Do you have a specific area to decorate, or are you going to redecorate your home? If you look into top furniture stores and design catalogs, you will most likely stumble upon mid-century modern designs. Mid-century modern designs, also known as MCM designs, are known for their clean lines and retro style.
MCM designs evolved after World War II. Numerous technologies were invented during the first half of the 20th century, and designers took advantage of this opportunity. The future looked hopeful, and people were embracing more modern ways of life. MCM designs were a minimalist yet tasteful addition that was in tune with the future.
Mid-century modern designs are timeless, and millennials love them. They are the latest vogue. They are designed to create more space in a room. The best part about this design is that it improves with each passing year. Generally, MCM designs are a fusion of natural and manmade objects and are a sight to behold with their stunning color combinations of earthy tones and bright hues.
A Mid-Century Modern Accent Chair
If you want to update your home’s design, but don’t want to appear too old-fashioned, a mid-century modern chair is a perfect addition to your space. They are comfy and spacious and can be added to any room of your choosing. In addition, they are a fusion of bold and earthy tones and can be the highlight of any room.
The mid-century modern chair has excellent craftsmanship. Such chairs are made with high-quality materials and are very neat to look at. They will be timeless pieces of furniture in your home, lasting for a very long time. In addition, these chairs can amp up your room’s decor.
Let me take you through the 22 most celebrated mid-century modern chairs you will love.
Do you know that the Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reech is believed to be the most iconic chair from the mid-century modern era? It is Mies van der Rohe’s highly disciplined architecture. It was specifically designed to be displayed at the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929. The chair was originally created for the royalty of Spain and was not intended to be mass-produced. This classic chair has leather upholstery and is supported on each side by two chrome-plated, flat steel bars.
2. Egg Chair
Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg Chair. It was initially designed for the lobby of the SAS Hotel in Copenhagen in 1958. This iconic mid-century modern chair has a stunning design and is sculptural. It provides excellent comfort and has soft lines. The egg shape was very unusual during its time, and the designer intended it for a modernist exterior. You can spot replicas of the Egg Chair in many workplaces today.
Eames 670 Lounge Chair was designed by Charles and Ray Eames and was released in 1956. This luxurious chair design comes with a matching ottoman, which can be bought separately. There were 20 different components in the making of this chair, which was considered Eames’s first lavish article. The chair is made of fine Scottish leather and gorgeously crafted rosewood.
Marcel Breuer designed the Wassily Chair in 1925, inspired by the steel framework of his bicycle. This iconic mid-century modern chair is known for its strength and flexibility. Breuer’s Wassily is the first ever chair to have a bent steel frame. The chair is chrome-plated with a stretched canvas. By emphasizing functionality over grandiose appearance, Wassily Chair appealed to modernist movements. It was affordable and easy to produce in large quantities. Contrary to its hard appearance, the Wassily chair offers comfortable seating to the user.
5. Womb Chair
Eero Saarinen created the womb chair in 1946 on the premise that many people had not felt comfortable or secure since leaving the womb. This chair was designed with the seater curled up in mind, and it supports a wide range of body positions. The seat and back cushions are movable and made of high-quality wool fabric. The Womb Chair is cozy and has a padded fiberglass shell supported by a chrome steel frame. This chair is the perfect spot for a cozy read.
6. Tulip Chair
The Tulip Chair is another mid-century modern chair designed by Eero Saarinen in the 1950s. It made history as one of the first single-legged chairs. It is a pedestal swivel chair with an aluminum base and a molded fiberglass shell with an organic shape resembling a Tulip flower. It was mainly designed to match a complementary dining table. The plush cushion in the Tulip Chair is designed to feel luxurious.
The Butterfly Chair was designed in 1938 by three architects, Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan, and Jorge Hardoy. This chair is also known as the BKF chair or the Harody chair. The designers reimagined the Tripolina Chair, a classic folding military chair formerly designed by the trio, with modern-day materials to create the Butterfly Chair. The chair was famous for having portable recreational seating. The chair has a metal frame, and a large sling hung from the frame’s highest point. The Butterfly Chair has been a symbol of elegance throughout the years.
The Wishbone Chair is considered to be one of the most famous Danish furniture designs. Hans J. Wegner designed this classic mid-century modern chair in 1949. This chair can be spotted in the world’s best hotels and private homes. The official name of the Wishbone Chair was CH24, but it was famously known for its unique Y shape or wishbone shape of the backrest. The chair has a bentwood armrest with a paper cord rope seat in a woven envelope pattern. The chair is a fusion of East Asian design and modernist ideals.
9. Transat Chair
In a time and a field completely dominated by men, Eileen Gray broke gender barriers. One of the most significant mid-century modern chairs by Grey is the Transat Chair. Only 12 were ever made, according to the Eileen Gray archives, and only 9 pieces survive, two of which are in museum collections. The design of this chair was inspired by the deck chairs found on ocean liners. The chair consists of lacquered wood and nickel-plated brass. Gray designed the chair with her associate, Jean Badovici.
10. Bubble Chair
Designed by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio, the Bubble Chair was a true icon in 1960. It has a circular shape and no legs since it hangs from the ceiling. So innovative. This chair was a derivative product based on the Ball Chair by Aarnio. The Ball Chair, also known as the Globe Chair, had a spherical shape and a solid, dark form. Aarnio wanted to see if the light was allowed inside the Ball Chair for comfortable reading curled inside the chair. The bubble chair creates the sensation of being cocooned around the seater. It has a solid steel frame.
