The Iconic Florence Knoll Sofa

The Florence Knoll Sofa is a modern classic. Designed by Florence Knoll Bassett in 1954, this iconic piece of furniture has become a staple of mid-century modern design.

Florence Knoll sofa living room design 1stdibs

The sofa was originally designed to be used in the retailer Knoll’s office furniture showroom.

Believe it or not, this sofa was meant to be a background piece, something that was paired with the more iconic furniture pieces of the time. A side dish to supplement the main course, if you will.

But the sofa that was meant to be a blank canvas for more important furniture, grew into an icon in and of itself!

The sofa featured a streamlined design with straight lines, a low-profile, and a tufted back. Its style was clearly inspired by modernist architecture and the Bauhaus movement, but it easily stood on its own feet as simply iconic.

Classic brown Florence Knoll Sofa 1954

The Florence Knoll Sofa was a surprise success. It quickly became popular with interior designers and architects, who appreciated its clean lines and modern aesthetic.

Customers and furniture collectors admired its simplicity and function. Soon enough, it became a favorite among celebrities and public figures.

Today, the Florence Knoll Sofa is still a popular design choice. It is made in various sizes and colors, and its influence can be seen in many modern furniture designs. The sofa is a testament to Florence Knoll Bassett’s timeless design style, and it has remained a classic for more than sixty years.

Florence Knoll

Florence Knoll (1917-2019) was an American architect and designer who is widely considered one of the most influential figures in modern furniture design. She studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and later worked for Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

In 1946, she founded Knoll Associates, a furniture and interiors company, with her husband Hans Knoll. Knoll is renowned for her minimalist, modern style and for introducing the “Knoll Look.” She also designed many iconic products, such as the Barcelona Chair and the Florence Knoll Sofa.

Her designs have been used in numerous iconic buildings, including the Seagram Building and the United Nations Headquarters.

Knoll was awarded numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art, a gold medal from the American Institute of Architects, and the National Medal of the Arts.

She is remembered as one of the most important figures in modern furniture design, and her legacy continues to influence design today.


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