Exploring Folke Ohlsson: A Mid-Century Modern Design Icon

by George Jr.

This week, I would like to take a moment to discuss the influential work of Swedish-born designer Folke Ohlsson (1919-2003), a renowned figure in mid-century modern design history. In the 1950's Folke moved from Sweden to the US to found the american branch of DUX and helped popularized Scandivanian design in the states. His early developments in "knock-down" furniture encapsulate the essence of Scandinavian mid-century modern style while pushing the boundaries of functionality and aesthetic appeal.
Green lounge chair designed by Folke Ohlsson for DUX

Folke Ohlsson's furniture is a testament to his design prowess and his partnership with the exceptional craftsmen and women at the Swedish furniture manufacturer Dux, where the majority of his work was produced. His chairs, in particular, feature a harmonious blend of clean lines, gentle curves, and quality materials that epitomize mid-century modern elegance. With their comfortable ergonomic forms and striking silhouettes, Ohlsson's lounge chairs, and sofas effortlessly combine form and function. We have been fortunate to come across several of his designs over the years, and currently, we have a couple of his "Profil" lounge chairs in the shop. One has been fully restored, while the other is awaiting restoration, along with a matching ottoman that our friend Tom at Post War Studio sourced for us. Thanks Tom!

Folke Ohlsson 3-seat sofa, newly reupholstered in off-white

Folke Ohlsson's design prowess extends beyond seating. His credenzas are highly sought after for their refined and understated forms that stand the test of time, and fit seamlessly with various design aesthetics. These beautifully crafted pieces feature clean lines, ample storage space, and carefully selected veneers that are both seductive but modest. One of the distinctive features of Folke Ohlsson's case-pieces is the softer and more organic pulls, as pictured below, which differentiate them from the similar half-moon pulls found on Kai Kristensen's work for HG. Whether used in a dining room, living room, or office, Ohlsson's credenzas, dressers, and sideboards add a touch of elegance and functionality to any space. Feast your eyes on this sideboard we are fortunate to have in the showroom right now! Here's a link to the sideboard pictured below

Folke Ohlsson teak sideboard designed for DUX
Folke Ohlsson's contributions to mid-century modern design are enduring, and his iconic designs continue to inspire designers and enthusiasts worldwide. We have only scratched the surface of his remarkable portfolio and the breadth of Ohlsson's work. These timeless pieces showcase Ohlsson's unwavering commitment to combining form and function, resulting in furniture that is visually stunning and highly practical. Thank you for taking a moment to appreciate the legacy of Folke Ohlsson with us.

Want to know more? I'll link a short video below from a Swedish couple I follow on YouTube who've put together a bunch of charming videos on the top designers of mid-century modern furniture. Scandinavian Design 101 is there channel name  Here's a video from them on Folke Ohlsson.