Vail Design at Altitude column: These chairs were at the forefront of design when they were debuted
There are trends that we’ve all fallen for, but truly great design relies on classic elements that never go out of style. For fashion, think Audrey Hepburn’s classic, elegant look. For home design, there are several very distinctive pieces that last the test of time. Some things don’t go out style but actually have become dynamic, iconic design pieces can be an accessory and focal point, creating a distinctive vibe for your home.
Eero Saarinen Womb chair
The Eero Saarinen Womb chair is one such iconic design piece. It was the answer to mixing up the existing, commonplace linear lounge chair. Saarinen designed the Womb chair in 1946 at the request of Florence Knoll, who wanted comfort and swanky design. Saarinen delivered, and it still receives a strong reception in homes.
Arne Jacobsen Egg chair
The Arne Jacobsen Egg chair is another piece that stands out in the crowd for its fun lines and bold presence. The history behind these distinctive chairs is just as fun as the clean lines and different shapes are. Jacobsen was an architect and designer and obviously married these two vocations seamlessly. He designed the Egg for the lobby and reception areas in Copenhagen’s Royal Hotel. What a dream job he had: He designed every element of the hotel and the furniture, where he integrated the design and architecture.
An Amazing Treat
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Copenhagen and the studio of the Republic of Fritz Hansen, who worked closely with Jacobsen — two visionaries who truly changed the world of design. It was an amazing treat to see the workmanship that goes into the creation of these original pieces. They were, and still are, at the forefront of design. Admittedly, these pieces are not inexpensive, but the tour reinforced why these pieces are worth what they cost.
Mies Van der Rohe also comes to mind when thinking of mid-century modern design. He melded architecture and design and is credited with designing buildings that “changed the face of American architecture.” His chairs have clean lines, absolutely no fuss and are still sought after for contemporary home design and stylish rooms. He clearly had a strong influence on modern design.
We love incorporating these distinctive and visually pleasing pieces into our designs, when possible. Beth Slifer put the Egg chair in her recent remodel. This iconic piece is an anchor for the room and is uplifting.
Don’t be afraid to consider one of these timeless pieces in your next design and elevate it to the next level. Not only will it make your home feel happy, you will be a part of history.
Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs. She designs using modern, classic looks that never go out of style.