Jet Age chairs at Restoration Hardware

Prod580026 Restoration Hardware has a new line of magnificent Jet Age-inspired furniture. For example, the aviator chair above is inspired by World War II fighter planes, and wrapped in aluminum airplane skin. And at left, they've recreated a classic mid-century Danish chair design and also skinned it in metal. The chairs are available in a variety of upholstery options for (gulp) $1500 or so. Chairs at Restoration Hardware


  1. This months $1500 chair is next week’s $400 DIY version. Thank goodness, because I must own something much like this.

  2. Th charis are available in a variety of upholstery options for (gulp) $1500 or so.

    That’s restoration hardware for you. Cool looking stuff, with all the durability of Ikea at designer prices. I seriously suggest people use them for IDEAS and actually buy something from ANYBODY else.

    1. I actually think that Restoration products seem pretty durable. I don’t have so much experience with big furniture, but the few smaller things I’ve bought on sale there have held up really well.

      1. Yeah, I’ve had decent luck with Restoration Hardware stuff too. I bought a Weber charcoal grill there a few years ago and it was great (got rid of it when I moved).

        For that matter, it isn’t fair to say all IKEA stuff is crap either. For example, IKEA sells office chairs from $20 up to around $400. Guess what? The $20 chairs aren’t as good as the $400 chairs and the $400 chairs are actually quite nice.

      2. Main thing that tipped me off was the lack of dovetails on the joints of any of their furniture. It’s all stapled together, which is a huge no no when it comes to making furniture that will last.

        If you’ve had good luck with them, I’m happy for you.

        I also think their prices are inflated, you can get similar hardware for old house restoration (which is what I’m interested in) from Van Dykes or Signature Hardware.

        @Chesterfield – I was mainly referring to their furniture, and other things that bear their brand. If you bought something that you could have bought at Lowes for example, all bets are off.

        1. Main thing that tipped me off was the lack of dovetails on the joints of any of their furniture. It’s all stapled together, which is a huge no no when it comes to making furniture that will last.

          We bough a dresser there several years ago, specifically because it was reasonably priced and superbly built. Dovetailed solid-cedar drawer boxes with dadoed solid-wood bottoms, all structural joints dadoed or rabbeted and properly cross-braced and blocked and glued with beautifully-finished solid cherry facings.

          No staples, no screws, no particle board, no composites, all very solid and sturdy and well-made – the sort of furniture you rarely see outside of the really high-end luxe ‘heritage’ shops and antique stores.

          We were especially pleased because it was billed as kids’ furniture – we often look at kids’ furniture because it fits our modestly-scaled prewar house, unlike the gargantuan McMansion-scale articles that most upscale furniture stores carry. But most kids’ furniture is disposable crap, all particle board and staples and cheap veneer.

          But I’ve seen other stuff there that was flimsy stapled borax, too. Clearly, their quality varies.

          And like Anon@18 says, these use Phillips-head crews rather than rivets, which completely ruins the “retro aircraft” effect.

  3. Those pictures are terrible. They probably look great in “real life”, but those images just don’t sell them to me.

  4. This guy near me has been making stuff out of old airplane parts for a while now. Again not cheap but he’s a one man business with a small workshop and the man hours for this stuff are huge. I’ve never plucked up the courage to buy and it goes for double what it did when I first discovered him.

  5. The Aviator chair is made of nice materials but is very low, narrow and small. It is not an armchair to sink into and read a book but would be okay in a lobby or waiting room.

  6. Restoration Hardware is just just the most terrible

    “For only $7500 you can get a genuine imitation thing that kind of looks like an antique!”

    I mean you’re better off actually looking for some dude with scrap plane parts than picking up an ultra expensive Ikea version.

  7. Yeah not really a brand I associate with quality. But as quality THEMED stuff goes, these chairs are pretty handsome. I’m with GreenJello and nemofazer on this one.

  8. Oh, and I don’t have a problem with Ikea. They sell cheap furniture cheaply. A lot of what they have it pretty cool, but I don’t expect it to last, any more than I expect the Sauder furniture to last.

    The Restoration Hardware furniture I’ve seen is sold at a premium, but appears to be fairly cheap in construction. It’s all flash, and no substance.

    1. I guess if I can afford the $1500 chair my kid can roam around in the $900 car for about a year until they lose interest in it.

  9. I’ve seen the original in the store. What you can’t see in these pictures is that they used about 1000 philips head screws instead of rivets to attach the Al panels. That was an immediate tip-off to me that this thing is far more about appearance than quality. If THAT attention to detail was missed where else did they cut corners? For that price it should be perfect.

  10. Any chair or sofa + some stainless or aluminum sheet metal + some nails = a lot more money left in your pocket.

    Also, the name of this store seems misleading… kinda like Pier 1 Imports, which is really just a bunch of junk from china. :)

  11. I’ve had good luck with restoration hardware, so when I saw these in a magazine several weeks ago, i thought i had to have a pair … Wrong. After looking at them in person, i’ll echo what others have said, 1.) they’re tiny, and 2.) they look poorly made. In particular, their use of screws instead of rivets was a huge disappointment.

    Looks like i’ll be starting work on my own version (he says as his wfe sobs silently in the background ;)

  12. Looked pretty awesome- but I’d Really like to go into one of the stores & see how easy it would be to tear one apart! going through the galley of pictures gave me pause- especially the seamwork. Even with the small size of the pics appears to be some questionable/shady-type craft to it. For the metalcraft style chairs, seams on the metal shells look more nailed than riveted (and not the flat, flush tight join that flight surfaces have- like that stuff in emmerich’s place). My impression, too much china mass-fabrication, not enough $1500 awesomeness.

  13. Once again Restoration Hardware makes something that will not cause me to stop and go in. They’ve had a store on Grand Avenue in St. Paul for a number of years, but the things that they have in the window that will make me go in to look around has grown less and less over the past 3-4 years. I think their buyers have lost their touch.

  14. These are not Jet Age inspired, these are pretty direct copies of other people’s current body of work.
    So they took the Ron Arad Rover chair and Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair and skinned them both in metal “inspired” by Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge chair.

    I don’t see any original design in this. Though 1500.00 is not a lot of money for quality furniture (Something you plan on keeping for 10 years), Restoration Hardware repeatedly fails when it comes to quality. Start hitting the thrifts in about 4 months as the joints fail and pieces of razor thin metal start peeling up and cutting up small fingers.

  15. More dovetailing? Rivets instead of flat head screws. I work for a designer. I think their stuff is good enough quality. No its not the most intricate, but I think affordability is what its about. Yes they could add more of these features but then you’d no longer be able to even consider buying these pieces because they’d be at LEAST $2000-$3000 more. Our clients have been more than happy and it seems their quality is continuously better with every line. I’m personally happy with what I see come from them. I had a bed from pottery barn that seemed to be great quality at $1500. Fell apart in a year and a half. I like my ikea bed I’ve had for 4 years now and you know that’s not dovetailed. One day it will be replaced with a rh bed!

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