In the comedy Knocked Up, two characters, tripping on mushrooms, reflect on the personalities and attitudes of chairs. One chair seems to stare incessantly, while another is droll. That scene finally made sense to me after I visited Century House's expansion location that features modern home and office furniture and accents, a place where plopping down and pondering how a chair fits you is serious, but fun, business.
The new location, across University Avenue from the original Century House, takes advantage of an open, airy layout to showcase a variety of collections. The stock appeals "to a contemporary sensibility as well as a transitional sensibility," says Jacob Harlow, Century House general manager.
Think esthetically pleasing, but practical. Century House carries motion furniture, the latest advancement on the old recliner.
Blu Dot's collections drew me in with their creativity and functionality. The Real Good Chair ($129) is a fascinating find; the steel chair ships flat and "assembles" by folding along pre-cut lines. I also liked the Buttercup Rocker ($849), a smooth and curvy meld of stainless steel and white oak.
If you'd like adventure in the office, try Via's Swopper motion seating stool ($670), a wacky, ergonomically designed seat on a spring. Big spenders will enjoy Ekornes' Stressless Jazz Recliner and Ottoman ($3,995), which resembles a barber's chair, but comfier.
The bonuses are the little finds in the store. Among the vases and lamps, there are Marimekko's distinct red-flower-patterned tin boxes ($13), cute animal coasters ($3) and Kurage's polka dot cushions ($95).
Just remember - it's okay to get tired while you browse. At Century House, shopping necessitates sitting down.
The Century House: Home & Office
3420 University Ave.