The Danish architect and designer is a household name of Scandinavian design. His furniture designs are early representatives of a style that pleases the eye most of all with naturalistic elements and organic forms. And yet Arne Jacobsen had a reputation as a futurist as well.
While Arne Jacobsen sofas receive a little less attention today his lounge chairs are highly coveted design classics, with unchanged success for almost 60 years by now. Countless designers have taken his designs as inspiration and with it helped building the popularity of Scandinavian design
The lounge furniture for the SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen guarantees Jacobsen his deserved spot in design history. What was new and unconventional might have become mainstream over time but never lost its appeal.
The Egg chair with its high backrest is particularly prominent and popular. The entire seat truly forms a shell and offers the protection an eggshell is supposed to offer for its inhabitant. Its unique form makes this chair a favourite for reading corners.
Originally this chair was designed for lobby and other public areas of the hotel with the purpose to offer some privacy amidst bustling crowds.
A job the Egg chair does formidably well whether in private or public spaces.
The Swan chair too is a turning chair and had to fulfil similar roles at the hotel as the Egg. No less distinctive in form it is much more flexible to use thanks to the regular height of the backrest. Both have in common the adjustable swivel function.
The Swan chair is available as a sofa as well but due to little demand we do not have the sofa in our product line.
Both designer chairs feature a seat shell made of fiberglass, the material that made this kind of form and organic shapes only possible.
The lounge chairs are available either with a fine aniline leather or Danish wool fabric upholstery thus varying between casual playful charms and high-end formal finish. In bold colours they make wonderful accents in any type of room.
The Arne Jacobsen chairs are expressive yet congenial examples of design furniture that is comfortable to use and simply good company.
Mies van der Rohe chairs and sofas
Mies van der Rohe chairs and sofas are almost all coveted design classics and exemplary for Bauhaus furniture. The seating furniture of the renowned architect met and influenced the taste of an entire century.
The characteristic leather upholstery requires precise manual labour. Each piece of furniture has its cushioning upholstered with leather from a single cowhide, even the welting and buttons. The leather is cut in small panels, welted and tufted manually.
Mies van der Rohe chairs
The Bracelona chair was presented in 1929 at the Barcelona world exhibition along with the Barcelona ottoman. Both are unmistakably a team even though they work well alone.
It is almost impossible to say what is more beautiful. The elegantly bent and cross-legged flat steel base, an innovation at the time, or the distinctive leather upholstery, that offers an incredibly comfortable seating experience.
Without questions this designer chair is an object of desire. The Barcelona furniture range is a well balanced mix of luxury and “less is more” and each design a coveted specimen of design furniture.
Mies van der Rohe sofas
Amongst the Mies van der Rohe sofas the Barcelona Bed is the most popular. It is the perfect addition to the chair and ottoman of the same name.
The Barcelona sofa is one of the furniture designs that make it possible to dream yourself around the world while you are resting in it. Whether you choose to travel to a tropical hideaway or a cool club in Berlin is up to you. The sofa works pretty well at home too.
The Barcelona Bed was designed a year after the world exhibition and chosen for Philip Johnson’s exclusive New York apartment many years later
Generous in size as it is here the elegant padding is most impressive. The straight tubular steel base hardly distracts the eye from it. A bolster is adjusted through snap locking straps.
The Barcelona chair today
This Mies van der Rohe chair is one of the most copied furniture designs today. When choosing one of the unauthorized reproductions one should exercise caution. Some reproductions are high quality and manufactured as carefully as the so-called originals but others are easily recognizable as cheap copies even from a distance.
Charles and Ray Eames lived with their furniture and designed utilities for daily convenience and entertainment. While working on a piece of living room furniture for example it was very likely that you found a prototype of it in the living area of their own house. That is probably the secret behind the winning nature of their designs. They are thought of by enthusiastic people and appreciated by many.
Particularly their chairs are renowned design classics today and cross our path regularly. Very often when a TV or movie set requires a look from the 50s or 60s a Charles Eames chair is selected. And yet you might encounter them in a regular home and not find them striking you as ‘retro’.
