Mid Century Style Leather Office Chairs. A Buying Guide.

As working from home has become more prevalent since 2020 and the Covid pandemic, a comfortable yet stylish home office chair has become a necessity rather than a luxury.

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 spaces.

Mid century styles work equally well in modern or period properties and can enhance the room decor more so than a clunky or utilitarian chair .

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 usually have tilt, tension and height adjustment options usually.

There are 3 levers 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 Eames Aluminium Group of office chairs was a range designed by Eames in the 1950's. They are often referred to as EA with their relevant numbers: eg: 117 or 217 usually denotes low back and 217 or 219 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 and one that has a very distinct and sculputral profile. Cushions are thinner however than on the soft pad models.



The EA217 and EA219

Also in two versions, a high back (EA219), has three back cushions and a low back (EA217) with padded cushioned seats and back.

Again with the distinctive polished frame and a curved back. 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 so bear in mind that it may not give you neck support if you are taller.

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 ) 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.

Also popular for boardrooms and meeting rooms.

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. 

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. 2022

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