Mid-Century Modern Seating

By Lauren Meredith

In a sea of contemporary furniture, there has been a resurgence of mid-century modern décor, and nowhere is this style more perfectly demonstrated than in seating. Representing modern design from the 1930s to the 1970s, many of the high-impact pieces come from the 1950s’ creative combinations of materials.

“There is an attraction to [mid-century modern] because it is nostalgic. It’s quaint. It reminds people of a certain era,” says Joseph Montalbano of Studiotrope Design Collective in Denver. “It is so honest and innovative. It really responds to thespace the furniture is in.”

Balancing aesthetics with function and mid-century modern design melds organic and man-made materials into interesting and unexpected shapes.

The Eames Lounge Chair is a classic design choice, embodying the pioneering, man-made technology of the 1950s with a warm, natural wood. With a focus on function, this highconcept chair features a creative use of materials making it one of the most notable pieces in design history.

The Panton Chair, designed in 1960 by Verner Panton, is perhaps one of the more recognizable mid-century designs. Its sleek, cantilevered silhouette has a sexy, sculptural aesthetic. The single-form shape and durable polypropylene material make this chair just as appealing in an outdoor living space as it is at the dinner table.

The Bantam Armchair in Leather from Design Within Reach has the supple comfort of leather with the angular style of 1930s modernism. This chair, upholstered in Vienna leather, has tapered wooden legs and comes in a variety of color combinations to suit numerous interiors.

One interesting aspect of mid-century modern design is the prevailing use of color in response to an interior space. The Swan chair, developed during the late 1950s by fmed designer Arne Jacobsen, is an architectural classic available in a variety of colors and set on a satin-chromed steel swivel and an injection-molded aluminum base.