Object of desire: The Jonas Chair
Introducing the Jonas chair. Inspired by White City House and designed by Gareth Lewis, Soho Home’s Senior Creative Director, it’s the missing piece of your interiors puzzle
Tuesday 29 March 2022 By Megan Murray
Picture your living room in your mind’s eye – could there be something missing? You might not have realised it yet, but there is. While the usuals are probably ticked off, such as the TV and the sofa, we suspect there’s a Jonas-shaped hole in this space.
It goes by many names: an occasional chair, accent seat, or good old-fashioned armchair. This partially decorative, partially functional piece offers a perch for reading or enjoying a cup of tea. Or, you know, practising the Dutch art of niksen – doing nothing.
It also pulls a room together. An occasional chair can create a focal point and draws the eye. It’s a point of interest in an otherwise relatively routine set-up and a chance to make a design statement. An accent chair says, ‘hey, this space has been thought through.’
Occasional chairs are given a big role in our Houses – at the end of the beds, in reading corners or even next to a bath. They look great in pairs or alone as a stylish place to sit. Their importance is reflected in Soho Home’s collections, and this season we’re excited about one design in particular.
Meet the Jonas. Inspired by White City House, this low lounge chair features a Scandinavian woven back and half-height cushion to show off its unique shape. Position opposite a sofa or in the corner of a bedroom to elevate a room. Here, Gareth Lewis, Soho Home’s Senior Creative Director, shares the story behind its design.
What can you tell us about Soho Home’s design process?
‘Soho Home was created because members wanted to buy decor from the Houses, so the products have always echoed what you’ll see in the clubs. Now more than ever, we’re working incredibly closely with the interior designers to create pieces for upcoming Houses, which are also available to buy – it’s all one process and there’s real synergy there.’
How do you ensure that Soho Home’s occasional chairs are comfortable?
‘Nick Jones sits in every design we make to check how comfortable it is. Soho House is known for being a home away from home; a place to settle in and put your feet up. So, we have a rule for Soho Home that everything should be relaxed and loungey. We do this by ensuring the seat is deeper and more generous, and the arms are extra wide. We also accentuate the rake, which is the angle between the seat and the back, so that you can really lean into it. And a lot of consideration goes into the fill of the seat cushion to make sure that it doesn’t flatten out, but allows you to sink in.’
The half cushion is quite unusual – why did you include this in the design?
‘We’re really happy with the chair’s half cushion, and that it serves a dual purpose. A lot of skill goes into the hand-weaving of the roped back, so we wanted to show that off while considering comfort. Revealing those details takes the chair to a different place, and it’s designed to support your back.’
Any tips for styling the Jonas chair at home?
‘I would position it so that you can see the back when you walk into the room to highlight the rope detail. Place it next to another Jonas with coordinating upholstery, opposite a sofa. Add a large rug for depth and a small side table between them.’