Modern Hacienda in Palm Desert.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MODERN HACIENDA
On the upper floor of the Modern Hacienda showroom in Palm Desert, the most esteemed chairs from modern history congregate like a who’s who cocktail party of furniture. Knoll and Herman Miller rub elbows with DellaRobbia, Trica, and Carl Hansen & Son, each dressed in handsome fabric or luxe leather. Many brands are local exclusives, and the store offers every upholstery available for each piece.
Bestsellers are the A-list models you know. The Saarinen Executive Armchair with wood legs from Knoll takes the dining category. Its thick cushion, sculptural beauty, and strong build endear consumers as well as restaurateurs. For kicking back, the original 1956 design of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman set still reigns, lately ordered in a soft desert palette: pearl leather on a white ash-wood frame. The Aeron, the most successful performance chair ever made, is a taskmaster’s dream. Yet a new office chair from Reno, Nevada–based Via has become a Modern Hacienda staff favorite. Which is saying something. Team members spend 45 minutes a day in product training.
Designers and self-stylers alike can sit, sprawl, and stretch to find their match. “It isn’t always the chair they planned to order,” says co-owner Lawrence Lazzaro. “They quite often discover another. Every human body is different, so there is no perfect chair that’s going to be the most comfortable for everyone.”
We also like the variety at Rapport International Furniture, where three new showrooms claim one prominent corner in Rancho Mirage. Contemporary swivel chairs, recliners, bar stools, and more spread out in a range of styles and scales. Shop the Rapport Essentials line; Kare, a German furniture brand as bold as Palm Springs; and Natuzzi Editions, the affordable offshoot of the leather-laden seating by Natuzzi Italia.