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The Ultimate Guide to Elbow Chairs:
Creative Design Ideas for Comfort and Style

The Ultimate Guide to Elbow Chairs: Creative Design Ideas for Comfort and Style

The CH20 Chair, commonly known as the Elbow Chair, perfectly   embodies the principles of Scandinavian design.  It’s simple, appealing, functional and made   from sustainable resources.  Hence the   Elbow Chair became an archetype of Nordic furniture.


The chair was designed by Hans J. Wegner – a legendary figure of   Danish modernism and a famous furniture designer who had a great passion for   chairs;  hence its nickname “the   master of the chair”.

The first prototype of the elbow chair was presented in 1956.  The chair’s minimalist appearance may lead   one to believe that it is relatively easy to make, which is very far from the   truth.  The Elbow Chair is further   proof that Hans J. Wegner was way ahead of his time when it came to the   design of wooden furniture.  The   sophisticated design of the elbow chair made it impossible to make more than   one prototype with the technology available in the 1950s.  The CH20 followed the same path as its   younger sibling, the CH07 Shell Chair, as almost half a century had passed   before it went into mass production.    The furniture company Carl Hansen & Son breathed new life into   Wegner’s creation and made it available in stores in 2005.


The design of the elbow chair has been reduced to the bare   essentials, making the shape of the chair very minimalist and pure.  The main purpose of the elbow chair was to   provide comfortable seating for eating.    The chair stands on four cylindrical wooden legs.  The front legs are slightly tapered at the   bottom and rounded at the top to avoid sharp corners.  The rear legs, which also serve as an   attachment for a backrest, are tapered at both ends.  The legs are spanned with curved wooden   slats that form a square base of the chair with concave   sides.

The base provides support for a curved seat shell that appears to   float above the legs.  It consists of   11-ply veneer laminate, which is molded into the desired shape.  A thin layer of cold foam on the top of the   seat shell gives the chair a more comfortable feel.  The seat is covered with fabric or supple   leather.  Perhaps the most distinctive   feature of the elbow chair is its famous backrest.  It’s steam bent from a solid piece of wood   into its characteristic rounded shape that sticks far enough and supports the   arms (hence the name of the chair).    Wegner’s intelligent design of the CH20 allows up to 4 chairs to be   stacked on top of each other, which increases the functionality of the chair.  However, longer periods of stacking can   deform the pads.  For this reason it is   not recommended.

The chair is available in different configurations of wooden   surfaces and upholstery options.