All Articles, Finn Juhl, Mid-Century Modern Designers

Ten Great Designs by Finn Juhl

The Pelikan (Pelican) Chair. Here is a uniquely designed chair where the primary focus is on shape and color. The “free art” movement inspired Finn Juhl when he was creating this piece of furniture. The back of the chair is rounded and wavy in its appearance. The arms that are shaped like wings merge into the back of the chair, rather than act as a separate entity. Also merging into the back of the chair is the bottom section to provide a place to hold the seat cushion. The chair legs are thick, smooth, and rounded at the bottom to prevent scratching on wooden or linoleum floors. The rear legs lean back at an obtuse angle while the front legs stand upright if not slightly spread out.

The Chieftan Chair. This particular chair conveys a sense of power and respect. The back of the chair is notable for its leather cushion that is shaped like a shield. Usually, there are three or four buttons included in the central part of the back cushion. The seat rests on an apron that rises towards the center. The round, leather armrests curve up towards the front. Regarding the wooden frame, the structure is complex and unique. The stretchers on each side rise up from the back to the front, connecting each leg. The stiles curve alongside the shield-shaped leather cushion. Lastly, the back of the chair is held together by a singular, central rail creating an “H” shape when viewing the chair from behind.

The Poet Sofa. The shape of this sofa is a combination of rectangular and hexagonal when looking at it from the front. Much like the Pelikan Chair, the upholstery, arms, and base all merge together to form the shell of the sofa. A seat cushion can be placed on top of the base. The arms are very short and focus more on style than on comfort. Buttons decorate the back of the sofa. The thick, wooden legs all stand at an obtuse angle from one another and are rounded at the bottom to prevent the scratching of delicate surfaces.

The Japan Chair. Very minimalist in appearance, this chair is often accompanied by a matching ottoman. The seat and back cushions are flat and appear connected to form one, “L” shaped cushion. The seat also rises upward slightly, while the upper half leans towards the back. A teak wooden frame with a cylindrical rail holds this upholstery together with two small brass rods connecting the back cushion to the rail. The legs stand upright and are supported by three stretchers, two on each side and one in the front. Colors range from green to blue to yellow to grey to tan.

The Bwana Chair. Another Finn Juhl chair that includes a matching ottoman. The upholstery is a thin, mat-like cushion that wraps around the top rail. The seat cushion is located inside the upholstery. Two pommel armrests are draped on the chair’s arms and fall down against the seat. The upholstery is often leather, but has also been manufactured using a wool covering. A teak wooden frame completes the chair’s appearance. The front corners where the arms are located have circular “knobs” carved into the frame.

The Baker Sofa. The design for this sofa is very sleek and colorful. The top of the sofa is shaped like a flat ellipse where the ends curve inward towards the front. Completely separate from the top, the middle section has slightly sharper corners as well as a straighter outline, and a base to hold the seat. A seat cushion can be placed on the base. There’s also a wooden frame that includes four legs, with the rear legs rising to form a pair of stiles that hold the middle and top of the sofa in place. The top and the seat cushion are always the same, bright color, while the middle section is a darker, more contrasting color. Common color variations include: yellow and black, red and black, green and black, and white and black.

The Wall Sofa. Here is another sofa that is divided into two separate entities that comprise of the seat and the backrest. This sofa has a light blue upholstery and a dark blue sitting area. The upper section is elliptical and curved inwards, much like the Baker Sofa. However, it is also asymmetrical in appearance with the left end sloping down to form a small arm and the right side retaining a wide, winged presentation. Intended to be situated against a wall, the sofa has three rear legs made of lacquered steel that go up to form three spines to hold the top section in place, and loop at the bottom to form an anchor for the seat.

The Turning Tray. This is a rectangular laminated tray that is protected by a teak wooden frame. The central part of the tray is often one of five solid colors. These color variations include: kimono red, black, husky green, angel blue, and Alaska white. The trays come in three different sizes.

Westermann’s Fireplace Chair. This chair contains an “L” shaped leather upholstery that holds the seat cushion in place. The wooden frame is usually made of teak or walnut. The arms of the chair curve upward and have rounded corners. The apron also slants up towards the front for reclining. Small silver glides are attached to the bottom of each chair leg. Underneath the seat are two diagonal bars that cross to form an “X” and connect to the oppositely positioned chair leg.

The Diplomat Desk. A large teak wooden desk with a smooth top surface and five desk drawers that hang underneath. There are two drawers on the left side; one small drawer and one large drawer below the small drawer. The right side has three drawers that include one small drawer and two medium size drawers below the small drawer. Each drawer is equipped with a round, silver handle. A small keyhole can be found in the top right corner of the desk near the drawers. An open space between the drawers provides a comfortable workspace.