The Eames Lounge chair is a bit of a celebrity itself and frequently features on small and big screens around the world.
The plywood seat shell is a remainder from earlier design projects, its parts joined by shock absorbent rubber parts. The luxurious leather upholstery is almost a contrast to the down-to-earth shell. Even the armrests are fully upholstered. With the lounge chair and matching ottoman one can enjoy even the most boring match on TV.
In 1948 Ray Eames expressed her artistic nature beautifully with the La Chaise plastic chair. Although the couple apparently shared an emancipated work relationship Ray Eames is hardly ever mentioned individually. But this furniture classic, a contribution to the high profile “Low Cost Design” competition by the Museum of Modern Art, is mostly her design. Charles worked on another contribution to the same competition.
This chair is more sculpture than furniture. Although it is certainly comfortable its distinctive shape inspired by the sculpture of a female body is unique and stands apart. La Chaise is a statement.
The artist couple had a variation of a lounge chair in almost every furniture series. Indeed the Aluminium lounge chair was the starting point for the successful range of chairs. Initially they were designed as garden and leisure chairs for a house commissioned to Eero Saarinen.
When looking for design furniture the world of Charles and Ray Eames is always worth a look. Don’t miss it.
Eileen Gray usually designed what she aspired herself. Some say she was her best client. That might be the reason that Elieen Gray chairs and sofas appear less programmatic than those of many peers. She was eager for inspiration by the stream of ideas around the Bauhaus and the De Stijl movement in the Netherlands but didn’t feel obliged to apply their dogmas to her own work. Instead she freely interpreted them, which is apparent throughout her furniture designs.
Anyone looking for Eileen Gray chairs and sofas isn’t looking for a uniform but unique design classics.
The Bibendum chair is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear about Eileen Gray chairs. The humorous and unusual armchair offers a great deal of comfort and attracts attention.
The base of the voluptuous designer chair is a slender tubular steel frame. Two upholstered leather tubes form the back and armrest. The name is a jibe. The symbolic figure of Michelin has quite a bit in common with the namesake chair and popularly known as Bibendum.
This design classic presents Eileen Grays manifold talents in a beautiful way for those who miss a bit of zest in other Bauhaus classics.
A look at Eileen Gray sofas too confirms the same. She did not commit to a certain look.
The daybed is much more than just a sofa. It is a particularly versatile piece of furniture that can be placed freely in a room or against the walls. It is accessible from all sides. It suits a very large room as well as narrow spaces and the design without frills goes with almost any decoration style.
It demonstrates that Eileen Gray was very much capable to compete with her colleagues at the Bauhaus without loosing her sense of humour.
Another Eileen Gray sofa, the Lota sofa, is rather interesting but hardly in demand these days due to its size and heaviness. The sides are adorned with lacquer art, albeit in a minimalistic way, the dying art that had captured Gray’s interest in the earlier years.
In some ways Marcel Breuer contributed more to the Bauhaus school of thoughts than some of his more famous colleagues. The relatively small number of designs is still considered a pioneering effort that made tubular steel a feasible and reliable material for furniture construction in the following years. Tubular steel would allow the realization of new design concepts. Cantilevers and other lightweight furniture types became popular options.
One of the most famous chairs in this category is a Marcel Breuer chair.
Marcel Breuer sofas are relatively rare in comparison. The tubular steel sofa F40, a cantilever as well but with fully upholstered seat and backrest, is still in production but not nearly as popular as the Wassily Chair that even then had a high profile fan community.
Tubular steel furniture should inspire many designers in the 1920s and later become available in many more variations.
The Wassily chair was an individual design project in 1926, the realization of a new furniture type. The innovative interpretation of a classic club chair is an extremely slimmed down version of a furniture classic that is typically heavily upholstered.
