How to Buy a Ghost Chair

I love modern chairs-I think they’re eye-catching, unusual, and add the perfect dose of personality and quirk to a space. The ghost chair is one of my favorites, which is why a version of it currently resides in my living room! I love everything about it – the classic shape rendered in a modern material, the fact that it takes up zero visual space, and the way it allows light to filter right through it. It’s also comfortable and the perfect seat for when guests come over.
How to buy a ghost chair on York Avenue blog
 When I decided to buy one I bounced back and forth for a while between the idea of buying the genuine Phillippe Starck for Kartell Ghost Chair for $410, or a replica. The price difference quickly made that decision for me, but not before I did a little research to figure out exactly what the differences were.

History

The classic Louis XVI (sixteenth) armchair which the Ghost Chair is based upon is an example of Neoclassical French style. Louis XVI (husband of Marie Antoinette) ruled from 1774-1791, and during this period Neoclassicism reigned as well. Designs were plainer than in the past, featuring straight lines, symmetry, and simple shapes like rectangles and ovals (the straight, tapered legs of the ghost chair are an indicator that it is in the Neoclassical style). This was in contrast to the previous period of Rococo style where the furniture would feature curved legs, ornate guilding, scrolls, and asymmetry.

Phillippe Starck

In 2002, French interior and product designer Phillippe Starck took the classic upholstered, wooden Louis XVI armchair design and turned it on it’s head by creating the Ghost chair. Starck came up with the idea of taking the classic shape in a completely modern direction by rendering it in clear polycarbonate (it’s also available in tints and colors), and Italian furniture company Kartell used cutting edge technology to bring his innovative idea to life.
How to buy a ghost chair on York Avenue blo

Which to Buy-Real or Replica?

The main thing that I wanted to know when deciding whether to buy the genuine ghost chair or a replica was what the difference would be in quality and longevity – basically, would the replica look like a cheap piece of plastic junk, rendering it essential to spend $400 on the real one? I did a bit of investigating and discovered that the Kartell chair is made of polycarbonate, while the knockoffs are acrylic (lucite). Here are the big differences between the two materials:
real ghost chair vs knockoff ghost chair
Looking at that info was enough to convince me that I didn’t need to pay $400 for the real thing, when the acrylic version sounded perfectly fine and even like it had some points in it’s favor. I searched Amazon for the option with the best reviews, which is this one (and here’s a similar option). I’ve been extremely happy with my chair! It’s lightweight, has great clarity, and so far it’s held up well.
If you do decide to spring for the genuine article, here are a few sources:

Variations

ghost chair for kids

Loulou Ghost: kid version (Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?)

styling a ghost chair

Victoria Ghost: armless version (like the regular version, it comes in clear or colors)
ghost barstools kitchen
Charles Ghost: barstool
lucite barstools
louis ghost chair barstools
One More Please: tall barstool

Measurements and Extra Info

This chart of dimensions for the regular Ghost Chair will come in handy if you’re trying to figure out whether or not the arms will fit under the table or desk that you plan to use it with.
ghost chair measurements
A 16×16 pillow with a 15×15 pillow cover (the cover should always be a bit smaller, so the pillow will be properly stuffed), is the perfect size for the Louis Ghost Chair. That’s the size of my leopard pillow, as you can see in the first picture in this post.
tips for buying a ghost chair
What’s great about the chair? It’s suitable for outdoor use, it’s stackable, and though it’s made of plastic, it’s actually recyclable. It’s stylish, modern, eye-catching, and unique. It is perfect for small spaces, which is why I absolutely love it and can’t believe I ever hesitated to buy one! It’s perfect as desk chair, as you can see above, or an accent chair, as in my own apartment in the first picture. They’re also great for dining chairs in both large spaces…
lucite dining room chairs
And small:
louis ghost chair in small apartment
What do you guys think about the Louis Ghost Chair?
image sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Comment

  1. I adore this post! These are absolutely fabulous chairs. XO

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
    • So happy that you like the post Hollis! I thought it might be helpful to pull all of the info together. I agree, the chairs are fab!

      Published 1.24.14 · Reply
  2. Leslie wrote:

    Love your tips! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  3. So funny – I was just looking at the cheaper version on Amazon yesterday! I personally love the chairs, and it's good to know there's really not a huge difference between the real and knockoff, other than the price tag! Great post 🙂 Have a great Thursday!

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  4. HMC wrote:

    This is so helpful–you might have convinced me to add one to my shopping cart!

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  5. Bhreagh wrote:

    I'm ordering one when I move into my new apartment! Love this post so much.

    http://www.bhreaghwho.com
    Bhreagh

    Published 1.23.14 · Reply
  6. Annie wrote:

    What perfect timing! I found your blog and this post just as I am debating my own ghost purchase.

