How to Buy a Ghost Chair

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 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.
Louis chair from Society Social

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
decorating with a ghost chair

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

54 comments

  1. Hollis Burman says: January 23, 2014

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

    1. Jackie {York Avenue} says: January 24, 2014

      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!

  2. Leslie says: January 23, 2014

    Love your tips! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Rachel {Love This Life} says: January 23, 2014

    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!

  4. HMC says: January 23, 2014

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

  5. Bhreagh says: January 23, 2014

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

    http://www.bhreaghwho.com
    Bhreagh

    1. Jackie {York Avenue} says: January 24, 2014

      How exciting! I hope you love it 🙂

  6. Annie says: February 5, 2014

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

    Cheers, Annie

  7. samantha olivia says: October 21, 2014

    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

    1. Jackie {York Avenue} says: October 22, 2014

      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!

  8. UK Kartell dealer says: October 27, 2014

    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.

  9. Anonymous says: December 12, 2014

    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.

    1. Jackie {York Avenue} says: December 13, 2014

      I'm so glad you found the post helpful. I hope you love the chairs!

  10. Risha says: March 4, 2015

    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?

    1. Jackie {York Avenue} says: March 5, 2015

      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!

  11. REBEKAH says: April 16, 2015

    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. 🙂

  12. Brittany says: May 15, 2015

    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! 🙂

  13. Lynda says: May 26, 2015

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

  14. Helen says: June 22, 2015

    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

    1. Amber says: July 20, 2015

      Hi Helen,

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

      Thank you again!

  15. Frankie says: September 3, 2015

    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

    1. SARAH says: October 19, 2015

      Hello Frankie, were you able to find the counter height of the replica Ghost Chair? I too am looking for a more affordable version

  16. Kathy says: December 29, 2015

    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.

  17. Charlotte T. says: January 6, 2016

    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!

  18. Rachel says: February 2, 2016

    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

  19. Prab says: February 8, 2016

    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!

  20. Mary Bachman says: April 15, 2016

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

  21. Emily says: August 20, 2016

    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!

  22. Chiara says: August 26, 2016

    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.

  23. Drew says: August 27, 2016

    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!

  24. Chris Benyayer says: September 16, 2016

    Nice Post ! I liked that chair !

  25. Barbara says: October 3, 2016

    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.

  26. Josie says: October 17, 2016

    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.

  27. Lisa Hall says: October 26, 2016

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

  28. lucy at occupation: (m)other says: February 26, 2017

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

  29. Sarah-Joy says: March 2, 2017

    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 🙂

  30. Ann says: March 13, 2017

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

  31. Jane says: March 15, 2017

    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!

  32. Toby Nemiroff says: March 29, 2017

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

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