Modern Furniture, Lighting, and Home Accessories

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Knoll Classics

Knoll Classics features some of the most iconic designers in modern furniture. Learn all about a few of these remarkable collections.


From the late 1940s through the 1950s, Eero Saarinen designed many of the most recognizable Knoll pieces, including the Tulip Chair and Pedestal Table, the Womb Chair, and the Executive Seating Collection. His designs used modern materials in graceful ways, helping establish the identity of Knoll during their formative years. Today they contribute greatly to the Knoll Classics Collection.


Florence Knoll humbly referred to her furniture designs as "meat and potatoes" — filler between the standout pieces of Bertoia, Mies, and Saarinen. 65 years later her furniture is anything but filler. Her attention to detail, eye for proportion, and command of the modern aesthetic resulted in some of the most celebrated furniture of the modern era.


Jens Risom joined the Hans Knoll Furniture Company in the early 1940s as the sole designer of interiors and furniture. Working ingeniously within the constraints of wartime material shortages, Risom designed his eponymous collection of chairs and tables using essentially scraps of wood and rejected nylon straps from parachute production.


Renowned architect Mies van der Rohe mentored a young Florence Knoll while she was a student at Illinois Institute of Technology. Florence has always credited Mies as her most influential instructor and, in 1948, Mies granted Knoll exclusive rights to produce his furniture, including the Barcelona Collection and the Brno Chair.


Hans and Florence never demanded that Bertoia design furniture when they gave him a studio in an early Knoll factory. They simply asked that he show them if he arrived at something interesting. He arrived at something outstanding! Introduced in 1952, the Bertoia Collection remains one of the great achievements of modern design.


Originally introduced by Knoll in 1966, the Platner Collection infuses modernism with "the kind of decorative, gentle, graceful kind of design that appeared in period style, like Louis XV".


Marcel Breuer is seen as one of the forefathers of the energetic aesthetic of uninhibited experimentation combined with a high standard of artistry that the design industry enjoyed throughout the second half of the century. His marriage of traditional craftsmanship with industrial methods and materials helped make tubular steel furniture an international sensation and a modern institution.


When Florence Knoll moved to a seaside home in Florida, she began sending the design team rusty pieces of furniture and requested that they develop something that would perform in the salty climate. Richard Schultz's response was the aluminum Leisure Collection in 1966. It is regarded as the first collection of truly modern outdoor furniture.