A complex tubular steel frame and tight leather parts replace the components of a traditionally heavy and chunky armchair. Thanks to smart angles and the decline of seat and backrest it still results in a surprisingly comfortable seating experience.
Initially just named Tubular Steel chair this furniture design is without any doubt a real Bauhaus design. The name Wassily came later. Wassily Kandinsky called a set of the highly appreciated Breuer chairs his own in his apartment at the Bauhaus.
The Lounge Chair and Ottoman are indeed Eames first products for the high-end market. Model No. 670, as it was named then, retailed for the proud sum of 634 US$ in 1957. Initially conceived as a gift for director Billy Wilder the chair has the explicit purpose to invite the executive owner to a power nap in the office.
Under the patronage of Hermann Miller Charles and Ray Eames have created an adventurous and congenial collection of furniture designs as diverse as their other creative interests. Their furniture reflects the same ambition that is obvious throughout their architectural and educational work. Most of the design classics by Charles Eames build on the hugely successful entries for the exhibition Organic Design in Home Furnishing by the Museum of Modern Art in 1940 in collaboration with Eero Saarinen.
Undeniably a member of the plywood group of furniture by Eames the Lounge Chair doesn't strike the beholder as such. It stands apart in many ways. Despite the shell being made of the material that intended to make furniture affordable and available to many the Lounger exudes an exclusive flair. The plywood shell not only supports the body perfectly in a relaxed position it also provides the shape for the luxurious and sensationally comfortable upholstery. In combination the two contrasting materials create a harmonious picture and seating experience.
Plywood and innovative ways to shape it have been on Charles Eames’ mind for many years and not only related to furniture. During World War II he joined a group of inventors and developed leg splints, stretchers and aircraft parts for the U.S. Navy and military aviation industry. The company was later taken over by Hermann Miller. The expertise gained with the industry proved very useful for the commercial production of furniture made of the same material.
Even artistically Charles and Ray explored the material. Abstract plywood sculptures from 1943 beautifully unite the technical expertise and Ray’s artistic talent. Even the leg splint could be mistaken for a sculpture and Ray indeed carved one out of one of those splints. This is the beauty of their work, the realization that utility and art can live in one object.
Already in the late 30s Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen experimented with three-dimensional molding of plywood for furnishing leading them to compete in six categories of the Organic Design competition held by the MoMA New York.
By the time the Eames interpretation of a traditional club chair was launched by Hermann Miller in 1956 it had already gone through more than a decade of development and research. The rather complex construction of the Lounge Chair originates back to the developments for the Organic Design exhibition.
Despite experimenting with three-dimensionally molded forms made from a single piece of plywood like their winning entry in the category "Seating for a Living Room", early prototypes for the lounger from 1946 show the characteristic separation into three two-dimensionally bent plywood elements for shoulders, back, and seat, held together by a unique construction.
Many prototypes and models of that period show different approaches to solve the technical problems related to bending plywood three ways. In order to avoid the material to splinter they reduced the tension on the material by cutting slits and holes in the chair shells, which ultimately led them to abandon the idea of a shell out of one piece of material, at least in plywood. The plastic and wire mesh collection have the same goal and particularly fiberglass reinforced plastic turned out to be a much more appreciative choice for the task.
The separation of seat and back meant a breakthrough. For the Lounge Chair the key was the connection of the elements through shock mounts that give in a bit and compensate for the fact that the back is not adjustable.
The star base hints at the aluminum seating collection launched around the same time and add to the no nonsense charm of the chair.
It is this segmentation of the different functions and elements, the use of clearly distinguished materials that give the Eames lounger its slightly technical, masculine appearance while the initially goose feather filled cushions and slightly creased upholstery give a sneak preview of the gentle, comforting embrace the chair offers.
Billy Wilder should not be the only VIP seen in the equally famous chair. It has been featured in countless stage sets and advertisement always adding that special something to the scene.
Often associated with the interior of a psychoanalysts practice it is no surprise that the famous sitcom character Frasier, a psychoanalyst too, proudly owns one, prominently featured in almost every episode of the series.
