A few times throughout each century we experience greatness by way of furniture design. With such a strong attraction to eclectic, modern interiors these days, we’re seeing the iconic chairs from the mid 20th century pop up like Miley Cyrus in the tabloids. My list of iconic chairs could have easily filled up a few blog posts, so today I’m just highlighting four of my favorites as we look at a few “then” and “now” photos and discuss why they’re so great they don’t need to change.
The Egg Chair
Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958, The Egg chair always seems to come in fun bold colors, which is just one of the many reasons I love it so much. Because of its height and curvy cocoon-like shape, The Egg chair can serve a similar function to a traditional wing chair in a reading nook or next to a fireplace. It’s perfect for relaxing with a good book or just making a fabulous modern statement. Above, you can see The Egg chair “then” and “now.”
It would not be a complete list of my favorite iconic chairs if I didn’t include the Model 3107 chair by Arne Jacobsen. This chair has been fitting seamlessly into interiors since 1955 and with incredibly affordable knock offs found at retailers such as West Elm and Target, college dorm rooms can now be just as stylish as the modern apartments of Manhattan.
The Tulip chair is a fun break from wood and was originally made of aluminum and fiberglass when Eero Saarinen first designed it in 1955. It was known for its “space-age” design back then and I dare say that 58 years later it still looks pretty space-age, which is probably why I like it so much. Saarinen was dedicated to cleaning up the mess of legs under tables and chairs by adding pedestal bases to everything. His designs are still accomplishing that goal today while adding a much needed punch of modern flair into any interior.
Let’s face it, when you want to mix and match styles, most iconic chairs from the mid century make it pretty easy due to their clean lines and no-fuss attitude. But, I have to say that the Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner does the mix and match routine the best. If you’re looking for a modern twist to your Asian, Scandinavian, coastal, vintage, country, industrial (I could go on, but you get the picture) interior, the Wishbone chair is for you. Its dainty arms and ergonomic, but upright, back make it a great choice for a dining, desk, or accent chair.
What is your favorite style of chair that has stood the test of time?