More or Less: A tubular take on minimalist seating
- The San Francisco Chronicle, 07/26/2009

If you're self-employed, your biggest perk is probably your biggest problem: Oversleep and no one will fire you. Miss a deadline and your chatty co-workers aren't at fault.

It's all on you, buckaroo. So if self-discipline isn't your strong suit, you may find yourself raiding the pantry, cleaning out your closet ... anything to avoid getting down to business.

One quick trick to help you escape the purgatory of procrastination? Carve out a work space - even if this means turning a bedroom corner into your new "home office." And if you believe that function can follow form, you'll want to furnish it with designs that embody efficiency.

Consider, then, the Tubular Brno Chair designed by iconic modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1930. The cantilevered, stainless-steel frame has a gravity-defying fluidity, but uses few materials.

Yet minimalism does not belie comfort: The seat and back are made of supple Spinneybeck leather available in more than 500 colors and varying textures. The chair is sold at a starting price of $1,137 by Knoll, an American design manufacturer and retailer. It's available at Design Within Reach.

If the Tubular Bnro Chair is out of your price range, the Japanese lifestyle brand Muji recently introduced a serenely streamlined series of bentwood and tubular steel furniture made in collaboration with Thonet, a German manufacturer that claims to be the oldest furniture brand in the world.

The Thonet Steel Pipe Chair, which retails for $575.75, is similarly cantilevered, but with straighter lines and shaper angles. While the Thonet chair uses a tubular steel framework similar to the Brno chair, the seat and base are made of a seemingly paper-thin plywood seat covered in a lead-gray veneer.

Those interested in purchasing the Thonet Steel Pipe Chair should send an inquiry to info@muji.com.

Got it? Now get back to work.

$575.75
Thonet Steel Pipe Chair

$1,137
Tubular Brno Chair