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Top Mid-Century Modern Furniture Designers To Know

Shopping for Mid-Century Modern furniture can be confusing. Unless you’re knowledgeable about the history of this style, trying to remember the names of designers, what pieces they made, and why they’re worth the splurge will probably bring you headaches and frustration. To spare you the time and effort, we’ve created a list of the most reputable, renowned designers of the Mid-Century era that are an absolute must-buy for your home.

1. Charles and Ray Eames

Husband and wife Charles and Ray Eames represent the epitome of mid-mod style. Working tireless thirteen hour days at the Eames Office, the couple gained success in making film, fine art, toys, textiles and of course, furniture. Charles and Ray teamed up with Herman Miller which grew their business tremendously. The two have been most famously praised for their Eames lounge chair and ottoman which was introduced in 1956 and has remained on of their top selling items. Another timeless best seller of Eames’ collection are the Eames shell chairs which can be swapped in and out to fit any wire frame. Either of these Mid-Century Modern pieces will surely add a sleek, sophisticated element to your home or office.

2. Adrian Pearsall

Following Pearsall’s service in World War II, he attended the University of Illinois where, like many other mid-century modern furniture designers, he began studying architecture. Finding himself unfulfilled in the field of architecture, he began designing furniture out of a factory in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and selling it to large department stores in New York and even right here in Philadelphia. Pearsall was well-known for high end furniture at an affordable price. His contributions to the furniture industry are still highly celebrated today. In 2008, he was nominated to join the American Hall of Fame. With that being said, any piece with Pearsall’s name on it will not disappoint. His pieces are not only uniquely sophisticated, but they will also withstand the test of time.

3. Florence Knoll

Florence Schust grew up attending a girls’ school across from the Cranbrook Academy of Art where she would eventually study under Eiel Saarinen, a major contributor to early 20th century architecture. Later, after moving to New York, Florence married Hans Knoll another up-and-coming furniture designer at the time. The two took the interior design world by storm, designing the offices of large corporations such as IBM, GM, and CBS. Knoll referred to her key furniture pieces as the “meat and potatoes” of a room and that is exactly right. From the Knoll sofa to the lounge chair to any one of her tables, these pieces are vital in any space and leave room for creative freedom in decor options.

4.Marcel Breuer

One of the most influential architects at the peak of the 20th century, Marcel Breuer took to the furniture industry when his business in architecture slowed down. Despite his passion for furniture coming secondary to his passion for architecture, the quality of his pieces shows that he used an equal amount of precision and attention to detail in creating furniture as he did buildings. Breuer is most well-known for his tubular steel furniture that was inspired by bicycle handlebars. Breuer differentiated his signature steel design by pairing the chrome base with various materials from leather to cane. Because of this, Breuer’s furniture can be used in many settings and yield a myriad of styling options.