Sitting out in the yard can often be an uncomfortable proposition. The chair you're sitting on can be uncomfortable, small, and awkward. But you can't just take your favorite armchair and move it outdoors. It would be nice if there were some way to take the comfort of the living room and transfer it to the outdoors in a piece of furniture that looks great, stands up to the weather, and allows you to relax in style.
The Adirondack chair may be the answer to those desires. The first Adirondack chair was designed by Thomas Lee in 1903. He was on vacation in Westport, New York and wanted some comfortable outdoor chairs for his summer home. The original version was created from 11 pieces of wood cut from a single board. The seat slanted back to accommodate the mountain slopes, and the arm rests were cut very wide, which is still the signature look of the Adirondack chair.
From there the Adirondack chair was developed by Lee's friend, Harry Bunnell. Over the years, the chair took the familiar shape that we know today.
In addition to the wide arm rests, Adirondack chairs have a rounded back and a contoured seat. The back is created out of several wide slats that rise up like a fan to create a high back rest with a rounded top. Often the back will curve slightly backwards as well, giving a comfortable area to ease back into and to rest against.
The seat is gracefully contoured to accommodate the sitting party. And it curves over the front to provide a smooth area under and just below the knees rather than a rough patch to scrape against as one sits down and rises up. The seat tilts you back so comfortably that your only problem may be that you don't want to get up again!
Adirondack chairs are generally fairly low to the ground. In fact, some of them don't have back legs in the traditional sense. Rather, the seat just continues sloping backwards behind the back rest and provides the support on the ground for the back of the chair.
As an accessory to the Adirondack chair, you can get an Adirondack foot rest. This is a foot rest that is specifically designed to go with this type of chair. It is made of the same wide slats of wood and slants forward in counterpoint to the slanting back of the seat. Coupled together, chair and foot rest create a single sitting surface with a gentle arch under the knees.
In a similar vein, you can also get an Adirondack side table, again composed of wide slats of wood for the surface. However, with the wide arms of the chair, you may not feel you need a side table at all. There's plenty of space to rest a drink or even a small plate of food.
As a last variation on the Adirondack theme, you could consider an Adirondack rocking chair. The same basic design described above is available in this style as well, allowing you to rock gently back and forth as you enjoy the outdoors.