Before you toss that cork, be inspired by these tiny champagne cork chairs. Just in time for a bit of bubbly and romance, Design Within Reach announced the winners of their annual Champagne Chair Contest. The beloved contest takes advantage of all those celebratory New Year’s bottles and turns trash into tiny treasure.

This year’s all-star design panel of judges included design editor Pilar Viladas, Theo Richardson of Rich Brilliant Willing and David Weeks of David Weeks Studio.


First Place
Dale Foronda, Lounge Pod
After sketching out ideas for a few days, Dale finally decided he would need a Dremel rotary tool with grinding stone bits, Olfa SVR1 utility knife, cutting mat and sand paper to build his chair. It took 1.5 hours to complete. “I wanted to create a chair that was simple, and yet maintain the integrity of the champagne cork without deviating too far from its original form,” says Foronda.


Second Place
Jill Orlov, Nesting Chair in Champagne Bubble
It was inspired by Matryoshka nesting dolls and a lifelong love of miniature things (Orlov’s favorite products from DWR are the Vitra Miniatures). For materials, Orlov collected champagne bottle parts from several of the top restaurants in Baltimore, including Grand Cru. She worked on her chair for three weeks, and her tools included jeweler’s pliers, a leather-headed hammer, super glue and a Dremel rotary tool. She used a salt bowl as a mold.


Third Place
James E. McCay, Chair#2014
Inspired by New Year’s Eve, he wanted the chair to feel unmistakably “champagne.” “I love the colors of the Veuve Clicquot label and foil and thought that weaving the two together would give a wonderfully rich contrast and feel a bit like confetti at the same time.” It took him 12 hours to create his chair. The most challenging part was getting the label off in one piece. McCay’s tools included a ruler, X-Acto knife, needle-nose pliers and Elmer’s glue. He also put a lot of care into the packaging the chair came in.

Stay tuned for a full gallery of a selection of this year’s submissions!