Bookmarks: 100 Midcentury Chairs

100 Midcentury Chairs book on a vintage Ercol stacking chair by the fireside | H is for Home

We’ve had a few cold, wet and windy days here in Todmorden recently – perhaps even some snow tonight. So it’s wood-burner lit, 6 Music radio on – and time to catch up with some recently arrived magazines and books.

100 Midcentury Chairs book cover by Lucy Ryder Richardson

This edition of Bookmarks comes courtesy of a lady we first featured on our blog five years ago.

Grass-seated chair designed by George Nakashima

Lucy Ryder Richardson is the co-founder of Modern Shows and is the author of this newly published book, 100 Midcentury Chairs.

Paimio chair designed by Alvar Aalto

As the title says, the author has chosen 100 chairs (and stools) from the era to highlight; some that are very famous – like Arne Jacobsen’s Ant and Egg chairs – and others that are less well known.

Chieftain Chair designed by Finn Juhl and executed by Niels Vodder

She interviewed the children and relatives of the designers to create unique portraits of each chair…

Danish furniture designer, Finn Juhl

…the designers’ personal profiles and back stories, their influences, any specific sites that chairs were intended for or functions of the furniture, production techniques & processes and so on.

Charles and Ray Eames designed DCW chair

We love snippets of information such as Alvar Aalto designing the Paimio Armchair specifically for the tuberculosis hospital in Paiomo, south west Finland. It’s form is designed to position the tuberculosis patient at just the right angle to help them breath as they rested & recuperated. He was actually commissioned to design the whole hospital, so it’s full of his genius work.

Furniture and product designer, Charles Eames

And how about, Bruno Mattheson, designer of the Eva Chair, “perfecting the art of sitting by studying the shape his body made when he fell back into a snowdrift at different angles”.

J16 chair designed by Hans Wegner

The pages are dotted with quotes from the designers themselves, including Hans J. Wegner, Xavier Pauchard, Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames.

JH550 Peacock Chair designed by Hans Wegner

Pieces are featured in chronological order, spanning 40 years from the early 1930s to the early 1970s.

Hans Wegner's top 10 chairs

Interesting and informative, you’ll expand your knowledge of furniture design no end, and with almost 200 pages of full colour photographs, you’ll be able to swoon at chair heaven all along the journey.

Stack of Hillestak chairs designed by Robin Day for S Hille and Co

And it’s not just furniture we learned about – the book is full of little anecdotes such as the fact that Ettore Sottsass’ red Valentine typewriter was launched on Valentines Day, 1970. Who knew?!

Ant Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen

The directory at the back of the book contains an extensive list of international midcentury modern furniture dealers, auctions, fairs and events.

International directory of Midcentury furniture dealers

It’s a new, must read resource for all modernist furniture fans and collectors.

Egg Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen

It’s one of those great books to dip in and out of – a few pages at a time with a cup of tea!

Cherner Armchair designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft

We do love a nice chair – in fact we’ve probably got about 10 more chairs than we actually need in our house. We’ve got another hundred now – but these can all fit neatly on a bookshelf!

UP5 Donna Chair designed by Gaetano Pesce for C&B Itaila

This wonderful book comes highly recommended indeed and will provide us with an invaluable reference in future.

Synthesis 45 Typist Chair, Z9/r designed by Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti

Buy yourself a copy of 100 Midcentury Chairs by Saturday 19th November here, and get FREE entry to the following day’s Midcentury Modern Show at Dulwich College, London. You’ll even be able to get it signed by the author. Alternatively, you can find it available on AbeBooks, Amazon or Hive.

Lucy Ryder Richardson signing 100 Midcentury Chairs

[Many thanks to Pavilion Books for the review copy]

Get their look: Mid-century-modern-inspired kitchen

Mid-century-modern-inspired kitchencredit

This mid-century-modern-inspired kitchen merges vintage and brand new in just the right measure. The mint coloured cupboards, fridge and patterned wallpaper are very evocative of the period. The splashes of red and yellow give the space added impact.

The 1950s are associated with a post war optimism which influenced interior design greatly – and this kitchen is a suitably bright and cheerful space to reflect that spirit.

