Scandinavian furniture is known for its modern approach to design and function. Beginning in the late 1950’s with the introduction of modern manufacturing facilities and processing Scandinavia became the center for a movement in design that became synonymous contemporary looking furniture with clean lines and built in comforts that were engineered into the furniture.
Scandinavian furniture gets its origins from of course Scandinavia. Scandinavia consists of the countries of Norway, Sweden & Finland. Denmark which is to the south of these countries on the northern most European mainland peninsula is also considered to be part of the Scandinavian region. Nordic furniture is also used unambiguously sometimes to refer to furniture made from the region
Choices abound when selecting furniture; from the style to the age, from the color to the size, considerations of practicality versus appearance; and the choices become even more numerous when selecting a piece of furniture as ubiquitous and varied as a chair. Scandinavian chairs have become one of the more easily recognized styles as well as one of the most popular.
Scandinavian modern chairs have several distinctive characteristics that even untrained eyes can easily distinguish. The Scandinavian style avoids hard lines and geometric shapes, tending instead to graceful ergonomic curves that fit the body naturally. Scandinavian chairs usually are made of lightwood, although darker pieces were later produced at the wish of consumers.
Often the wood used is birch, oak, ash, or beech; their clean lines are usually devoid of extra adornment, finished with oil or wax. For fabric, natural colors with texture are the norm, and any patterning is minimalist. Another distinctive feature of Scandinavian modern style is the open space left underneath its chairs and couches; long legs support them, not the short legs that are common elsewhere, leaving little to no space between furniture and floor.
We’ve collected a huge list of our favorite Scandinavian inspired chairs for every room, and of course, for every budget. But not all of these chairs are from designers that hail from the North – these pieces come from all around the world, but each one would fit into a Scandinavian Style.
Hee Welling Style About A Chair
His fabulous Copenhagen studio produces fine Scandinavian wares like this increasingly iconic chair consisting of a smooth and simple shell on bent beech legs with soaped oak veneer. It’s a modern chair with timeless appeal, perfect for home or office settings. You can get the original chair here.
Muuto Cover Chair
These chairs are a fitting complement to any modern kitchen, but especially ones with an architecturally focused design. Each chair stands at 30 inches tall with an 18-inch high seat. They can serve as great modern dining chairs too.
Wegner Wishbone Style Chair
The beautiful Wishbone chair is one of Hans J. Wegner’s most recognizable designs, but you don’t have to wait for a rare original to hit the market. This solid walnut reproduction is the perfect final touch for an interior design based on the natural side of Scandinavian design.
Bertoia Style Diamond Chair
If you’re looking to bring a touch of industrial aesthetic to your interior, wire chairs are an effortless go-to solution. Although Harry Bertoia was born in Italy and practiced in the United States, his popular Diamond Chair design is a common addition to Scandinavian inspired decor.
Cuba Lounge Chair
Born in Denmark, Morten Gøttler opened his own drawing office in 1975 and became a Member of Danish Designers (MDD), a Copenhagen-based multidisciplinary association of professional designers, in 1981. Gøttler is known for his work in wood, which is characterized by a simple, airy look and exquisite feel.
Designed by Torbjørn Anderssen and Espen Voll, the Oslo Chair embodies several features that define contemporary furniture of this generation – the crisp lines, exacting curves, and the unmistakable attention to detail.
Lumi Source Vintage Mod Accent Chair
Molded wood and simple tapered chair legs are a staple of the mid-century modern style, but they’ll never go out of fashion. This model sits a little higher than many accent chairs inspired by the same era with a seat height of almost 18 inches.
Risom Rocker Chair
One of the most interesting things about this rocking chair is the attention to functional engineering, using balance and weight to ensure incredible fluidity of motion. This piece would be an excellent addition to a nursery, bedroom, or anywhere else where relaxation is essential.
Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Style Chair
While the classic Louis Chair form is a historically significant holdover from classic French design, Philippe Starck’s Ghost Chair brought it into the world of modernism. This re-creation is injection molded, stackable, and available in a wide variety of translucent colors to suit any interior. These see-through chairs are great for small or dark interiors where preservation of natural sunlight proves most important.
Panton S Style Chair
The famous Panton Chair features sensual curves that add mid-century flair to any modern interior. Just like the original, these reproduction Panton chairs are stackable for easy storage.
