Chair aren’t stainless steel.”
“The cushions on the Design Classic are attached but look loose which gives it that cushy, cozy feeling. The Inman Chair is a tight back chair and it’s comfortable in its own right but the Design Classic has more down in the seat and more of a sink-in feeling.”
The frames appear very similar but are slightly different, they both feature the small armrest but the Design Classic has a lofted look whereas the Inman Chair, in Stephanie’s words has more of a “heavier look.”
The Design Classic is also slightly smaller in scale than the Inman Chair with a bit of a lower profile. In terms of customization, the Design Classic has a COM (choose your own fabric) option, whereas the Inman doesn’t.
When it comes to the differences between the two chairs, the most obvious difference is the price. The Design Classic is more than double the cost of the Inman Chair.
Stephanie explains, “You’re paying for the brand, but not entirely. It’s also the quality. They’re both made in North Carolina, but Thayer Coggin takes a little extra care in what they do. The quality is there with the Cambridge collection but Thayer Coggin is bench made by one person from start to finish.”
This attention to detail plus the iconic design of the Design Classic Chair is what creates the disparity in cost.
We can list all of the facts about the Inman and the Design Classic chairs, but when it comes down to it, the decision is a personal choice based on preference and budget. Some may find the Inman Chair more comfortable than the Design Classic, while others want the iconic, irreplaceable look of a Thayer Coggin.
Stephanie says, “If the Design Classic isn’t in your budget, the Inman is a wonderful alternative. If you’re looking for a classic, never-going-to-go-out-fashion chair, the Design Classic is the one for you.”
The best way to decide between the Inman and the Design Classic? Try them in person. Our Design Consultants will guide you through the decision-making process. Get to know our designers and visit us in one of our six showrooms.
Author: Julia Maiman
Julia is a writer, blogger, and believer in the smell of old books. She has been crafting stories since she could put pen to paper. She is also a lover of dogs, traveling, and Led Zeppelin.