Buyers Guide to Aluminium Style Office Chairs

As working from home has become more prevalent since 2020 and the Covid pandemic, many of us are looking for comfortable yet stylish home office chairs. Something that has a pleasant aesthetic look will make a home office area look less 'office like' especially if it is an open plan space or shared with living areas.

There are vast amounts of office chairs available online from £50 to £700 plus, to suit all budgets. Very cheap chairs tend to have issues with wheels and castors breaking, plastics splitting and PU faux leather wearing quickly so it may be worth spending a little more on a decently made chair in a good quality upholstery that will age well and also last the daily grind.

Mid century style executive office chairs have tilt and height adjustment options usually.

There are 3 levers usually underneath the seat. One one side is a narrow lever that locks the tilt feature to either tilting or no tilt back.

One the other side is a paddle that works in tandem with the gas lift pole, so when pulled up, it adjusts the chair height to suit.

The oval shaped screw in component is the tilt/tension controller that you adjust by turning clockwise or anti-clockwise to loosen or tighten the tilt options. so, if you like a loosly tilting, rocking feel you can adjust to suit.

Chairs are usually on castors for rolling along, however, they can also be on 'glides' (ie. without castors with a fixed fitting to stand stationary) if preferred.

The original Aluminium group of executive office chairs was a range designed by Eames in the 1950's. They remain a classic look even today. They are often referred to as EA with their relevant numbers: eg: 17 usually denotes low back and 19 denotes high back cushions.

 EA117 and EA119 - this is a slim profile task chair with a horizontally ribbed design to the upholstery and a slender curved aluminium or black powder coated frame. Available in either a high back (119) or low back version (117), it has a gas lift height adjustment and the ability to adjust the back to allow a slight tilt or rock backwards or to remain locked in an upright position. A design that has remained uber-cool and fashionable over five decades. 



The EA217 and EA219 or 'soft pad' style. Also in two versions, a high back (219) and a low back (217) with padded cushioned seat and back. Again with the distinctive chrome polished arms. With height, swivel and tilt adjustment also. A very comfortable all day office chair design.


The Mesh chair is just that, a thin mesh fabric is stretched across the aluminium frame allowing good air-flow to the user and so is favoured by those working at highly concentrated tasks which involve long periods of sitting such as graphic designers.

The ES104 or 'lobby chair'. This was designed in 1960 for the lobby areas of the Times  Life offices at the Rockerfeller Centre in New York, thus the name, and it truly is a luxurious leather executive chair.

Large and chunky in design it needs a spacious room to show off its angular powerful lines to the full. It is wide but not as high a back as the EA 219 styles.

Flat aluminium plate arm rests with a leather armrest raised off the frame give it a distinctive look. A very sumptious executive chair and more suitable for larger  spaces.


Conference Style Chairs (EA108 and EA208 style) These tend to be swivel but without any gas lift so are not height adjustable and are a good choice for a slim home office chair if the fixed height works with a desk or table. Measure up your desk or table height first.

They are usually low back and coded as:

EA108 -  similar to the EA117/119 above with horizonal ribbed detail

EA208 - similar to the EA217/219 styles as above with padded seat and back cushion detail. 

Mid century styles work equally well with modern and period style properties and enhances the room or garden room decor rather than a clunky or more utilitarian home working chair .

You can view more on our range of mid century style office chairs at

If you've enjoyed this post you can might like to view our Buyers Guide to Eames Style Lounge Chairs also.

Copyright: Onske Interiors Ltd. 2020

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