Mid Century Modern Armchair

H. Lis Fox Coffee Table Medium 2
H. Lis Fox Coffee Table

As many of you will know, I’m a fan of the store Rose and Grey  which sells a mix of vintage and contemporary furniture and accessories. They recently opened a shop in Altrincham, which just proves it’s not all Londoncentric and today I wanted to show you their new chairs which you can order in a range of gorgeous colours including charcoal, olive, carbon, dark denim and sunflower.

The chairs appear instantly recognisable and you could be forgiven for assuming they were Danish and thinking no more of it. But they are, in fact, Polish. The one below was designed in 1962 by Josef Chierowski  and, according to Maciek Cyrprk, co-founder of 336 Concept, the company behind the reissue, were so ubiquitous that, at the time, you could find them in every home, office, coffee shop and restaurant in Poland.

Jozef Chierowski 366 Easy Chair Wool - four colours available
Jozef Chierowski 366 Easy Chair Wool – four colours available

As with so many of the best design stories, Josef had a lucky break. A fire destroyed a furniture factory in Świebodzice and there was an urgent need for simple furniture that could be quickly produced. Josef took advantage of the situation and came up with the 366 easy chair. The factory bosses admired its simple clean lines and it went into production.

During the next 20 years some 500,000 chairs were sold in the Eastern bloc – when communism ended in the 1980s most of the country’s state-owned factories went bankrupt and production ceased. But 336 Concept have revived the chair, along with other classic pieces of the period, and brought them back into production in Poland.

H. Lis Fox Easy Chair Wool - four colours available AND STOOL
H. Lis Fox Easy Chair Wool

They have stuck faithfully to the original designs and methods although the modern chairs are slightly larger – people are taller than they were in the 1960s. I’ll warrant they’re quite a bit heavier too but the new makers have diplomatically stayed away from that topic.

Now, enough of the history bit what about incorporating them into your home?  The reason they work so well is the wooden arms. If you have a sofa and two armchairs then that’s a lot of upholstered stuff (or stuffing literally) in one room. Add in the cushions and, in the UK, our houses tend to be smaller that those in the US, and it can all be a bit suffocating.

H. Lis Fox Rocking Chair Denim - six colours available 7
H. Lis Fox Rocking Chair Denim – six colours available

A chair with wooden arms immediately balances out the plushness of your sofa. The space underneath allows you to see more floor so you think the room is bigger and, crucially, get the right sort of arm and you can rest a gin and tonic on it. Vital that. They are also small so will fit into apartments or, in a larger room, you could have a pair facing the sofa or at either end of it creating a chatting area around a coffee table. In an open plan room you can put two with their back to the rest of the room to zone a sitting area and, because they are wooden, it won’t look like a wall.

Also,  note how some of these images have sheepskins draped over the chairs for added warmth and cosiness. That’s another trick you can do in the winter and then remove it in the summer to make everything feel a bit lighter.

mid century chairs from rose and grey

I have followed this principle in my own sitting room but my current armchair is a little more curvy. A little more French if you like. It doesn’t really fit in but we can’t get rid of it because it has a high back and tall legs and is the only chair that both sets of parents can sit in and get out of.

But these could work. Prices start at £650 for the chairs and there are also coffee tables and footstools as well. Check out the rest of the collection here 

wooden upholestered chairs from rose and grey

A final picture because they are so lovely and because, ooh panelling – I am exerting a subliminal force on The Mad Husband you see….. this chair below is the Aarhus in ecru and it’s £750. This might be perfect against the dark (non-panelled *cries* )walls of my sitting room.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 15.49.18
aarhus chair from rose and grey
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Very nice chairs. The last one in ecru is very nice with the curved wings and neutral covering.

  2. Absolutely love these chairs. Thanks for featuring. Also, I meant to post last week when you were gauging interest in design masterclasses. If you’re still in any doubt, the answer is YES PLEASE!!! Xx

  3. Ikea does an armchair that is very similar. It’s only in a pale grey so very recognisably ikea but the sheepskin idea / cushions help. It’s not as nice as these, but very reasonable …

  4. Love these chairs, and the amazing setting they’ve been shot in. Could you balance a cup of tea on the arms do you think or are they too slim/angled? Much as I know I shouldn’t be so slovenly, I do really like to keep my hot drinks close at hand…

    1. Hi Emily,

      We’ve just trialed this in our showroom and you definitely can balance your cup of tea on the arms of both styles. We used a big chunky mug for demonstration purposes!


      Emma at Rose & Grey

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