Mid Century Chair Features and How To Make the Most of Them

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

A unique and specific set of characteristics defines mid century modern furniture. Learning more about them can help you incorporate mid century dining chairs into your home’s style.

Features of Mid Century Modern Chairs

Mid century modern chairs tend to have a clean, classic look that blends well with abstract designs and bright colors. Some of their classic characteristics include:

  • Warm wood tones, such as mahogany or walnut
  • Chrome, aluminum, and black metal accents accents
  • Tapered or peg legs
  • Woven, wood, or upholstered seats

Patterns and upholstery

Mid-century chairs often feature bold geometric patterns combined with colorful textiles that combine traditional elements with modern designs. Many of these pieces also feature contrasting leather upholstery to add a luxurious touch.

Iconic mid-century chair examples

1. Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman: This iconic piece was designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1956, with elements of molded plywood, leather upholstery, andonomic design. It is renowned its modern aesthetic, timeless appeal, and unparalleled comfort.

2. Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen: This iconic piece was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 and features a sculptural form with organic curves and a swivel function. It is a perfect statement piece as well as a flexible seating option that offers privacy when desired.

Things You Won’t See

There are also some things you won’t find when shopping for mid century dining chairs, such as:

  • Ornate designs
  • Carved wood

How To Make the Most of Mid Century Dining Chairs

Keeping these points and the furniture’s classic style in mind can help you select chairs that fit the style and match the rest of your home decor.

Choose Bold Abstract Patterns To Accentuate the Style’s Clean Lines

Unlike many other furniture styles, mid century dining chairs pair exceptionally well with bold patterns and abstract artwork. So go ahead and cover the dining room walls with fun patterned wallpaper, or, if you prefer less of a commitment, add a few bold paintings to plain walls.

Another excellent idea is to add a bright patterned area rug under your table. Choose colors that work well with the walls and your new mid century dining chairs for a cohesive effect.

Use Bright Colors To Complement Warm Wood Tones

Another popular element of the style is that it works well with bright colors. The clean lines and warm colors will not get overwhelmed by bright colors such as teal, pink, and red. Warm colors, like avocado and green, mustard, and gold, are a few additional choices that work well.

Keep Metals Polished for a Classic Look

Many mid century furniture pieces have metal accents. While sometimes painted black, they are often bright chrome or aluminum. Keeping the metal surfaces polished helps them stand out as the classic design feature they are.

You can use plain dish soap and water to clean chrome or dilute white vinegar with water for a more effective solution if the furniture is particularly dirty. Gently rub the cleaner on metal surfaces using a soft cloth or rag to avoid scratches.

Maximize Natural Light

Numerous reasons exist to add natural light to your interior spaces. According to the Design Institute of San Diego, daylight coordinates well with circadian rhythms, boosts performance, and improves energy efficiency. It also is an excellent way to shape the space around mid century modern design principles. For example, consider bathing your dining room in light from a large window to add a clean and pleasing aesthetic to the table and mid century dining chairs.

Shop Mid Century Dining Furniture

Poly & Bark knows a thing or two about mid century furniture design. They carry an excellent variety of mid century dining chairs, so you are sure to find one that fits your lifestyle and home design.


Q1. What materials are mid-century chairs typically made from?

A1. Most mid-century chairs are constructed out of molded plywood, fiberglass, metal, and plastic. Natural materials such as teak, walnut, and oak can be used to add an organic touch.

Q2. What are some iconic mid-century chair examples?

A2. Some iconic mid-century chair examples include the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen, Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, and Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe.

Q3. What decorating tips should I consider when incorporating mid-century chairs into my space?

A3. Consider incorporating a mix of vintage and modern pieces, adding pops of color through upholstery and accents, and aiming for a balance between open spaces and welcoming seating areas. Additionally, consider selecting other mid-century modern pieces for a cohesive look.

Q4. What are the benefits of decorating with mid-century chairs?

A4. Decorating with mid-century chairs offers timeless appeal, versatility in design and placement, and contributes to a comfortable, stylish, and functional living or working environment.  Additionally, it can help to create focal points in spaces such as living rooms or offices. Mid-century chairs can also be easily paired with different furniture pieces to create an eclectic, modern look.