Your cravings for modern chairs for an exquisite uplift to home decor will undoubtedly take you to the timeless style of mid-century modern design chairs. These days, you will also see it glitz and buzz in popular TV shows and Hollywood movies. The perennial appeal of MCM’s ergonomic design features is evidenced by the nature-inspired palettes, natural materials, and minimalism without any ostentation, especially on chairs that will floor you.
Before we go deep into the alleys of MCM modern chair designs, we must acknowledge the imprints of Scandinavian influences such as teak woods, ceramics, and glassware accessories in its various creations.
Origins of the Mid-Century Modern Design Movement
The mid-century modern design was pioneered by German architects and designers who moved to the United States after World War II. The style features of mid-century modern designs are well captured in wooden accents, thin legs, and vivid color palettes gracing many elements, including accent pieces.
Those signature features, such as organic and geometric forms, minimal orientation, and high Functionality in modern chair designs, will be our object of exploration in various chair designs of the golden Yester era, making them eternally in-demand formations.
Popular Egg Chair As MCM Flag Bearer
Egg Chair is one of the most iconic chairs unveiled in 1952 and designed by Arne Jacobsen, one of the greatest designers of the 20th century. Egg Chair is expensive and an elite, high-demand design commodity. Still, you can take solace in the fact that this Arne Jacobsen design piece is not as expensive as the creations of Poul Kjærholm.
Designed originally for the Royal Hotel Radisson in Copenhagen, the original Egg Chair had costs ranging from $7.400 to $15.000, depending on the material. In addition, the Egg Chair is very complex to produce and uses two whole cowhides indicating the vast portion of leather consumed in its making.
No astute collector can resist the appeal of Charles and Ray Eames’s seats. It is no exaggeration to say if a single piece of furniture deserves to be in the collective American zeitgeist, it must be Eames Molded Fiberglass Shell Chair. But the best of Eames chairs are not limited to Shell Chairs, and the diversity is alluring with seductive Eames Lounge chair and simplistic Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chair as fairy tales of mid-century marvels as Eames chairs.
The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman can boast 6 decades of legacy. Eames Lounger is strictly handmade, with tremendous hard work going into the gluing work to cement the seven layers of plywood towards making a signature molded shell of the chair. Then the super swivel base is prepared with many urethane foam pads wrapped in extra soft leather to complete the ingenious construction. Eames Loungers supplement all great environs, including sweeping glass walls, and the elegance will blend into the aura of any period style.
Eames Lounger will amaze you even if it is near a brownstone marble fireplace or resting on a debonair den’s wood panel wall. People accept that it is an absolutely great investment to conjoin any decor. Lounge chairs also double up as long chairs to spend a good time outdoors, and you can stretch your legs without any ottoman around. The back support, with its semi-reclining angle, ensures high leisure. Let us now look at the style and ergonomics of some iconic mid-century modern chairs that will enhance your home decor.
Some Eternally Fascinating Mid-century Modern Chairs
The Barcelona chair, credited to the great modernist master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,, was designed in association with his collaborator Lilly Reich.
Ace designers Charles and Ray Eames were more than modernists and wanted to inject folksy warmth into the sleek industrial designs.
This unique chair design dating back to 1938 is hailed as the genius of three Argentine designers, Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, Antonio Bonet, and Juan Kurchan. The butterfly chair has been an improvisation on the popular French campaign furniture adding a contemporary touch.
When plastic was the most luxurious or rarest material many decades ago, Verner Panton designed a chair made entirely out of a single piece of plastic — the first time such a chair had ever been made. The Panton chair is still looksexcellentt and astounding with its fascinating curves and gravity-defying stance.
Using molded plywood, a new technique in the 1960s, Hans Wegner crafted a marvel of the three-leg chair. The trademark smiling seat, curved back, and relaxed lounge stance make Shell Chair one of the most comfortable pieces of art.
Bertoia’s wire-based chair, Bird Chair, is unique and very enduring. Bending metal rods into a beautiful form and made 100% functional, Bertoia created an extraordinarily sturdy and effortlessly-comfortable art piece.
George Nelson looked beyond clocks and storage units, and Herman Miller’s Man Friday crafted one timeless chair with the Coconut. The shell base looks like a slice of fruit. With its symmetrical tri-corner seat, the Coconut Chair makes for a striking conversation piece today. The radical form serves a distinct purpose as the chair has been crafted in such a way that people could sit in it any way they wanted.
