This iconic, 90-year-old chair design has just been re-imagined in new, modern colour options

Dating back to 1933, Kaare Klint’s Safari Chair is undoubtedly a classic of Nordic design, but this new colour launch firmly positions it as just as modern a choice for 2023, too

kaare klint safari chair's in a living room
(Image credit: Carl Hansen & Søn)

If you’re up on your Scandinavian design history, you might already know the name Kaare Klint. The architect is widely regarded as the founder of Danish Modernism - a movement which in turn fed into, and inspired, the Mid-Century Modern style which has become such a worldwide phenomenon. His designs inspired future furniture makers, such as Hans J. Wegner and Arne Jacobsen, who brought forth a “Golden Age” in Nordic furniture. 

One of Kaare Klint’s most famous designs, the Safari Chair has reached the grand old age of 90 this year. Introduced back in 1933, it’s a piece that feels just as contemporary as it did way back then - a timeless addition to any home. However, the launch of a new special edition of colours places the Safari Chair firmly in the here and now. 

Here’s what you need to know about it. 

The Safari Chair

close up of kaare klint safari chair

(Image credit: Carl Hansen & Søn)

Kaare Klint’s Safari Chair has been a staple of Scandinavian design since it was first introduced. The design’s inspiration was as of a refinement of chairs brought on an African safari by an American cinematographer and his wife that the designer noticed in their photographs. It’s thought that they’re likely based on the Indian Roorkhee chairs that the British Military used. 

Klint’s adaptation centred the human anatomy in the design of the chair. The original had an ingenious construction that meant when the chair was being sat in, the joints would tighten, making it stronger and more stable. With glueless joints and tool-free assembly, it was like one of the first examples of self-assembled furniture. 

Klint’s design clarified the design of its inspiration, keeping the design modern and simple - qualities that mean it’s a piece that’s endured throughout the eras as a timeless piece. In 2023, some 90 years after it was first unveiled at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition, Carl Hansen & Søn has launched new finishes for the chair - a canvas fabric available in three warm and earthy colours. 

The Safari Chair's original finishes include a natural canvas and a variety of leathers, this new launch introduces the canvas in warming, on-trend hues that bring a extra sense of comfort. With the soft saddle leather detailing and a beautiful teak frame, this re-imagining has the makings of a new classic.  

A short history of Kaare Klint

kaare klint safari chairs in a living room

(Image credit: Carl Hansen & Søn)

The son of an architect, Kaare Klint was exposed to architecture from a young age - however, it was his contributions to Danish furniture design that really left a lasting impression. As a designer, he was considered a “reformer” - one of the first who really looked to put the functionality of architecture and furniture design above pure aesthetics, where his contemporaries focussed on style. 

His own designs could be best identified by clean lines, best quality materials and a human-centric approach. His “human furniture” was based on studies of the body, in tandem with his own studies of how furniture was really used. As a professor, Klint helped formed some of the greatest minds in Danish furniture design, including Hans J. Wegner, Mogens Koch, Arne Jacobsen and Poul Kjærholm in the 1940s, who would go on to create some of the most well-known examples of Danish furniture design we have today. 

The Safari Chair retails for £1,540, and footstool at £662. The new variants are exclusively available in Carl Hansen & Søn Flagship Stores:

Carl Hansen & Søn Flagship Store
48A Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8LP