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Chairs and Furniture of The Clift

The Clift Design

An inspired fusion of old-world hotel glamour with distinctly modern energy and design, the century-old The Clift’s daring sense of diversity perfectly captures the spirit of San Francisco.

Designed by Philippe Starck, The Clift, features a soaring lobby with one of the most eclectic furniture collections in all of California, including chairs from Ray and Charles Eames, furniture by Salvador Dali, and a surreal stool by Roberto Matta (inspired by René Margritte).

The Clift Lounge Chair

Ever wonder about the strange assortment of chairs in the Clift lobby? Here's a little history lesson.

Step off the bustling street into the decompression chamber, then through the second pair of glass doors into The Clift's lobby. Your attention might immediately be drawn to the gigantic chair, most likely with someone having their photo taken in it.

Take a second to look around the serene lobby and you might notice the assortment of eclectic and unusual chairs sprinkled in different areas. The estimated combined worth of these different chairs ranges somewhere in the millions.


The Big Chair


The most famous and recognizable chair of them all is the massive Philippe Starck "Big Chair." When Starck redesigned Clift, the lobby's ceiling was restored to its original two-story height leaving a vacuum. Starck wanted something to fill the negative space, so he designed and produced the gigantic chair. The French embroidery has recently been updated with a modern silver upholstery but the wink that Starck gives guests remains underneath the chair (Spoiler Alert: there's a child's face sticking out its tongue on the underside of the chair.)


The Horn Sofa was found in a flea market in Paris and is made of ostrich leather, dark wood, bronze, and horns. Haillard is known for creating daunting furniture composed of unique and striking animal parts as a celebration of animals and a protest of human's dominance over beast.

Michel Haillard Horn
William Sawaya


William Sawaya custom designed this cast bronze four seater chair along with a separate cast bronze single chair. Sawaya was born in Beirut in 1948 and currently directs artistic and project activities at Sawaya & Moroni Contemporary Furniture.


The first two pieces one encounters when walking into the lobby. The first is the Sebastian Matta apple stool inspired by Belgian artist Rene Magritte's infamous "The Son Of Man" painting. Look closely at the stool -- it's a green apple in a bowler hat. The lamp next to the stool is a Salvador Dali Muletas (crutches) lamp.

Sebastian Matta & Rene Magritte
Crystal Farm's Gentleman Chair


Another one-of-a-kind chair in the lobby is the Crystal Farm's gentleman chair. The Colorado based studio specializes in producing unique pieces made of deer and elk antlers. This particular chair is made from elk antlers.


The soft, soothing palette of ivory and gray is accented by strategic pops of lavender and orange in the acrylic table and chairs. Starck’s goal was for guests to imagine the striking colors of a classic California sunset. Plop yourself down into the Starck-designed wheelbarrow chair, inspired by the California Gold Rush.

The Guest Rooms


The collection of chairs in the lobby totals over 10 including the aforementioned pieces along with a number of Charles Eames, Ralph Lauren, antique Indian chairs and more.

Come by and take a seat.