Kartell Buying Guide
Iconic Italian brand Kartell have established themselves as the market leader in plastic design since being founded in 1949. Using an intelligent understanding of both material and transformation technology, Kartell have reinvented plastic. Transformed from an industrial material into a stunning design piece, Kartell's plastic products made their mark in the 1960s by bringing functional design to daily living, on trend for the era. Driven by the desire for a strong aesthetic value and long lasting quality, Kartell are continually experimenting with new processes and techniques. Pushing design boundaries by combining plastic with a variation of finishes, Kartell products revolutionalise purposeful pieces into luxurious and highly sought after designs for the home.
Discover one of Kartell's most iconic & best selling designs: The Bourgie Lamp...
Louis Ghost Chair
The iconic Louis Ghost Chair, designed by one of the world’s most prestigious designers, Philippe Starck, remains one of the most recognised pieces in the Kartell collection. Constantly being updated in colour and finish, yet keeping with the classic lines initially created, the design remains timeless. The most daring example of a single mould of plastic to ever be created, the charming chair takes inspiration from architectural 16th century Italy and highlights the distinctive baroque style with a thoroughly contemporary design. The unique transparent finish makes it visually pleasing in a majority of interiors and creates a space-saving appearance for everyday use.
Winning the Red Dot Award for design, creative genius Philippe Starck combined his talents with designer Eugeni Quitllet to reinterpret three historically symbolic chairs from 20th century designers. The result; the famed Kartell Masters Chair. The Masters Chair pays a striking tribute to style icon Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen, the most sold stackable chair in history, combined with the sculptural shape of the Tulip Armchair by Eero Saarinen and the Eiffel Chair by Charles Eames. Thought-provoking, the distinctive back combines these three silhouettes through open and empty spaces, using curvaceous lines to create a new, contemporary homage, perfectly adding sophistication and elegance to the home.
Armchair Joe Colombo
The Kartell Museum in Milan showcases the brand's classic designs including the 4801 armchair, one of the museum’s most iconic pieces. The Armchair Joe Colombo pays homage to the 4801 armchair. A recognisable design from the 1960s, award winning Italian designer Joe Colombo made his mark on Kartell history creating the only piece ever produced by the brand to be made in its entirety from wood. Reissued in 2011 with a name paying tribute to its originator and revolutionised in renowned Kartell plastic, the Armchair Joe Colombo is now created using high quality technology to ensure the curving sinuous lines of the original are reproduced.
Standing the test of time, Anna Castelli Ferrieri’s Componibili was originally designed in 1967 as a versatile piece to suit any lifestyle. Gaining success, the robust, overlapping pieces form a practical and stylish stackable container, ideal for bathroom, living room and office interiors. Receiving appreciation for its innovative design, Componibili has been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. Whilst red, white, black and matt silver are the most popular compositions, fashionable metallic gold, silver and copper variations have been added to the collection to maintain the pre-eminent style for which the chair was originally famed.
Kartell revolutionises lighting with striking designs, energy saving light bulbs and eco-friendly ethics. Ferruccio Laviani’s creation of the Bourgie lamp in 2004 displays the unparalleled style synonymous with Kartell. As one of the most prestigious European designers, Laviani revisits the traditional classic table lamp and transforms classic features. Bourgie showcases modern lighting at its best; 17th-18th century European architecture influences the prominent baroque base and contrasting pleated texture lampshade. The combination of style, richness and tradition with innovation resulting in huge successes since its design and remains one of Kartell’s best-selling pieces, conventionality is once again challenged with the introduction of coloured frames and a stunning copper addition.
Injection moulding process
Kartell are proud of their revolutionary and world-leading injection moulding process. Visible in the majority of products, this production allows an entire chair to be created from one single piece of plastic. This innovative process enables each product to be shatterproof and incredibly strong whilst remaining surprisingly flexible. Thermoplastics are mixed with other materials to enhance this performance and increase the longevity of your Kartell product. Due to this unique injection moulding process, all products made from polycarbonate may feature seam lines. These lines are simply joining marks where the plastic has met inside of the mould and are part of this luxury design. Further moulding marks may be noticeable where plastic has cooled at different rates inside the mould, this is completely normal for the unique creation process. Whilst wonderfully hard-wearing, please note that minor scratches will occur through standard day-to-day use.
Caring for your Kartell products
Remaining functional for everyday life, a vast amount of Kartell chairs are stackable and thus ideal for any luxurious interior regardless of size. Unlike other designer chairs, Kartell minimises the room needed to store any excess chairs in ultimate ease and simplicity. Please note, take care whilst stacking as colours can transfer from one product to another. Please see individual chair descriptions for specific stacking details.
To ensure the longevity of your Kartell piece, it is recommended that the following cleaning advice is practised to maintain your design. To clean plastics, use a soft damp cloth with a soap or liquid detergent diluted with water. Always avoid the following products: acetone, trichloroethylene, ethyl, or alcohol. Detergents with any of these ingredients can cause irreplaceable damage to your Kartell product. A damp cloth is recommended as this will prevent the attraction of dust, avoid abrasive solvents, cleaning powders and creams, steel wool or rough sponge cloths.
Please note, avoid dragging any objects across the surface of your Kartell chair, as sharp objects can cause damage to the plastic. Additionally, never place hot plates directly onto any Kartell surface.
With a museum established in 1999, 130 flagship stores, 250 pop-up shops, 2500 retailers and a presence in over 140 countries, Kartell continues to grow as one of the leading design houses in history, as relevant now as they were at opening in the 1960s. Iconic designs expand year on year, exploring the seemingly infinite possibilities of this unique plastic creation process, with exquisite design quality accessible to a wide audience.