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An Easy Chair For Contemporary Living

Designer of the Bernard Chair, Shane Schneck speaks to HAY about his design process, and to understand what it is that makes Bernard a standout addition to the easy-chair genre.

The Hay Bernard Chair is a modern, sustainable take on the easy-chair genre that preserves the typology's defining characteristic: relaxed, durable comfort.


An easy chair is a welcome addition to any space, from a bedroom to a living room to an office. With Bernard, designer Shane Schneck wanted to preserve the typology’s defining characteristic – easy, durable comfort -- while creating a sustainable, affordable design classic with a modern appeal. 

Bernard has a solid feel but a graceful expression, as it combines a solid oak or beech frame with a light slip-on cover that is available in either leather or industrial-strength marine canvas.

The cover is removable, so it can be taken off for cleaning or maintenance: Bernard can thereby last through a lifetime of use, or even be passed down through generations.


What was your inspiration for Bernard, in terms of its aesthetic and material construction?

Shane Schneck : Our objective was to make a very generous and comfortable chair with an arm large enough to park a cup of coffee on. And to create a product that could be renewed and used for generations. The frame is solid oak with plywood arms that roll upwards to support the canvas, emphasizing their role in the structure.

How did your design process start, and how does the collaboration with HAY work go for you?

Shane Schneck : It’s organic. Most of the time we come up with an idea we think Rolf or Mette may enjoy, but this time Rolf came to us with a request to make an easy chair. We spotted the opportunity to make something that was not upholstered in the hope to make the chair a bit more economic and something unique in the HAY assortment. When Rolf arrived, we presented full-sized paper models, and he asked that we reserve all the ideas. I think working with HAY is unique in that results are so immediate, and they are always willing to try something new.


The HAY Bernard Lounge Chair is available to buy online now at Utility. Shop here.


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Interview carried out by HAY.dk

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