Outdoor Living
Jul 9, 2014

5 must-have Muskoka chairs

5 must-have Muskoka chairs Author: Style At Home

Outdoor Living
Jul 9, 2014

5 must-have Muskoka chairs

The Muskoka chair, also known as the Adirondack chair, is one of the quintessential signs of summer. They line docks, pepper backyard patios, and make a classic summer style statement when it comes to outdoor decor.

Muskoka chairs defined
Muskoka chairs are instantly recognizable, thanks to their sloping seats, large flat armrests and high, often rounded backs. They are most often made of wood, and either stained, painted or left with a natural finish for a more rustic look. “As with all things vernacular, there are many variations on a theme, but the general attributes-flat plank construction, a slightly barrel-shaped and sloped back, wide armrests for cold lemonade-remain largely consistent, explains Michael R. Davis, AIA, architect and interior designer, and founder of Michael Davis Architects. He adds that the more durable chairs are typically made of moisture-resistant hardwoods such as cyprus, western red cedar and even teak, but less durable species such as pine and hemlock are also used. Muskoka chairs can also be made from plastic, resin and recycled materials. In addition to the classic style, you can now find numerous adaptations of the chair, including folding and reclining varieties, rocking chairs, swings and miniature versions for kids.

History of the Muskoka chair

The Adirondack or Muskoka chair was first invented around 1903 by Thomas Lee and named after the area in which it was first created: the Adirondack mountain region of upstate New York. Lee’s desire for comfortable outdoor furniture at his summer home led him on a quest for a suitable piece of furniture that had up to that point eluded him. After designing a number of prototypes and having his family test them, Lee settled on what is now known as the Adirondack chair, or Muskoka chair.

Shopping tips
When shopping for a Muskoka chair, there are a few things to consider, including where you’re going to use them (i.e. at the cottage or on your back patio), who will be using them (kids, adults), and the climate in which they will be spending most of their time. But ultimately, shop for what catches your eye and what’s comfortable. “Aside from comfort and lemonade-readiness, it is best to stick with moisture-resistant wood construction,” says Michael. Once you decide on a chair, he also recommends letting them develop a patina with weather and age, or try painting your Muskoka chairs wild colours to give your cottage a splash of happy colour.

Maintenance and protection

If you want your Muskoka chair to last and maintain its colour or finish, there are a few things you can do to protect them from the elements. Michael recommends choosing chairs made from materials that will weather well, including cyprus, hemlock and teak, all of which can then be oiled periodically for further protection from the elements. “Less durable woods can be painted with exterior grade paint, and chairs should be stored in a ventilated space off the floor to prevent sitting in moisture,” he adds.

Keep reading to learn about incorporating Muskoka chairs into your space.Incorporating Muskoka chairs into your space
There’s something about Muskoka chairs that just screams “summer”. Though they have a rustic design, they can still be easily incorporated into a variety of outdoor setups, whether on a veranda, or on a back patio. A brightly hued Muskoka chair can add a pop of colour to any outdoor setup if the overall look is neutral. The key to a stylish set up is in numbers. “These chairs look best in large groups,” Michael says. “I like to pair them with rustic side tables, such as sawn logs, and often place them under trees, nestled among over-hanging branches.”

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5 must-have Muskoka chairs

Classic Adirondack chair

This traditionally designed Adirondack chair comes in white, red and black and would make an elegant, yet relaxed addition to any outdoor space. Pottery Barn, $199.

By: Jessica Padykula Source: Pottery Barn Credits: Style at Home

5 must-have Muskoka chairs

Teak Adirondack chair

Enjoy a glass of Canadian wine or lemonade while lounging in this grained teak Adirondack chair with an updated design featuring a squared-off backrest and slimmer armrests. Crate & Barrel, $544.55.

By: Jessica Padykula Source: Crate & Barrel Credits: Style at Home

5 must-have Muskoka chairs

All-weather Adirondack chair

Durable and weather-resistant, this classic Adirondack chair is crafted from a material made up entirely of recycled milk containers. The result is a chair that won’t crack, warp or absorb moisture no matter the season. L.L. Bean, $299.

By: Jessica Padykula Source: L.L. Bean Credits: Style at Home

5 must-have Muskoka chairs

Folding and reclining Adirondack chair

Sit back, relax and get comfortable this summer in an Adirondack chair that reclines, as well as folds for an easy storage option. Made to look like wood, the chair is actually made from recycled plastic, meaning it’s functional and eco-friendly. Brookstone, $278.47.

By: Jessica Padykula Source: Brookstone Credits: Style at Home

5 must-have Muskoka chairs

All Things Cedar Adirondack chair

Easy to assemble, these handcrafted Adirondack chairs are great for relaxing on the patio or enjoying the view from a cottage deck. Looking for a summer DIY project? Try staining or painting your outdoor furniture in a bold colour. All Things Cedar Adirondack Chair, Lowe's, $149.00 - $171.00.

By: Jessica Padykula Source: Lowe's Credits: Style at Home
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5 must-have Muskoka chairs