    Cheers, Annie

    Published 2.5.14 · Reply
  7. I'm debating this myself. I want two, so the price seems astronomical. Are you still loving your knock off? How is it holding up? Thank you, Samantha

    Published 10.21.14 · Reply
    • Hey Samantha! Mine is holding up great, no issues so far that I can see. There might be a few scratches on it if you really examine it up close, but I can't really notice. I definitely love it and am glad that I got it!

      Published 10.22.14 · Reply
  8. Great post. There is also another difference between fake and genuine Ghost chairs. Turn the chair upside down and look for the embossed mark under the seat. The genuine ones have the designers signature.

    Published 10.27.14 · Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Great post. I've just ordered 6 replicas from a supplier in the UK. I've been pondering for weeks if its the right move. They are due to arrive next week, fingers crossed they live up to my expectations!
    Thanks again for the post, very insightful and useful.

    Published 12.12.14 · Reply
    • I'm so glad you found the post helpful. I hope you love the chairs!

      Published 12.13.14 · Reply
  10. Risha wrote:

    Love this post, I've been looking for a great ghost chair and your post helped a lot with the search. One question, do you know what the difference is between Modern Acrylic and Transparent Acrylic — is it a different color or material?

    Published 3.4.15 · Reply
    • That's a great question. Is there a specific retailer where you're seeing the "Modern Acrylic"? I'm curious because I can't seem to find it. I might guess that if they refer to the chair as modern acrylic that they're just referring to the fact that it's a modern chair…but I'm curious to know where you're seeing it referred to in that way!

      Published 3.5.15 · Reply
  11. REBEKAH wrote:

    So any recommendations on where to buy replicas? I want to use them for my dining room table and I am concerned with sturdiness and seat width. I have looked online and they are all starting to look alike. 🙂

    Published 4.16.15 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      The only recommendation I can speak to personally is the Amazon one I linked in the post. It’s the one I own and I’ve been really happy with it!

      Published 4.17.15 · Reply
  12. Brittany wrote:

    Loved this post! I just ordered 6 chairs from 2xhome on Amazon yesterday afternoon. I received an email today that they shipped already and I’m so excited to see how I like them! Just wanted to see what others thought of the quality of replicas since that was my main concern in purchasing them.

    Thanks and Happy Friday! 🙂

    Published 5.15.15 · Reply
  13. Lynda wrote:

    I have been thinking of getting ghost chairs for the dining table. Are they comfortable enough for dining chairs?

    Published 5.26.15 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      I think they could be, especially if you add a few pillows! They’re definitely not lounge chairs but for dining I think they could work.

      Published 5.29.15 · Reply
  14. Helen wrote:

    Hi there,

    I really like your blog! It has helped me improve not only my rooms, but myself as well 🙂 I have already bought two chairs to make my lounge more modern and trendy. I actually spent a lot less money than intended! Found a very good deal on chair.furniture. Didn’t have to wait long either as the delivery toke only 2 days!
    Helen

    Published 6.22.15 · Reply
    • Amber wrote:

      Hi Helen,

      Thank you for your advice, I enjoyed my purchase and they are many lovely chairs and small price.

      Thank you again!

      Published 7.20.15 · Reply
  15. Frankie wrote:

    I am looking for a replica of the ghost chair but in a counter height (25.5″ seat height for a make-up table) and I can’t find where to get it.
    Can you help?
    Thank you very much!
    Frankie

    Published 9.3.15 · Reply
  16. Kathy wrote:

    FYI: I have four knock off ghost chairs, three of which now have a crack where an arm meets the back thanks to (large) guys stretching back hard. I want to attempt to repair them and found your blog while trying to find what material was used to make the chairs so I could get the right bonding material.
    Thanks to you I know they’re acrylic.

    Published 12.29.15 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      I’m so glad to hear the post was helpful! But sad to hear about your chairs :(. Hope you can fix them!

      Published 12.30.15 · Reply
  17. Charlotte T. wrote:

    What is the weight capacity of the Acrylic Ghost Chair? Can the chair hold someone who weighs 200-300 pounds? I weigh 140 lbs, but some of my guests will be much heavier. Also where can I buy the fur pieces that go on the seat of the chair that I’ve seen in some pictures? I don’t want to use the small faux fur rugs like some people do because they still look like rugs! Lol. Could the fur possibly fur purchased at a fabric store. Your expertise will be highly appreciated!
    Thanks much!

    Published 1.6.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Good question – some quick searching led to this: the weight capacity for this one is 400 pounds, while for this one it is 265 pounds. They’re made of the same material so seems that it varies by manufacturer. I would check with the manufacturer before you buy, if the website does not list the weight capacity.

      As for the fur question, I’ve really only seen people use the rugs! Do you have a picture of what you’re thinking of?

      Thanks for your comment!

      Published 1.6.16 · Reply
      • Kathy wrote:

        The guys that broke my chairs were about 250. It happened when they pushed back and stressed the joint where the arm meets the back. I have three chairs that cracked in the same place. Only one arm broke on each chair. I ordered some acrylic solvent/cement and am going to try it today. I’ll post the results.

