Mid-century modern design, which transformed furniture and interior design, continues to captivate and inspire generations with its forever appeal. At the core of this trend is the classic mid-century lounge chair, which represents elegance, functionality, and craftsmanship. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of mid-century lounge chairs, looking at their history, design principles, and enduring legacy.

Understanding Mid-Century Design

Mid-century modern design first appeared in the middle of the 20th century, specifically in the post-World War II era, and flourished during the 1930s and 1960s. This time was characterised by a desire to break free from the elaborate and heavy traditional styles of the past, in favour of simplicity, functionality, and a connection with nature. Mid-century modern design concepts highlighted clean lines, geometric shapes, and the use of natural materials such as wood, leather, and metal. 

The Bauhaus movement, which originated in Germany and campaigned for the integration of art and craftsmanship, had a significant impact on mid-century design. The Bauhaus style emphasized simplicity, functionality, and the idea that good design should be available to everyone. This ideology had a significant impact on mid-century furniture design, inspiring the creation of low-cost, mass-produced items that blended beauty and functionality.

The Evolution of the Mid Century Lounge Chair

The mid-century lounge chair evolved from these design movements, combining their key principles to create a piece of furniture that was both functional and elegant. The goal was to design a chair that provided comfort and relaxation while also serving as a work of art in itself.

One of the pioneers of mid-century lounge chair design was Charles Eames, an American designer who, along with his wife Ray Eames, created some of the most iconic and recognizable pieces of furniture of the era. The Eames lounge chair, designed in 1956, has become a symbol of mid-century modern design, with its sleek lines, comfortable cushions, and use of high-quality materials.

The Eames chair was designed with the human body in mind, featuring a curved plywood shell that conforms to the body's natural shape and a plush leather seat and backrest for added comfort. The chair was also designed to be visually appealing from all angles, with a focus on the beauty of the materials and the elegance of the design.

Iconic Mid Century Lounge Chairs

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman set is arguably the most famous and sought-after mid-century lounge chair design. This iconic piece was designed to provide the comfort and warmth of a well-used first baseman's mitt, as described by Charles Eames himself. The chair features a moulded plywood shell, available in a variety of wood veneers, that surrounds and supports the body. The seat and backrest are upholstered in premium leather, providing a luxurious and comfortable seating experience.

The accompanying ottoman completes the set, providing a place to rest your feet and further enhancing the comfort of the chair. The Eames lounge chair and ottoman have become symbols of luxury and sophistication, often appearing in movies, television shows, and high-end interiors.

Eames Office Chair

While not strictly a lounge chair, the Eames office chair is another iconic design by Charles and Ray Eames. This mid-century modern office chair was designed with comfort and functionality in mind, featuring a high back, adjustable seat height, and a tilt-swivel mechanism. The chair's sleek and streamlined design, along with its use of moulded plywood and leather, makes it a perfect example of the Eames' design aesthetic.

The Eames office chair was designed to provide comfort and support during long work hours, and its ergonomic features have made it a popular choice even in modern times. This chair is a testament to the Eames' ability to create furniture that is both beautiful and functional, suitable for both home and office environments.

Hans Wegner's Shell Chair

Danish designer Hans Wegner is another renowned figure in mid-century modern design, particularly known for his elegant and innovative chair designs. One of his most iconic creations is the Shell Chair, also known as the CH07, designed in 1963. This unique lounge chair features a continuous curved shell that forms both the seat and the backrest, resembling a shell or a cradle.

The Shell Chair is a stunning example of Wegner's ability to combine comfort and aesthetics. The chair is crafted from a single piece of moulded plywood, showcasing his expertise in working with this material. The result is a lightweight yet sturdy chair that provides a sense of comfort and enclosure.

Arne Jacobsen's Egg Chair

Designed in 1958 by Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen, the Egg Chair is a true icon of mid-century modern design. Created for the lobby and reception areas of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, this lounge chair stands out for its unique and organic shape. The chair resembles a curved egg, with a high back and sides that provide privacy and seclusion for the sitter.

The Egg Chair is upholstered in fabric or leather and features a swivel base, allowing the user to turn and enjoy the surrounding environment. This iconic piece has become synonymous with luxury and elegance, often associated with high-end interiors and exclusive settings.

George Nelson Coconut Chair

Designed in 1955 by American designer George Nelson, the Coconut Chair is a playful and unique take on the traditional lounge chair. The chair gets its name from its resemblance to a sliced coconut, with a wide, curved back and a deep, comfortable seat. The design is characterised by its dramatic curves and bold silhouette, making a statement in any space.

The Coconut Chair was designed as a part of Nelson's "Marshmallow Sofa" group, a collection known for its innovative use of materials and playful forms. The chair is constructed with a sturdy metal frame and upholstered in a single piece of foam rubber, ensuring a comfortable and supportive seat.


The mid century lounge chair is a timeless piece of furniture that continues to inspire designers and homeowners alike. Its sleek design, comfort, and versatility make it a perfect addition to any living room. Whether you choose the renowned Eames lounge chair, the vibrant Coconut Chair, or another mid-century masterpiece, keep authenticity, materials, and proportions in consideration.

We at LUXE FURNISHES craft mid century lounge chairs with perfection.