5 Chairs that Changed the Design World

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Some weeks are crazier then others. This past week we’ve done styling for two photo shoots, met with 2 new clients and continued working on the kitchen job as well as the dental office, plus attended a custom furniture seminar. I’m not complaining about being busy, not one bit. But something had to give…and this week it was the blog.

So….I hauled out one of my favourite old posts, reworked it a bit, added a few new pics, and here it is:

5 Chairs that Changed the Design World 

What is it about a chair that can make our hearts flutter?

It’s really just something to sit on, yet it is so much more than that. Chairs have never been defined just by their functional roles. Think of the difference between a throne and a bench. A good chair will have you standing back to admire it’s beauty, yet immediately want to walk up and have a seat. Here are five chairs that have obtained ‘classic’ status, and blur the boundary between furniture and sculpture.

Michael Thonet’s Bentwood Chair – 214

michael thonet’s 214

When Michael Thonet first introduced his bentwood chair in 1859, little did he know that over 150 years later it would still be in production. The ‘214’, also called the coffee-house chair, became the first mass produced chair in the world. It has been in continuous production since, with over 50 million chairs produced to date.

Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair

marcel breuer’s wassily chair

This revolutionary chair is named after the painter Wassily Kandinsky. The tubular steel frame design was unique and cutting edge and Breuer first got the idea from his bicycle. Made in 1925, this chair became even more popular when 1950’s mass production brought the cost down.

 Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair

ludwig mies van der rohe's barcelona chair

ludwig mies van der rohe’s barcelona chair

In 1929, Mies van der Rohe designed this chair for the German Pavilion at Barcelona. It was intended as seating for the King and Queen. Today this chair is seen in many corporate lobbies and ultra modern homes.

Eames Lounge Chair

eames lounge chair

Designed for Hollywood film director Billy Wilder in 1956, the Eames Lounge Chair blurs the boundaries between office and home. It is a beautifully comfortable chair, while being simply splendid to look at. Made of luxurious materials, it still is a favourite with many today.

Arne Jacobsen 3107 Chair

arne jacobsen 3107 chair

Arne Jacobsen was one of the most important contributors to Danish design and Danish modern architecture. He enjoyed worldwide success with his simple but effective chair designs. This chair was inspired by Charles and Ray Eames’ designs and is now one of the most copied chairs in the world.

Don’t forget to look for beauty in everyday items, like the simple chair. If you surround yourself with beautiful design, you will always feel good. There’s a reason why these chairs are considered classic.

Other Posts you May Enjoy:

Colours of Spring – Pretty Pastel Interiors

Dreaming of Spring – A Peek at my little Cottage Garden

10 Ways to Achieve Classic Decor





Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It's not about how much you have, it's about using what you have to create beauty.


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