10 Important Designer Chairs In Kuya Kim's Home

Let us take a closer look at the iconic modern chairs in the home of media personality Kim Atienza

Photography: Rene Mejia

TV host and anchor Kim Atienza (or Kuya Kim) is best known for his love of animals and popular trivia. But he is also known for his passion for Filipino contemporary art and designer chairs. This is seen in the impressive collection in his family home in Manila.

The home, which was the house of the late fashion designer Joe Salazar, is lined wall-to-wall (and even on the ceiling) with pieces by contemporary Filipino artists like Elmer Borlongan, Wire Tuazon, and Louie Cordero. His collection of chairs (which he has been collecting even when he was living in his former home in Syquia Apartments) is especially noteworthy, as each piece is an important midcentury modern design. We pick ten of these chairs, and give you a backgrounder on each, and why these are considered collectible pieces.

(Above photo, left to right)

Lounge Chair & Ottoman by Charles & Ray Eames

Considered one the most famous creations by the Eameses—midcentury modern husband-and-wife designers—the lounge chair and ottoman were created in 1957 using techniques that were considered groundbreaking at the time, such as using molded plywood. Many fans say that it is ultra-comfortable, and that the seat fits like a glove. You can buy an original locally at CWC Interiors.

Butterfly Stool by Sori Yanagi

According to Teresa Quevedo, professor of interior design at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, the 1954-designed, organic-modern Butterfly Stool is “now an icon of modern industrialized Japan. What makes it remarkable is its simple and graceful form, often perceived as a butterfly or a pair of hands in the act of offering something.” This is also available from Vitra at CWC Interiors.

Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen

Designed by Danish architect Jacobsen in 1958, the playful Swan Chair was originally and exclusively designed for the Radisson SAS Hotel in Copenhagen. You can now buy an original Swan at The Republic of Fritz Hansen showroom in Bonifacio Global City.

WATCH: This Store Will Transport You To Denmark 

Platner Arm Chair & Stool by Warren Platner

American architect Warren Platner is best known for his undulating, organic-modern interiors in the 1960s-70s. In the Knoll website, the description for his most famous chair reads: “The Arm Chair, which can be used as a dining chair or guest chair, is creating by welding curved steel rods to circular and semi-circular frames, simultaneously serving as structure and ornament.”


(Above photo, left)

Tulip Armchair by Eero Saarinen

Considered a “space age design” back in 1956, the fiberglass Tulip chair was designed to accompany its matching dining table. The Finnish-born architect Saarinen’s other famous design is the TWA Flight Center at the JFK International Airport in New York.

(Above photo, far right, seen partially)

La Chaise by Charles & Ray Eames

The Eameses designed this sinewy-looking fiberglass lounge chair with oak feet for the “International Competition for Low-cost Furniture Design” in 1948. Ironically, it was too expensive to mass-produce back then. The chair was inspired by the sculptures of the artist Gaston Lachaise.

(Above photo, chair at far left)

Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry

Architect Frank Gehry’s iconic chair design from 1972 is only made out of corrugated cardboard with no metal or wood frame. But because of the densely compressed layers, it is surprisingly sturdy, and can support anyone who sits on it like a regular side chair.

(Second chair from left)

MR10 Chair by Mies Van der Rohe

American-German architect Mies Van der Rohe, he of the famous “less is more” quote about design, applied this philosophy to this chair, which is a simple cantilevered tubular-steel creation with a cowhide seat and backrest. In spite of it being designed way back in 1927, the chair remains a modern classic.

(Fourth chair from left)

Chair 3107 by Arne Jacobsen

Says Quevedo of this popular chair: “The fascination for this design is not difficult to explain. First, the chair can be used in all types of interiors, and because it is light and stackable, storing it is not a problem. The design did not sacrifice aesthetics, as seen in its graceful, organic form.” You can buy this chair locally at the Republic of Fritz Hansen.

(Above, rightmost chair)

Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer

Designed in 1925 in Germany at the height of the Bauhaus design movement, the Wassily is considered one of the earliest examples of modern furniture. It is said that the intricate, tubular-steel construction of the frame was inspired by bicycle construction and plumbing. It is still sold at Knoll. 


Read the original article ("Art Space") in YES! Celebrity Homes Special 2013 issue. Download your digital copy on 

More on

Eclectic Style and Original Artwork in Kim Atienza's House

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