best of mid century armchairs

Best of mid-century style armchairs

I get quite a few messages asking me where I got my mid-century armchair in my living room from. It’s an eBay buy, one of those lucky finds that you come across so rarely. It was a bargain at about £150 and I had to fix the seat myself. It’s got such a clean, simple silhouette, inspired by Scandinavian modernism (there’s no date or label on it so I can’t be sure where it’s from) and it’s probably the comfiest seat in the house.

eBay can be a bit hit and miss, and it’s certainly a patient waiting game to find the right thing you’re looking for. But not every one has the time to scroll endlessly through sites sourcing vintage designs, nor know where to look beyond the obvious places online. So I thought I would do the hard work for you and compile together 10 of the best mid-century style armchairs out there.

before and after living room makeover - light grey walls - painted white floors
My favourite mid-century armchair, sourced from eBay, in my living room
before and after living room makeover - light grey walls - painted white floors - mid-century armchair
A classic, timeless shape

I’ve tried to cater for all budgets, there’s contemporary takes on mid-century chairs from high-street stores and more expensive, original designs from specialist vintage shops. They’re all, of course, of a similar style, with predominantly grey seats and gorgeous, tactile, wooden arms. Take your pick:

best of mid century armchairs
1: Mid-Century Armchair by Hartmut Lohmeyer for Wilkhahn, Pamono, £1,016, 2: Vintage chair, Vinterior, £400, 3: Velvet Kempton chair, Debenhams, £220.50, 4: H. Lis Fox Easy Chair Wool, Rose & Grey, £725, 5: 366 Concept Bunny Armchair Velvet Collection, tea and kate, £580, 6: Karina armchair, Swoon Editions, £429, 7: Bailey armchair, Swoon Editions, £449, 8: EKENÄSET in Isunda grey, IKEA, £150, 9: Aarhus Mid Century Armchair – Ecru, Rose & Grey, £750, 10: Pyla armchair, Maisons du Monde, £376.50

One design that catches my eye is the Bunny armchair, because I haven’t come across much Polish mid-century design before. It’s a re-edition by Polish brand 366 Concept of the classic chair type 300-177, which takes its name from the characteristic armrests shaped like a bunny’s ears. How cute is it?

Bunny Armchair, the most extravagant icon of Polish mid-century design. Reissued by 366 Concept in 2016.
Bunny Armchair, reissued by 366 Concept in 2016
H. Lis Fox Easy Chair Wool - four colours available - Rose & Grey
H. Lis Fox Easy Chair Wool, available in four colours from Rose & Grey

The armchair above is a lovely, classic shape; I love the little brass details. It’s also a revival of a classic by 366 Concept, this time the 300-190 Fox Easy Chair designed by H.Lis. Each piece is hand-finished by a team of specialists in Poland and is available in Bottle Green, Mustard, Grey Black and Sand, and denim and velvet.

My favourite, though, is Rose & Grey’s Aarhus armchair (below), I love the curved, cocooning back and the swooping armrests. It has a solid ash wood frame and also comes in grey.

Aarhus mid-century chair, Rose & Grey
Aarhus mid-century chair, Rose & Grey
Aarhus mid-century chair, Rose & Grey
Detail of the Aarhus mid-century chair, Rose & Grey

Do any of these catch your eye?

All images from respective brands. Top two images: Cate St Hill

  1. I love the look of mid century modern furniture. I want to buy mid century modern armchairs for my living room . All these armchairs are gorgeous. Its hard to choose one from these.

    • Thank you Diana, yes I would have trouble choosing too, I thought there wouldn’t be many options out there but the more I looked the more unusual pieces i found! x

  2. Such a lovely selection, I wish I come across this post earlier.
    I got a very similar armchair to the one you have (maybe they come from the same place?) and I randomly come across it on online reseller….Even if I was really worried about ordering a chair online I am very happy with it! (you can have a look here: https://ilovebeautifulthings.co/2017/02/13/the-perfect-armchair/ )
    xx
    S

    • It looks very similar to mine, it has the same indents at the back of the arms. I never knew where mine came from, there’s no label on it. What a lucky find! I love the light grey covers. xx

  3. I love these style of arm chairs, particularly the Rose & Grey one that you’ve chosen. It seems bizarre that they were the chair of choice in the staffroom of the school I went to oh so many years ago. I can’t still remember that smokey room. I think the tendency was for a dubious orange fabric back in the early 80s though. Your selection is far better 🙂

  4. What a beautiful selection. I love it that you have restored your own. Makes it even more special.

    • Thank you, it was a bit of a bodge job but I would love to sand back the wood one day and revarnish it in a lighter shade. x

  5. What a great selection. The Bunny chair is definitely my favourite. I love the arms.

  6. Gosh I love them all! The rose and grey one has caught my eye the most though. I don’t have any space for one at the moment but I’d like an original one when I get my extension – one day!

  7. oh what a glorious post ! I have been looking for the perfect chair for my living room for some time and your post has given me so much inspiration.
    LOVE the No 9 Rose and Grey chair. xx

    • Yay, I’m so glad!! Mid-century style chairs can always be quite hard to find, I searched for ages for mine so happy to know I’ve been of some help and inspiration! x

  8. Beautiful chairs. I have one similar from Laura Ashley. You did well to find that beauty on EBay. Love your living room x

  9. Thanks so much for featuring two of our chairs Cate! Lovely post!

    Emma,
    Rose & Grey

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