21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs
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21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Bookcases
Metal, Brass, Stainless Steel
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
2010s Brazilian Modern Stools
Textile, Upholstery, Hardwood
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Swivel Chairs
Vintage 1930s Italian Art Deco Vanities
2010s French Anglo-Indian Armchairs
Late 20th Century Belgian Desks
2010s Italian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
2010s Vietnamese Art Deco Side Tables
2010s French Other Tables
Ceramic, Wood, Oak
2010s South African Modern Side Tables
Vintage 1970s French Mid-Century Modern Desks and Writing Tables
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Shelves
A Close Look at mid-century-modern Furniture
Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe vintage mid-century modern furniture. The style, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, is characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living.
ORIGINS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN
- Emerged during the mid-20th century
- Informed by European modernism, Bauhaus, International style, Scandinavian modernism and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture
- A heyday of innovation in postwar America
- Experimentation with new ideas, new materials and new forms flourished in Scandinavia, Italy, the former Czechoslovakia and elsewhere in Europe
CHARACTERISTICS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN
- Simplicity, organic forms, clean lines
- A blend of neutral and bold Pop art colors
- Use of natural and man-made materials — alluring woods such as teak, rosewood and oak; steel, fiberglass and molded plywood
- Light-filled spaces with colorful upholstery
- Glass walls and an emphasis on the outdoors
- Promotion of functionality
MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNERS TO KNOW
- Charles and Ray Eames
- Eero Saarinen
- Milo Baughman
- Florence Knoll
- Harry Bertoia
- Isamu Noguchi
- George Nelson
- Danish modernists Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen, whose emphasis on natural materials and craftsmanship influenced American designers and vice versa
ICONIC MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNS
- Eames lounge chair
- Nelson daybed
- Florence Knoll sofa
- Egg chair
- Womb chair
- Noguchi coffee table
- Barcelona chair
VINTAGE MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE ON 1STDIBS
The mid-century modern era saw leagues of postwar American architects and designers animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist International-style architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the 1930s by Philip Johnson and others. New building techniques, such as “post-and-beam” construction, allowed the International-style schemes to be realized on a small scale in open-plan houses with long walls of glass.
Materials developed for wartime use became available for domestic goods and were incorporated into mid-century modern furniture designs. Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, who had experimented extensively with molded plywood, eagerly embraced fiberglass for pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair, respectively.
Architect, writer and designer George Nelson created with his team shades for the Bubble lamp using a new translucent polymer skin and, as design director at Herman Miller, recruited the Eameses, Alexander Girard and others for projects at the legendary Michigan furniture manufacturer.
Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were repurposed too: The Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs using surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests. The Risom lounge chair was among the first pieces of furniture commissioned and produced by legendary manufacturer Knoll, a chief influencer in the rise of modern design in the United States, thanks to the work of Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect and designer who made the firm a leader in its field. The seating that Knoll created for office spaces — as well as pieces designed by Florence initially for commercial clients — soon became desirable for the home.
As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century furniture designers caught the spirit.
Classically oriented creators such as Edward Wormley, house designer for Dunbar Inc., offered such pieces as the sinuous Listen to Me chaise; the British expatriate T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings switched gears, creating items such as the tiered, biomorphic Mesa table. There were Young Turks such as Paul McCobb, who designed holistic groups of sleek, blond wood furniture, and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in minimalist teak dining tables and lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.
As the collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs, dressers, coffee tables and other furniture for the living room, dining room, bedroom and elsewhere on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.
Finding the Right dining-room-chairs for You
No matter what your dream dining experience looks like, there is a wide-ranging variety of vintage, new and antique dining room chairs on 1stDibs. Find upholstered dining room chairs, wood dining room chairs and more to outfit any space designated for a good meal, be it in your home or in the great outdoors.
In the early 18th century, most dining room tables and other furniture was designed to look masculine. In America, dining rooms weren’t even much of a concept until the late 1700s, when a space set aside specifically for dining became a part of the construction of homes for the wealthy. Dining room chairs of the era were likely made of walnut or oak. In Europe, neoclassical dining chairs emerged during the 1750s owing to nostalgia for classical antiquity, while the curving chair crests of Queen Anne furniture in the United States preceded the artistically bold seat backs that characterized the Chippendale chairs that followed. If there weren't enough dining chairs at suppertime in the American colonies, men were prioritized and women stood.
In the dining rooms of today, however, there is enough space for everyone to have a seat at the table. Modern styles introduce innovative design choices that play with shape and style. Icons of mid-century modern dining room chairs are plentiful: With its distinctive bentwood back, there is the DCW dining chair by Charles and Ray Eames, while Hans Wegner's timeless classic, the Wishbone chair, remains relevant and elegant decades after its debut. Stefano Giovannoni's White Rabbit dining chairs, in their lovable polyethylene biomorphism, reinvent what dining can look like.
Today's wide range of dining room chairs also means that they can now be styled in different ways, bringing functionality and fun to any sumptuous dining space. No longer do tables have to be accompanied by a matching set of seats. Skillfully mixing and matching colors and designs allows you to showcase your personality without sacrificing the cohesion of a given space.
By furnishing your dining room with cozy chairs — vintage, antique or otherwise — family time can extend far beyond mealtime. The plush upholstery of Victorian-style dining room chairs is perfect for game nights that stretch from dinner to midnight snack. Outdoor tables and dining chairs can also present an excellent opportunity for bonding and eating — what goes better with a delicious meal than fresh air, anyway?
Whether you prefer your chairs streamlined and stackable or ornate and one of a kind, the offerings on 1stDibs will elevate your mealtime and beyond.