After meeting Florence Knoll at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in the 1940s, Italian artist/sculptor/furniture designer Harry Bertoia was invited to run the company she ran with her husband, Hans Knoll. Bertoia was given free rein to create whatever he wanted, and his first line, which debuted in 1952, was the eponymous seating collection. Delicate but extremely strong, the airy form is made from bent steel rods, and comes with vinyl seat pads. It's perfect as a dining chair on the patio or grouped for garden-party conversation out on the lawn. One caveat: It's suitable for light outdoor use, which means it can get wet, but unlike some of its more rugged contemporaries, it shouldn't be left out year-round. [$698; knoll.com]
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