No matter what space it occupies — whether it’s part of a living room grouping, flanking a dining table, or nestled in a corner of the bedroom — a statement chair instantly adds character and style. If you’ve been on the hunt for such a piece, then take note: On Thursday, the Northern California chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association hosts Take A Seat, a charity auction that will feature roughly two dozen one-of-a-kind chairs.

Proceeds from the auction, the theme of which is Helping Heroes at Home, will benefit the Wheelchair Foundation, a nonprofit that provides wheelchairs to those in need, including veterans. The seats — contributed by a range of Bay Area design industry folks, from interior designers to fine artists — are currently on exhibit at the San Francisco Design Center’s Galleria.

“As designers, we usually have boundaries and client situations that we have to take into account,” says IFDA board member and event chairperson Martha Rosellini. “One of the biggest pulls (of this auction) is that the designers have a lot of creative freedom.”

The only criteria, she adds, is that the submission had to “give the appearance of something you could sit on.” It could be an upcycled piece or a design started from scratch. It could be a chair, bench or stool that is functional; or it could be a more artistic presentation. Jeffrey Holt of the showroom Hewn created a Klismos-style chair with a modern edge, while San Francisco-based interior designer Benjamin Dhong revamped Gerrit Rietveld’s Zig-Zag chair by papering it with a Fornasetti pattern.

Jiun Ho is also among the local designers involved with Take A Seat; his chair is made with recycled steel and acoustic material. “We wanted to stick with our fundamental design mantras while doing something a little kooky and fun,” he says. “My chair acknowledges ergonomics, physics and modern design — all in good style and all of equal importance. It has a very livable shape, is exceptionally comfortable and structurally efficient.”

Of the seating that will be up for auction, Ho observes: “All of the participating designers bring something different to the table, especially when being able to think and create something totally wild and original.”

Anh-Minh Le is a Portola Valley freelance writer. E-mail: [email protected]

Take A Seat

The designers’ chairs are on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Thursday at the Galleria, 101 Henry Adams St., San Francisco. Gala auction, 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Janus et Cie showroom, 2 Henry Adams, Suite No. 195, San Francisco. Tickets, $25-$45, are available through www.eventbrite.com (search for IFDA Take A Seat SF). For more information, go to www.ifda.com.