Wegner CH33 Style Chair
It’s hard to comb through design magazines without coming across this beautiful and versatile chair. This is another reproduction based on a highly sought after design Hans J. Wegner, a subtle and high quality piece that makes its primary statement through the gorgeous curves that please the eye from every angle. This set is available with a choice of oak or chestnut finish, with beige fabric or black faux leather upholstery.
Eames Style Molded Plywood Lounge Chair
The renowned Eames name truly elevated the status of plywood in the design world. This re-creation includes a rubber shock mount that shifts with the position of the sitter to ensure enduring comfort.
Saarinen Style Tulip Side Chair
Eero Saarinen is the architect that gave life to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, a larger-than-life representation of his love for sculpture and form. The Tulip Chair combines the best of funky atomic age style with mid-century sensibility, a carefully crafted piece of functional artwork for the home.
Barcelona Style Chair
The Barcelona Chair is a hugely famous design by the renown German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but that doesn’t stop it from looking wonderful in Scandinavian inspired interiors.
Arne Jacobsen Style Series 7 Style Side Chair
Just as famous for his architectural work as he was his furniture design, Arne Jacobsen was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and later returned as a professor to teach a fresh generation of brilliant Scandinavian artists.
Butterfly Sling Chair
While the Hardoy model is the most known among designers, the style itself has been recreated and reinvented many times over in the decades since its 1938 reveal. The chair in the link is rather unique thanks to its bold stitching and leather surface, lending it a more formal appeal than most of the models on the market.
Salt Chair by Tom Kelley
The Salt Chair definitely hints at classic Swedish styles but has the distinct advantage of a compact and modern form. The most defining feature is the legs – they don’t splay outward, making for a small footprint perfect for small spaces like eat-in kitchens or cozy restaurants.
Arne Jacobsen Grand Prix Chair
This classic is available in a rainbow of vivid colors, carefully stained to retain the intricate grain of its wood veneer. Tubular steel legs place them firmly within the realm of sensible mid-century modern design.
Jørgen Bækmark is one of the many influential designers to come from Denmark’s famous FDB Mobler and this chair is certainly a representative work of the design house’s clean and natural style. Even within a minimalist or modern interior without other Scandinavian influences, the providence of this piece will still shine through clearly.
Wegner Elbow Style Chair
Here’s another style inspired by a Wegner mainstay. This sturdy reproduction features a comfortable leatherette seat, but the upholstery is black unlike the white in the photo, better suited to a darker or more traditional interior.
Wegner Style Shell Chair
Now it’s time to look at some lounge chairs for the living room, bedroom, library, and more. Wegner’s iconic Shell Chair captivated the world with its distinctive shape that looks good from every angle – ideal for a chair that interacts with the environment rather than sitting pushed up against a wall.
Kartell Masters Chair
Philippe Starck is a French designer who channeled the forms of the world’s three most iconic chairs within one elegant form.
Muuto Nerd Dining Chair
Are you looking for something more contemporary? This is a 2012 design created by David Geckeler, an up-and-comer who studied in both Berlin and Copenhagen and effectively blends the best of both worlds. The Nerd Chair is constructed from pressed plywood with solid legs in walnut, oak, or lacquered ash – but the most impressive feature is the lack of visible screws and other mounting hardware. This cleverly streamlined chair would look right at home in any minimalist interior.
Kai Kristiansen Style Model 42 Chair
These are a perfect style for anybody who craves a Scandinavian take on mid-century modern but want something darker and with more refined upholstery. Of all the sculptural chairs that Kai Kristiansen ever designed, these sculptural masterpieces suit modern tastes more perfectly than any others – the crisp angles and smooth lines look right at home in minimalist environments and traditional homes alike.
Saarinen Style Womb Chair
Eero Saarinen designed the original Womb Chair in 1948 and it quickly became a classic staple of mid-century modern furniture design. This reproduction is crafted from a fiberglass shell and upholstered in fine hand-stitched cashmere for a dreamily soft touch. It’s available in a wide range of colors ranging from orange to purple and includes the equally beautiful and versatile ottoman.
Hans Wegner Style “Presidential Election” Round Chair
Wegner’s round chair gained its presidential designation in a spectacular way. In the very first televised debate between United States presidential candidates Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, both took their seats in this stylish 1949 design. If you often invite important clients to your office, this little piece of history could make for an interesting talking point – all while reaffirming your great taste in Wegner chairs
Arne Jacobsen Style Egg Chair
Even those who are unfamiliar with the work of Arne Jacobsen are likely to recognize this distinctive chair. This look-alike is available in a huge variety of colors – including metallic and leather options – to suit your home or office style.
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