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Kai Kristiansen

Danish, b. 1929

With a passion for math and engineering, Kai Kristiansen has created high-quality wood furniture for decades. Beginning in the 1950s, his chairs, modular shelving and other furnishings were made in the style that would become internationally renowned as Danish modern and boasted clean lines, perfected functionality and exacting craftsmanship.

Born in Denmark, Kristiansen trained in cabinetmaking before studying with Kaare Klint, often cited as the “father of modern Danish design,” at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. At just 26 years old, Kristiansen opened his own studio.

Kristiansen had his mid-century breakthrough in 1956 with the Chair #42, which he made with Schou Andersen. Unlike most other chairs at the time, Chair #42’s armrests, with their wealth of radical angles, were connected to the back rather than the front legs. This unconventional flourish makes the backrest appear as though it is floating in midair above the seat. Kristiansen’s next innovation was a modular wall system in 1957 — three years ahead of Dieter Rams’s more famous 606 Universal Shelving System. Called the Reolsystem Wall Unit, produced by SB Feldballes Møbelfabrik, it’s also known as the FM Wall Unit as FM/Fornem Møbelkunst began producing it in the 1960s. Kristiansen would go on to work with other leading Danish furniture manufacturers such as Magnus Olesen, Fritz Hansen and Vildbjerg Møbelfabrik, designing everything from chairs and desks to sideboards and cabinets, frequently in rosewood and teak. (The latter was a sought-after wood by Scandinavian modern designers.)

While many of Kristiansen’s timeless designs remain in production, such as his Paper Knife sofa, which was reintroduced by Miyazaki Chair Factory in 2008, and his 1950s Entré collection, which was relaunched with Great Dane Furniture in 2016, others are prized as vintage mid-century pieces. Today, Kristiansen is still at work on new furniture with an expert eye to thoughtfully functional designs that are made to last.

Find a collection of vintage Kai Kristiansen furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,539
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Kai Kristiansen
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
42 Chair
42 Chair
Model 31 Chair
Model 31 Chair
Paper Knife Chair
Paper Knife Chair
FM Reolsystem
FM Reolsystem
Kai Kristiansen for Feldballes Møbelfabrik Free Standing 'Kidney' Desk in Walnut
By Feldballes Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Kai Kristiansen for Feldballes Møbelfabrik, writing desk, model 54, walnut, brass, Denmark, 1950s. This small and elegant solid walnut desk was designed by Kai Kristiansen and exe...
Category

1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Brass

Set of 2 Vintage Danish Design Kai Kristiansen Bookends 1960s
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in Oostrum-Venray, NL
Set of 2 Vintage Danish Design Kai Kristiansen bookends 1960s A pair of beautiful Mid-Century bookends, made of teak with metal bases in very good condition. Design by Kai Kr...
Category

1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Metal

Kai Kristiansen Leather Troja Armchair, c1960
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen 'Troja' round chair from circa 1960. The frame is made from Afromosia African teak wood. The seat has been reupholstered in premium aniline cognac brown leather.
Category

1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Teak, Leather

  • Kai Kristiansen Leather Troja Armchair, c1960
  • Kai Kristiansen Leather Troja Armchair, c1960
  • Kai Kristiansen Leather Troja Armchair, c1960
  • Kai Kristiansen Leather Troja Armchair, c1960
H 27.56 in. W 23.63 in. D 18.12 in.
Kai Kristiansen Flower Tables Produced by Aksel Kjersgaard in Denmark
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in Malmo, SE
Rare flower tables designed by Kai Kristiansen. Produced by Aksel Kjersgaard in Denmark. Price is listed / item.
Category

1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Metal

Set of 4 Santos Rosewood Dining Chairs by Kai Kristiansen
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in Little Burstead, Essex
Very nice set of 4 chairs, the nicely figured solid Santos Rosewood is in very good condition, and the original quality wool fabric seats have been professionally cleaned, rewebbed a...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Hardwood

Kai Kristiansen Four Restored Teak Dining Chairs Custom Reupholstry Included
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 4 model 42 teak dining chairs with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that make ...
Category

1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Fabric, Teak

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 8 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood frame...
Category

1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Wool, Rosewood

  • Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
  • Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
  • Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
  • Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
H 29.14 in. W 20.87 in. D 16.93 in.
Set of 4 Dining Chairs, Model 42, Designed by Kai Kristiansen, 1960s
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Lejre, DK
A set of 4 dining chairs, model 42, designed by Kai Kristiansen and manufactured by Schou Andersen in the 1960s. The chairs are of rosewood and upholstered in light striped wool fabric.
Category

1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Kai Kristiansen

Materials

Wool, Rosewood

Browse all Furniture from Kai Kristiansen
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Kai Kristiansen Sellers

More Kai Kristiansen Designs
Universe 301
Universe 301
Average Price
$4,985
Number Available
4
Universe 301
By Kai Kristiansen
Materials
Wood, Rosewood, Animal Skin
Styles
Mid Century Modern, Scandinavian Modern
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Paper Knife 3-Seater Sofa
Paper Knife 3-Seater Sofa
Average Price
$6,952
Number Available
2
Paper Knife 3-Seater Sofa
By Kai Kristiansen
Materials
Fabric, Wood, Hardwood, Rosewood, Teak, Upholstery, Wool
Styles
Mid Century Modern, Scandinavian Modern
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Kai Kristiansen furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Kai Kristiansen furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our Kai Kristiansen collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 275 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Kai Kristiansen were created in Europe during the 20th century in Scandinavian Modern style. Many customers also consider furniture by Niels Otto Møller, Ib Kofod-Larsen and Johannes Andersen if you are looking for additional options. Prices for Kai Kristiansen furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $NaN and tops out at $NaN, while pieces like these can sell for $NaN on average.

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