11. 650 Series Chair
The chairs from the 600 Series collection were the first chairs produced by Knoll in 1943. The chairs were designed by Jens Risom, a woodworker from Denmark who came to America to offer contemporary furniture designs. It was a harsh wartime, so Hans Knoll asked Risom for suitable designs during the conflict. This gave birth to the 650 Series Chair. The chair was made with non-critical materials that could be sold in a wartime market. This chair was the signature design of Jens Risom, who introduced Scandinavian design to the United States.
12. Shell Chair
The Shell Chair, also called the Smiling Chair due to its smoothly curving wood, was designed by Hans Wegner in 1963. This is the most charming mid-century modern chair ever made. It has a sturdy construction and a laminated suspension system for strong support. It has three legs and leather upholstery. A limited series was produced in 1963 and was reasonably priced, but it soon had to be discontinued. But in the 1990s, the need for individual designs was high, and Shell Chair production was relaunched in 1997.
13. Coconut Chair
Introduced in 1956, the Coconut Chair is a fresh slice of comfort designed by George Nelson and manufactured by Herman Miller. It has a striking design inspired by a coconut shell, with shallow sides and inviting curves. The shell is made of plastic and is supported by a steel base. The design of this chair is an art form, combining the seat, back, and arms in a single form. It consists of one-piece foam rubber padding with leather upholstery and lets the user sit in any position.
14. Orange Slice Chair
An iconic mid-century modern chair known for its playfulness, the Orange Slice Chair looks different from each angle. Designed by French designer Pierre Paulin in 1960, this classic chair is spacious. Pierre wanted the design to be not only functional but also cheery and fun. The Orange Slice Chair is designed to show different stages of the “curl up” from different angles. It has a sculptural form and four steel base legs finished in powder coat or chrome. This chair is available on both sides, and leather upholstery can be installed at an optional charge.
15. Conoid Chair
In 1971, George Nakashima created the most meaningful mid-century furniture. Nakashima believed in uncovering the beauty of a tree that had been hidden for centuries. The Conoid Chair was made from a slab of a walnut tree. The chair has cantilevered seats and a crest rail with cantilevered ends, which are supported by two legs that extend from sled-type feet. The Conoid Chair’s design is reminiscent of traditional early American simple, spindle-backed chairs. The chair was named after Nakashima’s studio in Pennsylvania.
16. Cesca Chair
Designed in 1928 by the Hungarian-American architect and designer Marcel Breuer, the Cesca Chair has a rare simplicity to its design that is balanced by subtle curves. The name of this chair is a tribute to the designer’s adopted daughter, Francesca. Breuer found the inspiration to design this chair in the tubular steel construction of the bicycle he rode. The chair has a tubular steel frame and a caned seat, and it was the first to be mass-produced.
17. Daimond Chair
Designed by Harry Bertoia in 1952, this chair is a symbol of innovation. The Daimond Chair is more commonly known as Bertoia Chair. The 1950s were the time when most chairs were made of rigid wood, but Bertoia’s furniture line welded wires and gave them a springlike feel. This chair is made of polished steel, sometimes vinyl coated, and covered with cotton or elastic upholstery. Bertoia’s furniture line was so popular that he had no difficulty focusing on his sculpture while making a living from his furniture sales.
18. Plantner Armchair
Warren Plantner’s most graceful mid-century modern chair, designed in 1966, captured a decorative and placid shape that was on the rise in the modern vocabulary. The Planter Chair is made by welding curved steel rods to circular and semi-circular frames, which serve as both structure and ornament. The seat is made of molded fiberglass with latex foam cushions. This chair is nickel and 18-karat gold plated, which is a mark of luxury. The Planter Chair was designed to be a dining chair but can also be used as a lounge chair.
19. Easy Chair
The Easy Chair is a prime example of organic functionalism. Hans Wegner designed this iconic mid-century modern chair in 1950. The chair contains 1,300 feet of paper cord that creates the seat and back. This chair takes eight or more hours to weave and requires a highly skilled artisan. The chair lets the user recline comfortably. The design of this chair is minimal and clean, true to its name. Easy chairs can blend easily with modern and traditional decor in any room.
20. Lady Chair
The Lady Chair is the product of a marriage between technology and materials to give it a new aesthetic. This beautiful chair was designed by Marco Zanuso and captured the judges’ imagination at the prestigious 1951 Milan Triennale by winning the top prize. This chair is included in the permanent collections of many international museums. The Lady Chair was the first mass-produced piece of furniture in Italy. The chair consists of slender metal legs that are a contrast to the cushy upholstered parts.
21. Stacking Chair
The Stacking Chair, designed by Verner Panton in 1960, is an art form. This is the most extraordinary mid-century modern chair. It can be defined as a single-material injection-molded chair that stacks. The plastic was able to be dyed easily in any color, and this chair was mass-produced. This chair was originally inexpensive and sold for $75. Contrary to its delicate appearance, the Stacking Chair can hold up to 110 kg. The Stacking Chair is also known as the Panton Chair.
22. Sawbuck Chair
Designed by Hans J. Wegner in 1952, the Sawbuck Chair is another masterpiece from Wegner. The inspiration for the design is taken from sawbucks and sawhorses used by carpenters and woodworkers. This chair is constructed from solid beech or oak in a variety of wood finish options. The upholstery comes in beautiful fabrics and leather options. The Sawbuck Chair’s design is closely associated with the Easy Chair by Wegner. This aesthetic chair is mainly used for dining and in private restaurants.
A Timeless Design
The mid-century modern chair has always been a favorite piece of furniture, and it is going to stay. These classic pieces of furniture convey the story of the modernist movement. Many designers have taken inspiration from accent chairs to date. We all love a retro touch to our space, and what better option for it than a mid-century modern chair? Revamping your interior can be quite expensive, especially when you want to incorporate MCM designs. But many accent chair designs are affordable.
I hope your new addition to your home gives you something to brag about.