MoMA Just Gave This All-Time Favorite Mid-Century Chair a Makeover (and It’s for Sale)
The price tag is hefty, but the ideas are endless.
Published Jun 8, 2022 2:00 PM
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Through the 1950s and ’60s, Danish-born Verner Panton was no stranger to shaking up the furniture scene with his avant-garde approach and futuristic creations. More than 70 years later, his legacy endures with a rare reissue of his eponymous chair. The iconic S-shaped design (the first-ever one-piece cantilever plastic seat) was originally conceived in 1959 and is making a comeback thanks to Swiss manufacturer Vitra. The brand has worked closely with the Panton family to launch a set of five, limited-edition two-tone pieces now exclusively available through the MoMA Design Store.
As an homage to the late designer, the newly reimagined piece, dubbed the Panton Chair Duo, comes in a variety of contrasting color combos meant to be a nod to the creator’s 1970 Fantasy Landscape, a psychedelic exhibition of tunnels he brought to life with shades of blue and violet with glowing bits of red and orange. The set is available for preorder online for a cool $15,325. But if you don’t have a small fortune to purchase a piece of history, never fear: We can definitely draw inspiration from this arbiter of style. Here’s how you can bring this past-meets-present moment into your space.
Put Like-Minded Colors Together
We so often look across the color wheel when coming up with pairing ideas, but this revamp reminds us to consider shades that fall next to each other. The analogous combinations of pine green and purplish blue or pink and Panton’s classic red have us thinking up Technicolor themes for our walls, bedding, and even cabinets as we speak.
Take a Fresh Approach to Groovy Silhouettes
Panton’s chair isn’t the only mid-century furniture style making a comeback: Rattan sofas and mushroom-shaped pendant shades have made a resurgence as well. So go ahead and do like Vitra and give your favorite vintage find a glow-up, whether it’s with a dose of spray paint or some fresh fabric.
Mix (or Match!) With Your Table
You have two main options when choosing a dining table to go with über-retro chairs: Keep things cool and contemporary with a substantial marble or travertine surface (à la Nusaiba Ally) or commit to the theme with a classic Saarinen Tulip table. Hot tip: If you don’t have $15,000 to drop on the MoMA set, you can still snag these gravity-defying seats at marketplaces like Chairish and 1stDibs. Mid-century modern lovers, eat your heart out.