Why Our Version is the Best:
  • #304 Stainless Steel Frame (not chrome plated steel)
  • Top grain Italian leathers
  • Free Shipping and No Sales Taxes
  • Exclusive: Powdercoating in 8 colors are available (for an extra charge)
  • Specify your own Leather or Fabrics (for an extra charge)
Our Item No. MC-1031
Base Price $ 900
Overall Dimensions: 23"w x 23"d x 31"h
Seat Height: 17.5 inches
Seat Dimensions: 19.75"w x 17.5"d
Weight: 36 pounds

We wrote this review and comparison guide to help you figure out who makes the best BRNO Style Arm Chair. We have only highlighted 4 sellers of these iconic chairs, the primary contenders if you will, and we hope support our belief that our version of this chair has the best value proposition on the market.

Summary: Modern Classics vs. Competitors

Feature Modern Classics Design Within Reach Malik Design Gallery Amazon/Low Market
Executive Flat Arm Side Chair (aka, BRNO Chair) $ 900 $ 2,950 $ 1,541 $ 599
Overall Rating
5.00 out of 5
5.00 out of 5
2.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5
Chair Dimensions
5.00 out of 5
4.00 out of 5
2.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5
Upholstery Materials
5.00 out of 5
4.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5
Chair Frame
5.00 out of 5
4.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5
Custom Options
5.00 out of 5
2.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5
1.00 out of 5

Detailed Comparison: Modern Classics vs. Competition

FEATURE OVERVIEW

 Modern Classics  

Our Barcelona style lounge chair we call the Exhibition Chair is offered in top grain Italian leather, a frame made of solid bar, #304 Stainless Steel, polished to a mirror-like finish. For an extra charge, we offer powdercoating the frame in 8 standard colors. Prices includes Free Shipping and No Sales Taxes. You may also provide your own upholstery materials for your specific project. The list prices for the Modern Classics brand are significantly lower than all other comparable brands, most notably the Knoll chair sold by Design within Reach (DWR). Furthermore, we do not charge for sales taxes and standard shipping is free to the contiguous US. Lead Times: Due to the high demand for these chairs, we often times are out of stock on some colors. We weld and polish the frames in the USA and do all the final assembly and packaging here too. There is about 40 hours of labor that goes into each chair. Most times there is under a 8 week lead time.

5.00 out of 5
 Design Within Reach 

Design Within Reach (DWR) sells the original replica of these chairs as made by Knoll in Italy (aka., the "Signature" or "Barcelona Chair" model.) DWR offer their Barcelona chairs are offered in top grain Spinneybeck leather in 6 colors and a chrome-plated steel frame. Each piece has an signature etch of Mies van der Rohe, which is their trademark. DWR prices do not include free Shipping and sales taxes will be added, since DWR has a store in every state. They do not sell a loveseat or sofa version of this chair. The list price for the DWR brand is significantly higher than all other comparable brands. Lead Times: The six standard leather colors are generally in stock.

5.00 out of 5
  Malik Design Gallery 

Malik Design Gallery sells an Italian made version of the Barcelona Chair, which they call the Seville. Offered in only 3 leather colors, this model would be our third choice for a Barcelona Style chair. Malik Design Gallery prices do not include free Shipping and sales taxes usually will be added, since DWR has a store in most states. They do not sell a loveseat or sofa version of this chair. The list price for the Seville is about twice as high as the Modern Classics brand. Lead Times: Malik Design Gallery chairs are generally in stock.

2.00 out of 5
  Low-Market Chairs 

Barcelona style chairs can be found all over the Internet, and are notably because their prices are well below $600. The low market chairs are offered in one or two colors: black and white, and are note known for the use of soft foam, real leather, or correct dimensions. Their chairs use a chrome-plated steel frame. You can also find loveseat or sofa versions of this chair, with similar quality issues. Lead times: Generally in stock.

1.00 out of 5

CHAIR FRAME

 Modern Classics  

Our Frames are precision formed with No. 304 grade stainless steel and hand-polished to a mirror-like finish. By using higher grade #304 stainless steel we achieve a more natural appearance metal feature than plated chrome as well as a more environmentally safe steel compared to "plated chrome". Stainless steel is easy to maintain, inherently corrosive resistant and repairable by hand polishing offering a near life-time of trouble fee use. Besides the hand-polished look, we can make our frame with a powder coated finish in 8 standard in-house colors, or choose your own, for an additional charge. Our chair is contructed with an inner hardwood frame, multi-density foam and 2" flexilator seat suspension.

5.00 out of 5
 Design Within Reach 

DWR chair frame is polished chrome hand-ground and hand-buffed to a mirror finish. The chrome plating process of metals has been noted as a generally unsafe manufacturing process for our an environmentally and when scratched or chipped, the steel will rust and it cannot be easily repaired. There are no options besides the polished chrome look, i.e., no powdercoating. Their chair is contructed with an inner hardwood frame, variable density foam and flexilator seat suspension.

4.00 out of 5
  Malik Design Gallery 

Malik's frame is chrome plated to a shiny blue-tint finish. Once again, the chrome plating process of metals has been noted as a generally unsafe manufacturing process for our an environmentally and when scratched or chipped, the steel will rust and it cannot be easily repaired, whereas stainless steel is easy to maintain, inherently corrosive resistant and repairable by hand polishing offering a near life-time of trouble fee use. There are no options besides the polished chrome look, i.e., no powdercoating.

