10 Iconic Chairs Every Designer Should Know About

Want to add some timeless pieces to your home's decor? Here are 10 iconic chairs to consider.

 Room corner of a modern flat, with a designer swivel armchair and a modernist bookcase
Iconic chairs - the egg | Ground Picture on Shutterstock

When it comes to interior design, the perfect chair can transform your space and pull a look together. Although chairs might seem fairly simple as furniture goes, a lot of thought is put into creating them. Timeless design is a matter of combining engineering with practicality, materials and functionality.

There are many different styles of chairs, each with its unique history and design. The chairs created at the start of the 20th century until now have changed the furniture game for decades to come. In this post, we cover the 10 iconic chairs every designer should know about.

What Makes a Chair Iconic?

When you think of iconic chairs, a few designs probably come to mind. The Eames Lounge Chair, for example, is an iconic mid-century modern design that is still popular today. But what makes a chair iconic?

Part of it concerns the design - iconic chairs are usually visually striking and memorable. They may also represent a style or period in design history and have staying power. They remain popular and in demand long after they were first created. In some cases, iconic chairs become synonymous with the designers who created them.

Marcel Breuer - The Wassily Chair

Marcel Breuer's Model B3 chair, also known as the Wassily chair, is one of the most iconic chairs of the 20th century and the Bauhaus period. Designed in 1925, the chair was inspired by the frame of a bicycle. Its simple, streamlined design was ahead of its time and became a symbol of the Modernist movement.

black wassily chair with a table and sofa
The Wassily Chair in black | KMQ on Shutterstock

The chair is made of tubular steel, giving it strength and flexibility. The leather straps criss-cross the seat and back add comfort and style. Today, the "Model B3" chair is still produced by Breuer's family-run business. It is beloved by design lovers all over the world.

Le Corbusier - Grand Confort Chair

The Le Corbusier Grand Confort chair was created by Swiss architect and designer Le Corbusier in 1928 and has been in production ever since. The chair is known for its simple yet stylish design. It is made from a single piece of tubular steel and has a leather or fabric upholstered seat and back.

Always popular and desirable Le Corbusier Chair 

Today, the Le Corbusier Grand Confort chair is considered an iconic piece of furniture, and it continues to be popular with both designers and homeowners. The chair is also notable for its ergonomic design. The seat is slightly reclined, and the armrests are positioned at a comfortable height. The chair is available in various colors and can be used in both residential and commercial settings.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - Barcelona Chair

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona chair for the German Pavilion at the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929. Today, the Barcelona chair is considered a modern classic.

bedroom corner with a glass console table with decorative objects, a mirror, white leather Barcelona chair with cushions
The always stylish Barcelona chair | PhotoMavenStock on Shutterstock

The chair is simple and elegant, with a chrome frame and leather or fabric upholstery. It is also extremely comfortable, making it a popular choice for home and office settings.

Taliesin Barrel - Barrel Chair

The Taliesin Barrel Chairs are iconic chairs are known for their unique barrel-shaped design. The chairs were designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and were first produced in the early 1930s.

The Taliesin chairs are iconic because of their unique design and because they were designed by one of the most famous architects in history. The chairs are made of wood and have a curved backrest that resembles a barrel. The chairs are still in production and can be found in many homes and offices.

Eames - Plastic Side Chair DSW Golden Maple

In a world filled with iconic chairs, the Eames Plastic Side Chair DSW Golden Maple chair is one of the most popular designs. The chair was designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1950 and is made from molded plastic with metal legs. These chairs are comfortable and lightweight, making them perfect for any space.

Plastic Eams chairs in black and white by a white table
One of the most popular chairs replicated by many others | Africa Studio on Shutterstock

Whether you are looking for an iconic design or a comfortable and functional chair, this chair is a perfect choice. The chair is simple yet elegant and has a timeless design that is still popular today. The chair is available in various colors, but the "Golden Maple" version is the most iconic.

Charles & Ray Eames - Lounge and Ottoman Chair

Charles and Ray Eames have become icons in the design world. Their lounge and ottoman chair combo, unveiled in 1956, is one of their most iconic designs. The chair is made of leather and wood and features a reclining back and a built-in footrest. The design is stylish and functional, and countless other designers have copied it over the years.

The iconic Eames chair | Karen Culp on Shutterstock

This Eams chair is comfortable, stylish and well-made, and it remains one of the most popular chairs on the market today. This chair is a great choice if you're looking for an iconic design that will never go out of style.

Arne Jacobsen - Egg Chair

The Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair is one of the most iconic chairs ever designed. First introduced in 1958, the egg chair was ahead of its time in its form and function. Its innovative design was inspired by the shape of an egg, with a high back and curved base that provides a cocoon-like feeling of privacy and comfort.

Black and white blanket on yellow egg chair in grey baby bedroom
The always popular egg chair | Ground Picture on Shutterstock

The chair is also notable for its high back, which provides support and comfort. Today, the egg chair is considered a classic of mid-century modern design. It is featured in many museums and has been reproduced by many manufacturers.

Verner Panton - Stacking Chair

The Verner Panton Stacking Chair is one of the most iconic chairs ever designed. First introduced in 1967, Verner Panton's stacking chair was ahead of its time with its innovative design and cutting-edge materials.

The chair is made from a single piece of molded plastic, and its sleek, minimalist design is both functional and stylish. It is available in a variety of colors, which allows users to customize their chairs to match their style. The chair is also stackable, which makes it perfect for small spaces.

Knud Erik Hansen - The Shell Chair

The Shell Chair, designed by Knud Erik Hansen in 1963, was part of a wave of Scandinavian design that swept the world in the post-war period, and it remains popular today. The chair is characterized by its simple, organic shape and was ahead of its time.

the iconic shell chair facing the window
Simple, fashionable and ahead of its time | TashaSinchuk on Shutterstock

The chair consists of two curving pieces of plywood that are joined together at the top to form a shell-like shape. This design makes the chair lightweight and easy to transport. It is also both comfortable and stylish, and its simple design has made it a favorite among architects and design lovers.

Philippe Starck  - Ghost Chair

First designed in 2002, the Philippe Starck Ghost Chair is made from a single piece of clear polycarbonate plastic. Inspired by the classic Louis XIII chair, the Ghost Chair quickly became a symbol of modern design.

Simple, elegant and iconic ghost chair | PhotoMavenStock on Shutterstock

Today, the Ghost Chair is recognized as an international design icon and has been featured in numerous museums and collections. The chair has been produced in various colors. Still, the most popular is the clear version which gives the illusion that the person sitting in it is floating.

Iconic chairs in the Planner 5D catalog

As you can see, many iconic chairs have influenced the world of interior design. Want to add one of them to your home but are not convinced if it’s the right fit? Maybe you are not sure which chair is best for your home. Now, you can try them all before buying in Planner 5D. Try it today!

Try your favorite chair in Planner 5D

Need more inspiration? Check out some of the designs created by Planner 5D users with these iconic chairs.  

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