This design classic has made its way into pop culture. And like a Mercedes Benz the lounge chair is much more than a luxurious utilitarian object. It’s a metaphor for classic style, savoir vivre and more.
Not only can the lounger claim to be part of the permanent collection of the MoMA it was also honored with its own exhibition. “The Eames Lounge Chair: An Icon of Modern Design” at The Museum of Arts and Design in New York celebrated the 50th anniversary of the famous two-piece furniture set in 2006. And that is not all. Model 670 is the main character in a two-minute short film showing an engineer assembling and then dismantling the chair into its single components in typical Eames style.
Exciting classic designer sofas and designer chairs at steelform
It is hard to imagine an interior concept without comfortable designer sofas and designer chairs. They might have served mainly representative purposes once but today they stand for a leisure-oriented and relaxed style of living.
Often the sofa landscape is the social hub of a home. Accordingly the furniture for this area of a house has to meet high expectations. Practicality, looks and durability are just a few.
A leisurely seating arrangement always conveys an image. Not only that. In an office, a practice or a showroom the furniture not only represents the business. It can influence the immediate mood of visitors and clients.
Modern design classics serve us well in this regard. Not subject to fast pacing trends they are easier to combine than many young designs and simultaneously represent quality and tradition while being contemporary enough to be inspiration for many fresh designs.
Think of designer chairs such as the Barcelona Chair, the LC Chaiselongue or the Egg Chair. Although they couldn’t be more different from each other they have one thing in common: they never go out of style.
Le Corbusier – Designer Sofas and Designer Chairs from the grand master of modern design
When talking about classic design furniture one inevitably comes to speak of Le Corbusier. No other designer shaped modern architecture and design like him and his designs have remained cult objects for decades.
The designer sofas and chairs of the LC collection are particularly popular without any signs of fatigue. Although the sofas followed the rest of the collection only 40 years later after Le Corbusier’s death they fit in perfectly.
The designer chair LC 1 also known as "Fauteuil a Dossier Basculant" is the only LC chair without heavy upholstery. Surprisingly that doesn’t derogate the seating comfort the least.
Optically the LC 1 presents itself as a close relative of the LC 4 Chaiselongue. The design for the lounger, “the relaxing machine” kept Le Corbusier preoccupied more than any other design of the collection.
Both the upholstered easy chairs LC 2 and LC 3 and the matching sofas resemble each other. The difference lies in the dimensions with the LC 3 seating furniture appearing much more generous and inviting than the LC 2 chair and sofas.
Charles Eames – Presenting designer chairs as the best solutions for interior challenges
There is not much one can tell a design lover about the Eames lounge chair. This is the Champions League of design furniture. The luxurious leather upholstery, supposed to resemble a well-worn baseball mitt, provides unbeatable comfort and is well kept in shape by the restrained plywood shell.
Another golden oldie by Eames is the Aluminium lounge chair with matching ottoman. Modern with a touch of retro charm the Aluminium Chairs are wonderful all-rounders.
Mies van der Rohe – The Barcelona Chair
Here is a designer chair that wrote history. Although Mies van der Rohe’s work is often described as “skin and bones” architecture, his furniture tells another story.
Elegant luxury, unostentatious and yet fit for kings and queens, the Barcelona chair was designed to seat the Spanish Royals during the opening ceremony of the German Pavilion at the world exhibition in Barcelona in 1929.
Not only the pavilion was rebuilt. The Barcelona chair is a delight to this day as well.
Arne Jacobsen – Timeless Designer chairs from Scandinavia
Arne Jacobsen, the famed architect and designer designed every detail of the SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen in the late 50s. Amongst it the Swan Chair and the iconic Egg Chair, both cherished for their typical retro charm. Depending on the chosen upholstery, leather or felt, and colour, sober or vibrant, these two chairs can give you any look you like. That of an esteemed classic design object or a playful subject of desire.
Their distinctive organic shape makes these designer chairs true icons of modern design.