LC4 Chaise Lounge is a forerunner to mid-century modern chairs designed by legendary architect Le Corbusier in the late 1920s. It draws inspiration from organic forms, and the lounge design conforms to the human body in all its senses. The Relaxing Machine LC4 arrests with the looks of a machine than furniture with perennial vibes of modern design that was ahead of time.
This proclaims the essence of MCM with its organic, flowing curves and playful design, asserting the roots of the swinging sixties. Arne Jacobsen’s revolutionary design makes use of no single straight line. Instead, the swan Chair can conform to all sorts of layouts, and the resemblance as a hybrid between an office chair and a lounger chair also opens the scope for dual uses in formal and leisure times.
The design excellence of Eero Aarnio from Finland has blossomed in the Ball chair as he sought to develop an armchair in his new home. The DIY innovation in the Ball chair prototype was using the same molding techniques applied in creating glider fuselages.
Hans Wegner, the designer, was a prominent Danish design academic advocating organic Functionality. The piece came out as an outstanding design.
Hungary -born modernist Marcel Breuer designed the Wassily chair in 1925. Inspired by the tubular steel used in bicycle handlebars, Breuer made the chair for himself. Later he named the design piece after his friend and colleague Wassily Kandinsky.
Eero Saarinen designed the womb chair in 1948 on a request by Florence Knoll, a famous designer who wanted a modern armchair to curl up, looking like “a basket full of pillows.”
It is yet another Eero Saarinen creation and was part of the much-adored 1957 pedestal collection that infused cheer and helped move away from the somber mood of the post-war world.
Rising Fondness for Mid-Century Modern Furniture
The ideology of midcentury modern design is well evident in the words of famous designers of that school. Charles and Ray Eames proclaimed that mid-century design aims at “getting the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least amount of money.”
The mid-century modern style was raging between the 1940s and 1970s. But people are still not out of their hangover and love to host them in their home space, as seen in the never-ceasing demand for Egg chairs, long chairs, and lounge chairs.
Mid-century modern design has a special way of catering to all aesthetic and design aspirations. Those passionate about colors have the MCM as an enhancement,r with the color palette covering a whole lot of hues such as whites, smoky blues, deep yellows, orange tones, and olive green as shades to play with. You can go wild, mixing all, or restrict to a minimalist spin by pitching for one or two hues.
Versatility is another high of mid-century modern. Even if you only want two or three chairs of the nostalgic era, it works as it meshes with all contemporary pieces and styles like Art Deco. That flexibility goes easy on the mind as well as on the interior budget.
Homage and Big Salute to Amazing Designers
Another impressive part of MCM design is the innovative use of materials like plywood, plastic, and aluminum, which would be molded in creative ways to shape furniture well into the 20th century.
We cannot discuss MCM designs without paying homage to the masters, as Hans Wegner has been called the “King of Chairs,” who amazed. Wegner’s famous designs include the Shell Chair, Wishbone Chair, Papa Bear Chair, and Round Chair. Arne Jacobsen is immortal with his Swan Chair and Egg Chair.
In Harry Bertoia, we bow to his experimentalism and personal stamp on his furniture pieces. Bertoia worked on metal rods as furniture material, creating metal “wireframe” furniture as his legacy. The outstanding pieces are Side Chair, Bird Chair, Asymmetric Chaise, and Diamond Chair.
Where to Buy Mid-century Modern Chairs
You can buy mid-century modern chairs and furniture. There are many options, ranging from buying at flea markets, made-to-order pieces by skilled craftsmen, and high-quality reproductions at affordable prices. As for buying MCM furniture online, go to amazon.com and get free shipping if you have an Amazon Prime account. Here is a list of places where you can buy Mid century-modern chairs
- Eternity Modern
- Casa Gear
- 1st Dibs
- Herman Miller
- Danish Design Store
- Design Within Reach
- TD Furniture
- TY Fine Furniture
- Tusk and Tail Design
Now you have all the information, including a wide array of choices of the best mid-century modern chairs and the sources to buy from. So, get going and embellish your home to welcome the new ambiance. Next time when you watch Don Draper and his ad agency pals on the “Mad Men” show spending a jolly time at the cozy 1960s homes flaunting mid-century modern design chairs, and you can chuckle that “I am also a proud owner of those MCM chair pieces.”