1.00 out of 5
  Low-Market Chairs 

Low market chair frames are lower grade stainless steel, machined-polished and has a dull, milky finish. Does not look like chrome or very good stainless steel. Some models use hollow tubing, not solid bar. There are no options besides the polished chrome look, i.e., no powdercoating. The interior construction of their chair is not known.

1.00 out of 5

CHAIR DIMENSIONS

 Modern Classics  

Our frame dimensions are modeled from original production drawings, and are the close to the designer's original intent, with some slight variations. These variations relate more to the curves of the chair, then dimensions, in that, our frame arms sweep up to a near horizontal position. The distance between the arm height and seat top is the same.

5.00 out of 5
 Design Within Reach 

DWR sells the Knoll brand chair.

4.00 out of 5
  Malik Design Gallery 

Malik's chair frame dimensions are a close match the Signature version, but the slope of the front legs are not curved enough, so there is a tendency to lean forward and tip over. Also the seat back is too high.

2.00 out of 5
  Low-Market Chairs 

Their chair frame dimensions seem slightly smaller in overall size than our version and the curve on the back legs is not correct. Not to specifications.

1.00 out of 5

UPHOLSTERY MATERIALS

 Modern Classics  

We offer 20 imported Italian leather colors as standard, with the option of providing your own leather or selecting from our wide range of color and texture selection of stock European leather colors for a minor surcharge.

5.00 out of 5
  Design Within Reach 

The chair that DWR sells only has a choice of 6 leather colors as standard, although there is the option to selects from the entire Spinneybeck leather collection for a substantial surcharge. Not offered in Fabric or in your own materials.

4.00 out of 5
  Malik Design Gallery 

Malik Design Gallery only offer 3 leather colors, are not offered in Fabric, custom leather or in your own materials. They cannot even give you a leather sample to take home nor can they send out leather samples.

1.00 out of 5
  Low-Market Chairs 

These models are typically offered in only 1 or 2 leather colors: black and white. Upholstery might be leather, bonded leather, or vinyl; in any case, not quality A level Italian or USA leather.

1.00 out of 5

CUSTOM OPTIONS

 Modern Classics  

We offer the extreme flexibility on this model for customizing, with modest up-charges. First, there is the upholstery material. You can provide your own fabric or leather. You can ask us to check with our leather supplier for a specific leather color. We can powder coat the frame using one of our standard colors, or your own selection.

5.00 out of 5
 Design Within Reach 

DWR offers limited flexibility on this model for customizing. You can provide your own select from a broad range of Spinneybeck Leathers, for an additional up-charge. There is no other frame choice than chrome or stainless steel.

2.00 out of 5
  Malik Design Gallery 

This seller offers no customizing options. There is no other frame choice than chrome or stainless steel.

1.00 out of 5
  Low-Market Chairs 

These models offer no customizing options. There is no other frame choice than chrome or stainless steel.

1.00 out of 5

Product Description

Our Executive Flat Bar Side Chair is inspired by the Mies van der Rohe chair design known the world over as the BRNO Chair. We make our version using only the high quality 12mm flat stock #304 stainless steel polished to a mirror finish. Our upholstery is top-grain leather imported from Italy. Excellent sewing detail is maintained on the all the chair seams. The seat cushions are high resilient - high density polyurethane foam over an internal spring suspension. You will note that our seat backs and bottom also have a flat, sleek look.

LEATHER CHOICES

Modern Classics Furniture offers three levels of Top-Grain Italian Leathers. Each of the these groupings feature:

  • Top-grain Italian leather from Grade A hides
  • Semi aniline-dyed (standard) and 100% aniline-dyed (premium)
  • Made in Italy and imported to our factory
  • Have a UV and Moisture Guard built into the dye
  • Are not split hides or bonded leather

We are happy to mail you a physical piece of leather so you can hold it in your hands.

Below are the leather colors we offer for our Executive Flat Arm Side Chair. Our Standard Leathers (denoted with the prefix L1) are top-grain, aniline-dyed, and then color corrected with a slight embossing to create a more uniform grain pattern. Our Premium leathers (denoted with the prefix L2) are also top-grain, aniline-dyed but have a soft feel to them and much of the hides natural grain patterns are retained. All our leathers are considered equally durable and are ideal for home or commercial use. To read more about leather, read our A Guide to Understanding Upholstery Leather: A Primer.

Click on any of these images for an enlarged view.

Other Metal Frame Color Choices

Besides the standard #304 Polished Stainless Steel frames shown above, we do our own in-house powder coating over the stainless steel frame. We offer 8 standard colors and there is a $100 extra charge for the custom leg finishing.

Click on any of these swatches to see an enlarged view.

About Modern Classics Furniture

Here at Modern Classics Furniture, we focus tightly on manufacturing and selling furniture in the niche market known as Iconic Modern Classics Furniture. Here's why we are your top choice for Modern Classic Furniture:

  • We make and sell only our own products -- we do not sell other manufacturer's product, nor will you find our products elsewhere on the Internet.
  • We offer a 3 year warranty
  • We offer FREE SHIPPING on all retail orders; Free shipping on design trade orders over $2,500
  • We only make quality furniture using the best materials
  • We offer wholesale and design trade prices - let us be your #1 source - sign up today!

Corporate Headquarters

1788 Midway Lane Bellingham, WA 98226
Curt Roth, President
360-733-6400
curt@modernclassics.com

While we have three showroom locations, the best place to call and get answers is at our company headquarters in Bellingham Washington. Call or Email, you will most likely reach Curt Roth, company president and chief answerman. Or you can use this contact us form, we will receive a text message.

Visit one of Our Factory Showrooms