Caption: curb; Photos: AptDeco, CB2, Craigslist
While searching for a chair for the bedroom, a colleague ran into an unexpected problem: everything on resale sites now is bouclé. Craigslist, Kaiyo, and AptDeco have become an endless scroll of what could happen if wool and textured linen had a little fabric, always in shades of cream or soft beige. She didn’t want the Boucle chair, but the deluge was noticeable enough to raise the question: Are people abandoning the Boucle chair?
Of the home decor trends that have taken over in recent years, few have been as inescapable as bouclé. The fabric first gained popularity in the late 1940s, when architect Eero Saarinen used it to upholster his famous Womb Chair. This chair came about after designer Florence Knoll asked Saarinen to create a piece of furniture that she could “really lie on.” Saarinen took the task literally—the word “bouclé” comes from the French word for “loop” or “curl.” In the 1960s, bouclé made its way into fashion with Coco Chanel’s jacket and Jackie Kennedy’s pink Chanel suit. Although bouclé clothing has remained a staple at Chanel, with a presence in the brand’s fall/winter 2023 collection, it has not reached the same cultural ubiquity as bouclé furniture.
Patient Zero’s latest indoor resurgence appears to be Gwyneth Paltrow’s ivory swivel chair, which she designed in collaboration with Crate & Barrel’s high-end subsidiary CB2. According to the product description, Gwyneth Paltrow said the bouclé chair is “proof that things don’t have to be cold and hard to be stylish.” However, it still seems expensive – the CB2 bouclé chair is priced at $999. Although the chair launched in 2018, it’s still among the site’s best sellers and has inspired an influx of affordable Goop chairs in the years since. Now, you can find bouclé chairs at Walmart, Wayfair, Urban Outfitters, Target, Kmart, and Aldi — yes, like a grocery chain — at a fraction of the price of the original chair.
In 2020, with the Goop chair becoming ubiquitous, Architectural digest He announced that bouclé was officially back. Soon sofas, barstools and stools appeared. Everything from bed frames to storage containers and footstools are all covered in loop upholstery. There was bouclé for babies and bouclé for dogs, and bouclé for the Kardashians and models and Kaia Gerber. Can bouclé clean your areola and remove acne? probably. said designer Jonathan Adler in 2021 Home and gardens He covers “everything—the sofas, the chairs, my husband and my dog—with an ivory blanket.”
It’s not possible to dissect the bouclé series of the past few years without mentioning the bubble silhouette. Saarinen’s womb chair — whose biological name was meant to mimic its basket-like comfort — was a baby item. With the evolution of cozy aesthetics, and the shift from the cloud sofa beloved by celebrities to furniture with a little more structure, Bouclé was a natural fit. The fabric lends itself to sculptural and sculptural pieces, like the puffy sofas and curved sofas you’ve seen in every stylish celebrity reveal or influencer’s apartment.
Now, five years after Gwyneth’s CB2 chair debuted, its ubiquity has shifted to the resale market, where you can find slightly more affordable options no matter where you live. (Emphasis on “a little.” While pieces like this list of Moroso bouclé chairs are 50 percent off, you’ll still be shelling out $2,100.) There are other signs of decline, or at least fatigue: Interior designers on TikTok say that Bouclé is overused and seemingly disappearing as others call it immortal. Some designers expected a shift from soft, neutral bouclés to bolder, more colorful bouclés. (If nothing else, dark boucles won’t show stains as easily.)
But do you know who’s still optimistic about neutral colors? Ghouinith baltrow. While she continues to rely on curved furniture and cozy interiors, her passion for bouclé seems to be sincere. Like the Vagina Candle and other Goop offerings, you can love it or hate it, but you can’t say Paltrow doesn’t Believes In what you sell.