Designer Chairs – Do You Know Them by Name?

October 6, 2019
These iconic designer chairs are great for embellishing any space. After reading this article you'll be able to look for them by their name.

Interior designers are always after that one cool piece to add style to their homes. Designer chairs are special objects in that regard. It’s because they embody a lot in one package. So, their creation requires knowledge of engineering and materials, ergonomics, and, most of all, creativity.

A good chair is more than form following function, it’s also art.

Designer chairs have names

Tolix chair

A Tolix chair.

This chair designed by Xavier Pauchard in 1924 is, without a doubt, one of the most popular in restaurants. Because it’s stackable and solid it doesn’t need much more to be the center of attention. Made of galvanized steel, it’s now part of the design collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Eames plastic side chair (DSW)

Eames DSW chair.

American designers Charles and Ray Eames created this chair in 1950, they organized a low-cost furniture design contest at MoMA in New York. Thus, this was the first industrial plastic chair. The designer sold the rights to Herman Miller, who still has it in their range. The chair is simple, comfortable and gives a touch of simplicity to any space.

Lilla Åland chair

The Lilla Åland chair.

Carl Mamsten designed this chair in 1924 and Stolab manufactured it. It was sort of the culmination of Swedish furniture design. So, if you are a fan of Scandinavian design then find one of these chairs as it’s one of those key elements with which to give a Nordic essence to any space. The main material is wood, of course, and its lines are simple yet warm.

Thonet designer chairs

The Thonet chair.

August Thonet designed this chair in 1904. Some people also know it as a “bistro chair,” “Viennese coffee chair” or “chair number 14.” So, this was the first piece of furniture that was industrially manufactured and its construction consists of six pieces of steamed curved wood, ten screws and two nuts. Usually, most people like it due to its simplicity and practicality.

Tulip chair

A Saarinen tulip armchair.

Finn Eero Saarinen created this one for Knoll in 1955. The tulip chair with its futuristic lines was manufactured with fiberglass. It quickly became one of the most desired icons of the 60s due to its appearance in Star Trek. Are you too young to remember? It was part of the decoration of the original spaceship.

Barcelona chair

A Barcelona chair.

Mies Van der Rohe, one of the leaders of the Bauhaus, designed the Barcelona chair in 1929 for the German pavilion of the universal exhibition held that year in Catalunia. This is one of the most elegant and comfortable chairs out there, the ancient Roman curule seats inspired this piece.

Louis Ghost chair

Starck's Louis ghost chair.

Phillip Stark is the architect who designed this chair. It’s cast in polycarbonate in one single piece. This chair is actually the modern reinvention of the baroque Louis XVI chairs. It takes its name after its transparent, ghostly lines.

The Elbow designer chairs

A set of Elbow designer chairs.

This is one of the most popular chairs in recent times. Danish Hans J. Wegner, known as the king of chairs because he’s created over 500 designer chairs, designed it for the Danish firm Carl Hansen & Son. The main material is wood and the simplistic curves are quite charming.

Swan designer chairs

The Swan designer chair.

Arne Jacobsen, a Danish architect, created this chair in 1958. Interestingly, this designer chair got its inspiration from the figure of a swan (hence its name). It was part of the lobby of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen for a long time.

Panton chair

A Panton chair.

Coincidentally, since we’re speaking of Danish designers, let’s not forget the chair conceived by Verner Panton, the same that Vitra manufactured in 1967. It was the first time someone cast a plastic chair in one piece. It’s highly flexible and comfortable so it’s a favorite among good design lovers.

Butterfly designer chairs (BFK)

Knoll's Butterfly designer chairs

Finally, this Spanish chair devised by the Barcelona Antoni Bonet and Castellana in 1938, reminds us of a butterfly. The materials of the original design are iron and leather and the Tripolina chairs used by the Brittish army served as inspiration.

Even though they lack the comfort and design sensitivity of the original chairs, you can find many replicas of all these chairs in the market. Their beauty alone transforms an environment into a true space with a design personality. Which one would you pick?