Featured image credits: Plastolux and Michael Haverland

Eero Saarinen’s greatest creation is truly a gift to mankind. Initially created for Florence Knoll, the Womb chair was a quick success following its 1948 first appearance. Saarinen was a close friend of Knoll, who was also acquainted with his father. She wanted a chair that was “like a basket full of pillows,” something that she could really “curl up in.”

Saarinen’s Womb chair was created to fulfill her desire, but also to provide people with a resting spot like no other.

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We have realized that most people believe that the Womb chair is a lot more recent than it actually is. Think about it for a second: what comes to your mind when you think about the 1950s? There are some folks that are very impressed at the fact that the Barcelona chair is from 1929, but that’s another story. The point we’re trying to make is that the Womb chair exudes a certain feeling of timelessness, which makes it great for contemporary spaces.

Keeping it simple and calm

The idea of comfort behind the Womb chair works great with spaces that follow a minimalist aesthetic. In that sense, the less cluttered your space, the more your Womb chair will shine. Choosing a grey or blueish Womb chair might be desirable for those types of spaces as well.

Mid-century modern living room with a Womb chair on the right. You can appreciate the flat lower back that gives the lounge chair its natural recline. Credits to Esteban on Flickr.

Eero Saarinen loved the color red, and the original Womb chair is mostly depicted in this tone. However, going a little mild in regards to color will do wonders for your living room or bedroom if you choose to include this lounge chair.

Getting a great replica, if you’re not buying original, is a must, so here’s what you must do. The original design is a little more geometric than most people think: make sure that your Womb chair has a flat portion on the lower back, and that the frame is not directly integrated into the seat (something we’ve seen in many bad replicas).

There should also be a natural reclining angle that allows you to comfortably lay backward enough to feel like you’re about to go to bed.

Using the Womb chair as an accent (just the way it should be)

You might be tempted to buy more than one and use them as complements to an already existing furniture setup, but the Womb chair was created to be the star of the show. Just like the Eames Lounge chair or the Noguchi table, it’s better to let it shine instead of driving attention away from it.

However, mid-century modernism allows you to mix-and-match with enough freedom to decide how you want to accentuate. For some people, the Womb chair works much better as a background piece.

A Tulip table, Grasshopper chair, and Womb chair. All of them Saarinen.
Credit: Joe Wolf on Flickr.

Keeping a great Womb chair replica around is also a matter of usage: you shouldn’t have it entirely as a decorative piece. You’d be surprised at how many people get one just for the sake of having a mid-century modern icon in their homes. We don’t really need to explain why this is a bad move: this is one of the most organically comfortable lounge chairs ever designed. I mean, come on…

Relax and enjoy yourself

Allow yourself to be surrounded by the Womb chair, and only use it when you really need to unwind. Make the most out of it by putting it somewhere you’ll know you can rest. Somewhere away from windows and noises. The Womb chair, as we mentioned, is a bedroom favorite, so definitely go that way if you have the necessary free space.