What separates designer chairs from normal chairs? When talking about designer chairs, they are versions that are architect-designed by renowned artists or architects. There are a large number by especially Danish furniture designers, but also international. They are not only sold on their name, but have been highly acknowledged due to their high level of seating comfort, and you will sit far better in one of these chairs, than in the cheaper, quickly-produced chairs.
Designer chairs brings together functionality and aesthetics in a way that makes them both beautiful and comfortable. Nothing has been left to chance, since the furniture designer has thought the design of the chair through, down to the smallest detail, and with the utmost care have prepared sample models, adjusted drawings and tested materials to achieve the desired result. Thus it is not without reason that the price exceeds that of the cheaper chairs, which are made on assembly lines at factories.
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Popular designer lounge chairs for the living room
If you are looking for a particularly iconic lounge chair, for example for the living room, there are several popular models which are worth highlighting. Arne Jacobsen is behind the aesthetic and elegant ‘Egg’ and ‘Swan’, which originally were designed for a stylish hotel lobby, but which also raises the standard of décor in many Danish and international homes.
If you are rather looking for an extremely comfortable lounge chair, you should take a look at Papa Bear Chair by Hans Wegner. This chair got its name from a reviewer, who experienced sitting in the chair as comfortable as getting a hug from behind by a teddy bear.
It is not only the Danish designed versions which provide comfort, but also the lounge chair designed by the American duo Eames, is an example of an extremely comfortable chair, which is perfect to relax in in the evening after a long day.
Leather Lounge Chairs
Many designer lounge chairs are made with a leather upholstery, including ‘Swan’, ‘Egg’ and Eames Lounge Chair. Leather is a popular and widely used material by many furniture designers, and it fits perfectly with the sofa in many homes.
Danish design – seminal period
Danish furniture design indisputably plays a major role when looking at the most popular editions. Also from a non-Danish perspective. Names like Jacobsen, Wegner and Mogensen are also highly famous for their chair designs on the international scene.
Functionalism of Danish designer chairs
The so called Golden Age of Danish furniture design is characterized as the period from approximately 1930-1970, where a large number of iconic chairs and other furniture were produced. Especially the 1950s was a seminal decade in Danish furniture design. In this period it was functionalism which in terms of style was dominating in the design of chairs.
Functionalism was partly a break with the style of the previous period, the Victorian era, where curlicues, ornaments and opulent details were in focus. However, functionalism was more than just a visual style, it was also very much an ideology. It was the idea of common sense and progress. It was not so much about selling designer chairs and other furniture, as it was a social program and part of a socialist mindset. The functionalistic chairs were made for the bourgeoisie.
Functionalism was led by Kaare Klint, who was a teacher at the newly opened furniture school at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1924, and he worked there until 1954. Børge Mogensen went much in the same direction as Klint, while Hans Wegner and Finn Juhl went more their own ways – but still within the functionalism.
Therefore, in terms of price, many of the Danish designer chairs were not intended to be as expensive as they are today. Especially not the ones by e.g. Kaare Klint and Børge Mogensen. Finn Juhl was a supporter of the same philosophy, that furniture should be designed for the common people, however, in practice, his furniture designs were for the few and special. Nonetheless, his designs like e.g. the ‘Chieftains Chair’, is another gem within Danish furniture design.
In addition to the industrialization, it was also the new groundbreaking collaboration between architects and cabinetmakers which made the new wave of designer chairs in Danish furniture design possible.
Chair Design of Modernism
Functionalistic principles are close to the fundamental ideas of modernism about simplicity, clean lines and function, and modernism is thus also behind many of the most famous designer chairs.
The period of the 1950s was retrospectively named Danish Modern, and it is also this that the term furniture classic refers to. The period has become tremendously popular in recent decades, and designer chairs are more popular than ever.
It was in the 1950s, that Arne Jacobsen’s most famous creations was designed, such as the ‘Egg’, ‘Swan’ and ‘Series 7’. Also Hans J. Wegner+s designs are from this period.