  1. Portfolio 9.45-in W chrome ceiling flush mount light
  2. Julia Rothmans Daydream (green) wallpaper tiles
  3. The Skylark shallow bowl stem mount light
  4. Smeg FAB28YV1 fridge A++ energy rating, 60cm wide, left-hand hinge, pastel green
  5. Eames moulded plastic side chair
  6. FairTrade red heera jute diamond 60cm x 150cm runner
  7. STENSTORP kitchen trolley, white/oak

Get their look: Mid-century-modern-inspired kitchen | H is for Home

Designer Desire: Jacqueline Groag

Mosaic of Jacqueline Groag designs | H is for Home

The day was sure to come when we were going to feature Jacqueline Groag in our Designer Desire series. We’ve blogged about her on numerous occasions in the past, so we won’t repeat ourselves here. Click here to read up and find out more about this wonderful textile designer!

These are just a taste of all the wonderful designs she produced in her lifetime. If we’ve piqued your interest in Jacqueline Groag there’s an entire book  available that’s dedicated to her work.

Jacqueline Groag

Image credits:

eBay | Pinterest | V & A

Get their look: Melbourne mid century modern

Melbourne mid century modern sitting roomcredit

Although Australia is way over on the other side of the world, it’s a goldmine when it comes to sourcing great Scandinavian mid century modern designs.

This striking Melbourne mid century modern home is furnished with lots of classic pieces of furniture from the era, alongside mid-century inspired items such as the tabletop mobile and pebble patterned cushion.

  1. Vitra Noguchi coffee table, walnut
  2. Arched floor lamp
  3. Eames lounge chair & ottoman
  4. Original Danish design side table
  5. Vintage floral eiderdown quilt
  6. Custom metal table stabile: The Alexander
  7. Vintage teak sideboard

Get their look: Melbourne mid century modern | H is for Home

Get their look: Mid-century Modern-inspired crash pad

Mid-century Modern-inspired crash padcredit

We’ve chosen this Mid-century Modern-inspired crash pad for our Get their look post this week.

Lots of work went into transforming a rather staid 2 bedroom flat into this cool place which the owner uses 3 or 4 nights a week whilst working in Dublin. The whole family descends to stay from time to time too.

There’s a main open living, cooking, dining space – with separate bedrooms and bathroom. A small office/work area has also been incorporated into a recess. It’s quite masculine in style – pared back, clean lines, uncluttered. The colour scheme consists of layers of grey, black and walnut wood shades with pops of brighter colour.

It’s very functional, yet retains a relaxed feel – warm, secure & cosy too. We think that there’s quite a boutique hotel vibe going on. Ideal for a home away from home maybe.

  1. Edison Industrial Minaret Modern pendant light – amber
  2. Anthology Seri wallpaper, 110767
  3. Walnut and black faux leather barstools – Texas
  4. Chicago floor lamp, antique copper and gold
  5. The Cushion Factory pink & grey cushion 45×45
  6. Luigi sofa
  7. Chiva functional coffee table with storage

Get their look: Mid-century Modern-inspired crash pad | H is for Home

Stag Furniture

Pair of vintage Stag Furniture chest of drawers | H is for Home

We’ve just picked up a lovely pair of matching vintage wooden chests of drawers.

Pair of vintage Stag Furniture chest of drawers | H is for Home

They were designed by husband & wife partnership, John & Sylvia Reid, for Stag Furniture in the 1950s.

Pair of vintage Stag Furniture chest of drawers stacked one on top of the other | H is for Home

They have a strong mid century modern look with pared back, simple, clean lines.

Detail from vintage Stag Furniture chest of drawers showing a leg | H is for Home

They appear to be made from a combination of light oak and teak – with two large drawers and a slightly smaller top drawer standing on short, tapered legs.

Open drawer on vintage Stag Furniture chest of drawers showing the logo | H is for Home

We really like the subtle handles with their geometric influence. Having lived with the drawers for a couple of days, we noticed how nicely the light and shadow catches them. They’d look great with a background of a bold, mid century wallpaper picking up their geometric form – Minimodern’s Backgammon springs to mind.

Triangle highlights and shadows on a vintage Stag Furniture chest of drawers | H is for Home

They’re quite a useful, compact size; measuring 75cm wide, 70cm tall and 43cm deep.

Vintage Stag chest of drawers with drawers open | H is for Home

We’re going to keep them together as a pair – they’ve made it this long as a couple – we’d hate to split them up now. They’ll go into our antiques centre space – or perhaps our eBay shop, We’ll hang fire for a day or so in case any of our readers want first dibs. Drop us a line if they’re just the thing for you.

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