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Pierre Paulin Furniture

Pierre Paulin (France, 1927–2009)

Pierre Paulin introduced a fresh breeze into French furniture design in the 1960s and ’70s, fostering a sleek new space-age aesthetic. Along with Olivier Mourgue, Paulin developed furnishings with flowing lines and almost surreal naturalistic forms. And his work became such a byword for chic, forward-looking design and emerging technologies that two French presidents commissioned him to create environments in the Élysée Palace in Paris.


Paulin was born in Paris to a family of artists and designers. He initially sought to become a ceramist and sculptor and was studying in the town of Vallauris near the Côte d'Azur — a center for pottery making, where Pablo Picasso spent his postwar summers crafting ceramics — but broke his hand in a fight. He enrolled at the École Camondo, the Paris interior design school. There, Paulin was strongly influenced by the work of Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Arne Jacobsen, as was reflected in his early creations for the manufacturer Thonet-France. It was at the Dutch firm Artifort, which he joined in 1958, where Paulin blossomed. In a few years, he produced several of his signature designs based on abstract organic shapes. These include the Butterfly chair (1963), which features a tubular steel frame and slung leather, and a group of striking seating pieces made with steel frames covered in polyurethane foam and tight jersey fabric: the Mushroom (1960), Ribbon (1966) and Tongue (1967) chairs.


In 1971, the Mobilier National — a department of France’s Ministry of Culture in charge of furnishing top-tier government offices and embassies — commissioned Paulin to redesign President Georges Pompidou’s private apartment in the Élysée Palace. In three years, Paulin transformed the staid rooms into futuristic environments with curved, fabric-clad walls and furnishings such as bookcases made from an arrangement of smoked-glass U shapes, flower-like pedestal chairs and pumpkin-esque loungers. Ten years later, the Mobilier National called on Paulin again, this time to furnish the private office of President François Mitterand. Paulin responded with an angular, postmodern take on neoclassical furniture, pieces that looked surprisingly at home in the paneled, Savonnerie-carpeted Louis XVI rooms. As those two Élysée Palace projects show, Paulin furniture works well both in a total decor or when used as a counterpoint to traditional pieces. You will see on these pages that Pierre Paulin’s creations have a unique personality: bright and playful yet sophisticated and suave. 


Iconic Designs from Pierre Paulin
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Mushroom Lounge Chair
Mushroom Lounge Chair
Tulip Lounge Chair
Tulip Lounge Chair
Orange Slice Chair
Orange Slice Chair
Ribbon Lounge Chair And Ottoman
Ribbon Lounge Chair And Ottoman
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Classic Artifort All Black Little Tulip Armchair in Raf Simons Fabric
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
Brand new little tulip, swivel round base The simple little tulip design chair spreads its half-open petals around the sitter. Delicate, cheerful, light, inviting and warming at the...
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2010s Dutch Mid-Century Modern Pierre Paulin Furniture

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Fabric

Set of Two Artifort Moulin Chairs in Raf Simons Fabric by Pierre Paulin
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
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2010s Dutch Pierre Paulin Furniture

Materials

Fabric

Artifort Pierre Paulin Swivel Black Little Tulip Midi in Raf Simons Fabric
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Dutch Mid-Century Modern Pierre Paulin Furniture

Materials

Fabric

Pierre Paulin Ribbon Chair and Ottoman in Velvet
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Dutch Mid-Century Modern Pierre Paulin Furniture

Materials

Velvet

Pierre Paulin Orange Slice Armchair and Ottoman in Raf Simon Pilot Fabric
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Dutch Mid-Century Modern Pierre Paulin Furniture

Materials

Fabric

Artifort Mushroom Chair by Pierre Paulin
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Dutch Modern Pierre Paulin Furniture

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Fabric

Pierre Paulin Swivel Blue Little Globe Stool
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
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1960s Dutch Vintage Pierre Paulin Furniture

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Fabric

Classic Artifort Swivel Blue Little Tulip Armchair in Fabric
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Dutch Mid-Century Modern Pierre Paulin Furniture

Materials

Fabric

Classic Artifort Set of Two Little Tulips Armchairs in Fabric
By Artifort, Pierre Paulin
Located in New York, NY
Little Tulips, cross base non-swivel The simple Little Tulip design chair spreads its half-open petals around the sitter. Delicate, cheerful, light, inviting and warming at the same ...
Category

2010s Dutch Mid-Century Modern Pierre Paulin Furniture

Materials

Fabric

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