        Published 1.10.16 · Reply
      • Jmidatlantic wrote:

        The chair with the greater weight capacity is smaller — 16″ wide vs. 21″ in the armchair version.

        Published 6.9.16 · Reply
  18. Rachel wrote:

    Hi there, thank you for your post. I’m interested in the new side tables from the same range. My question is about hot drinks on the surfaces and if they can be placed directly on them or whether it would damage them? I appreciate you have a replica chair but in your opinion would you place a hot cup of tea on your chair? Many thanks

    Published 2.2.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Personally, I wouldn’t put anything hot on it since it’s plastic…I would just use a coaster.

      Published 2.2.16 · Reply
  19. Prab wrote:

    Hi there! I’ve been trying to make this decision myself for quite some time! How are the chairs holding up now regarding chips and impact? Massively useful post! Thanks!

    Published 2.8.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you, so glad to hear that! Mine doesn’t get much everyday use, only when guests come over does anyone sit on it. That being said, the chair has held up great. There might be some faint scratches but only if you looked really close, and definitely no chips. I’ve had it for a few years now and it’s still looking perfect to me!

      Published 2.8.16 · Reply
      • prab wrote:

        That’s brilliant! Thanks!!

        Published 2.8.16 · Reply
  20. Mary Bachman wrote:

    Can you recommend a good online source for the bar height chairs?

    Published 4.15.16 · Reply
  21. Emily wrote:

    your information is very helpful! I am ordering the arm chair off of Amazon now. I would also like to buy some of the ghost chair counter stools in clear as photographed on your site. I am wondering where else you suggested to purchase them as the ones from DWR are still pricey. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciate and helpful, many thanks!

    Published 8.20.16 · Reply
  22. Chiara wrote:

    Hi,
    I love these chairs and I ordered from Kartell. I Just received them and I noticed there are two simmetrical scratches close to the armrests.
    They look like manufacturing scratches, but they are visible and annoying, considering the price.

    I riturned two sets, all with the same problem. I just received the third set and it is the same. I am wondering whether they all have those scratches.

    How about yours? Anybody had the same problem? Did you notice anything wrong in yours?

    Thanks in advance.

    Published 8.26.16 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Mine have two symmetrical notches on the actual armrests, but I think they are meant to be there. I think they’re the part where the two pieces of the arm get joined together?

      Published 8.29.16 · Reply
  23. Drew wrote:

    I am considering the armless version for dining chairs, but the knock offs I’ve seen here have a violet tint to them. Do yours? Thanks!

    Published 8.27.16 · Reply
  24. Nice Post ! I liked that chair !

    Published 9.16.16 · Reply
  25. Barbara wrote:

    I am looking at 6 armless Chairs to be able to seat 8, using 2 with arms at a round table. I can only get 6 chairs with arms at my table. I have looked at Bizchairs and Amazon. Does anyone have experience with the side chairs. Any advice is appreciated.

    Published 10.3.16 · Reply
  26. Josie wrote:

    I have 6 of the replica chairs and 2 of them have snapped in the same place as mentioned above, where the arm meets the back. Has anyone found a way of fixing? I have tried an epoxy adhesive and it hasn’t fixed it 🙁
    I’m now thinking my money saving was not such a great idea!!
    We have had them for 2 years and we don’t weigh more than 150-200 pounds! They get used everyday But we do look after them. I love them but very sad to see them getting damaged.

    Published 10.17.16 · Reply
  27. Lisa Hall wrote:

    Do you have any feedback on ghost chair counter height by France and Son?

    Published 10.26.16 · Reply
  28. Totally brilliant post. I was just sat here wondering about real vs replica. You’ve made my decision for me!

    Published 2.26.17 · Reply
  29. Sarah-Joy wrote:

    Hey,

    I’m from Berlin and so so so upset that the version you got from Amazon.com would just not be shipped to Germany 🙁
    Even the replica is so much more expensive here..
    Such a shame! It’s an awesome chair, I love the timeless design and its lightness, perfect for small spaces!

    Your blog is beautiful, as well 🙂

    Published 3.2.17 · Reply
    • York Avenue wrote:

      Thank you!

      Published 3.3.17 · Reply
  30. Ann wrote:

    I’m also looking for feedback on the Ghost Barstool (counter stool) made by France and Son. anyone?

    Published 3.13.17 · Reply
  31. Jane wrote:

    We got a couple of great ghost chairs reproductions from pash-living.co.uk shipped here in Germany for a good price. Love this style of chair, especially in smaller homes!

    Published 3.15.17 · Reply
  32. Toby Nemiroff wrote:

    Thanks so much for this informative post! I just ordered a pair of Louies.

    Published 3.29.17 · Reply
  33. Madeleine Crummer wrote:

    This is a beauftiful site and very helpful. A couple of questions: Is the Casper version assembled from parts or is it molded from one piece as the original? Also, they describe it both as acrylic and polycarbonate. And do you know if the colors are similar, as I want yellow.
    Thanks!

    Published 8.16.17 · Reply