What is Hitchcock Chair?

A piece of American furniture characterized by its painted finish, stenciled decorations, and rush or caned seat.


The Hitchcock Chair, an emblem of American design and craftsmanship, finds its origins in the early 19th century. Named after Lambert Hitchcock, the founder of the Hitchcock Chair Company in Connecticut, this iconic chair became synonymous with American country style. Distinctive for its lightweight, yet durable construction, the Hitchcock Chair features a turned wooden frame, often made from maple or birchwood. A hallmark of this chair is its spindled backrest, showcasing an elegant design that adds a touch of sophistication to any room.

Notably, Hitchcock Chairs embrace a simple yet charming aesthetic, highlighted by their hand-painted finishes. These finishes typically include black or dark green backgrounds adorned with stenciled patterns and motifs reflective of American folk traditions. The addition of a rush or caned seat not only enhances the chair's comfort but also contributes to its traditional appeal. This unique combination of design elements makes each Hitchcock Chair a piece of functional art, cherished for its beauty and historical significance.

Throughout their history, Hitchcock Chairs have been admired for their versatility. They effortlessly complement various design styles, from rustic and country to more formal and transitional settings. Beyond their aesthetic value, these chairs are celebrated for their craftsmanship, representing an era when attention to detail and quality were paramount in furniture making.


In recent times, the Hitchcock Chair has seen a resurgence in popularity among interior design aficionados and vintage furniture collectors alike. Its timeless design seamlessly integrates into contemporary homes, serving as dining chairs, accent chairs in living rooms, or even as decorative pieces in hallways and bedrooms. Whether adorning a modern farmhouse kitchen or a cozy traditional living room, Hitchcock Chairs add a touch of historical charm and elegance to any space.


  • How can I identify an authentic Hitchcock Chair?

    Authentic Hitchcock Chairs are identified by their unique characteristics, such as the lightweight wooden frame, spindled backrest, painted finish with stenciled decorations, and a rush or caned seat. Additionally, genuine pieces often bear the Hitchcock Chair Company signature or label, usually found underneath the seat or on the back of the chair.

  • Can Hitchcock Chairs be customized or refurbished?

    Yes, Hitchcock Chairs can be refurbished or customized, although care should be taken to preserve their original design and craftsmanship. Refurbishment might involve repairing any structural damage, re-caning or re-rushing the seat, and carefully touching up or repainting the stenciled decorations to maintain the chair's historic integrity and value.

  • Are Hitchcock Chairs comfortable?

    Yes, Hitchcock Chairs are considered comfortable due to their ergonomically designed backrest and the use of rush or caned seats, which provide flexible support. Their lightweight design also makes them easy to move, offering practical comfort in everyday use.

Practical Application

When incorporating Hitchcock Chairs into your interior design, consider their rich history and distinctive aesthetic. They work beautifully as part of a mixed seating arrangement in dining rooms or as stand-alone accent pieces. To maintain the visual coherence of your space, pair them with decorative objects and textiles that complement the chairs' painted finishes and stenciled patterns. Regular maintenance, including gentle cleaning and avoiding exposure to excessive moisture, will ensure these chairs remain a cherished part of your home for years to come.