Billy Baldwin's Slipper Chair

Probably no other piece has stood the test of time more than Billy Baldwin's classic and iconic Slipper Chair.  He was said to have designed it according to Mitchell Owen's article in the New York Times , for Pauline de Rothschild's  5' 9" lanky frame in mind thus making it easier for her to strike a pose and extend her long legs, and it also happens to be a a chair that men feel comfortable sitting in - which is not a small feat.

Billy Baldwin's most famous piece his slipper chair is show in some photos below.

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Bill Baldwin Slipper Chair / House Beautiful November 1999

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Slipper Chair Home and Design Winter 2002

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Slipper Chairs House Beautiful October 1995

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Slipper Chairs close-up detail

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Slipper Chairs Veranda June 2002

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Slipper Chair Elle Decor May 2001

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Slipper chair in Billy Baldwin's apartment via Peak of Chic

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Large Slipper chair & Dining Room Slipper Chair by Ventry


You can read more about Billy Baldwin.  His book is being reissued on Amazon February 2009 and is available for pre-order.

Patricia Gray writes about emerging trends, her inspirations, and "What's HOT" in the world of Design, as well as sneak peaks of her work.. 
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  1. I have used a couple of times the slipper chairs in some of my projects, of course inspired by the Master Baldwin.

    I have to say - that piece of furniture has something magic - it always works and it always looks fantastic.

    Very cool entry Patricia!

  2. I like the sneak peak into his garden under Veranda June 2002. A chic slate terrace with an infinity edge pool, tropical planting.....It looks amazing!

  3. The simple detail of the frame receiving the cushion is all the chair needs. Love it. Works then, works now.

  4. I love how they are just so pretty yet men love them :)

  5. Anonymous11/1/09

    Billy Baldwin is one of my all time favorite decorators and this post is just fabulous! Thank you!

  6. beutiful pictures - I can't wait to get my book!!!!!

  7. As you have shown it works in any context and any style, even a bathroom !!
    This, I think, is the essence of great design.

  8. It's always a great education reading your blog! Love the images too.

  9. Great chair. I like how the seat design is cut into the back...esp from a front view.

  10. Anonymous12/1/09

    Does anyone know who manufactures this chair?

  11. The manufacturer is

  12. I love this chair. It gives such an old hollywood glamour vibe.

    What a great book. So exciting that they are re-releasing it. I will be pre-ordering it.

    I'm so happy I found your blog!

  13. I have a pair of a version of this fabulous chair that has down pillows for the back. You can remove them if it is more comfortable. I push them together for a loveseat.

  14. Nice pics Patricia, that was awesome. The interior design of the room is totally impressive i wonder how billy Baldwin did that. I've heard that he also worked as a Hotel Interior Designer
    and worked with famous hotel chains.

  15. Anonymous13/1/09

    Dear Patricia,

    I have always drooled rather shamelessly at Billy Bladwin's iconic chair, and I loved seeing its many incarnations in your blog.
    I look forward to your posts and I thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Patricia M
    New York City.

  16. Timeless in every way, in other words this chair may easily go with any interior.
    I will have to look at the book, guess I will to try and find it in US.

    Take care,

  17. I love slipper chairs. They are so versatile. I used slipper chairs, instead of sofas, in my living-room in Seattle. It was such an odd shaped room, everyone commented how comfortable it was, great it looked and how easily the conversation flowed. I have been a huge fan ever since. I cannot wait for the book. Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

  18. I love the first picture!

  19. I've had my copy on pre-order from Amazon for about a year now! They keep pushing back the date...I hope it does come out in Feb...

  20. Slipper chairs are the best chair for any style of decor in any room.
    Anxiously awaiting this book!
    xo xo

  21. WONDERFUL design!
    Speaking of designs... did you ever receive frameable notecards of your doors from moi?
    I'm going to start selling them on Etsy and I couldn't remember if I sent some to you... please let me know and if I didn't I will send them right away!
    Hope all is well with YOU!

  22. Love this post on slipper chairs. The bathroom is gorgeous. Is that lucite used for the sink counter legs?

  23. Anonymous29/1/09

    Dear Patricia~ Ahhh, the great Billy Balwin...the author of the first decorating/design book I ever "splurged" on "waaay back when"! I read it sooo many times that I could probably recite many parts from sheer memory even NOW, & I had some verrrry good laughs w/ some of the stories he relayed to the reader (ie: "no slipcovers on Cole Porter's piano"! Would have SO adored meeting him, as I admired his work immensely and, until my husband found out just who this "Billy guy" WAS, I think there was even a hint of jealousy there then! That book, all worn out, underlined in various highlighting colors and "dog-eared til the cats come home", is one of MY VERY FAV BOOKS/TREASURES! Thanks for honoring him here! Warmly, Linda in AZ

  24. Anonymous17/6/09

    I have always wanted 2 slipper chairs in my Living Room, sitting side by side. I find them extremely comfortable and very stylish. Slipper Chairs never seem to go out of style.

  25. Lisas17/6/09

    I have a great fondness for Billy Baldwin's Slipper chairs. I like the way that the cushion is notched into the back in his version. I have not found this on many other slipper chairs.
    Thanks for the post!!
    from LA

  26. Anonymous30/11/09

    Please look more closely at the chairs Billy Baldwin's original slipper chairs (photos 7 and 10); now compare them to the modern versions. Not the same chair. Baldwin designed a thinner frame with a small arc or gentle slant at the back. He also used cotton batting over badger hair to wrap the frame and down for the cushions. The back cushion almost sagged.
    The modern versions you illustrate are blocky, stolid and inelegant by comparison - and they all use foam, not down. The Ventry chairs are particularly crude; not remotely like the ones made by his upholsterer. Baldwin sold his name Ventry to go mass; his more discerning clients didn't use them.
    Slipper chairs were for perching and gentle repose, not for slumping or planting one's oversized can for the duration.

  27. Madison Seating30/12/09

    Baldwin has a thinner frame. They look great when they are arranged in a planned manner.

  28. Anonymous20/3/10

    What wonderful memories...I started my design career in Sept. of 1969 in NYC. We were known as decorators. It was a term used of elite ladies and gentlemen involved in the art of interior design. We were not architects. Generally, we were the children of wealthy families and characters of our own invention. I was the later. My college roomate's mother hired BB to decorate her apartment on Fifth Ave. It was simple and elegant. A guest was only impressed by the perfection of the atmosphere and the lovely background for a hostess. I met BB at the Brunschwig showroom in 1969. I thought he was De Vinci. He was impeccably dressed small 5'2" man, He look at some fabrics I was putting together. He didn't smile or say anything; he just paused for a 2 second study. I was very complemented. The slipper chair I think as made by Guido de Angelis or Henry Urban upholsteres.
    B&F had one on the floor for awhile in 1969/70. It was put together with a lot more complexity than it looks. Of course, it was modeled after a Napoleon III chair, common in Victorian interiors by his predesessor Ruby Ross Wood. Alas, at the end of his life, there was a lot of sadness. His lover for many years Woodson Taulbee was very loyal but, too soon before gay liberation to come out. I think that they even lived serpartly. He was plagued by the IRS. I think that he lived in receivership at the end of his life. Alas, we all still love the chair....and the complexity that could only come from a genius, BB.


Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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