The Cherner Chair Story

The Cherner Chair… one of my first Mid-Century Modern (MCM) loves. Everything about it makes me stop and gaze.



But did you know there was controversy behind this one, too?

The story actually makes me feel protective of the Cherner Chair…

If you see this chair identified as Plycraft’s Rockwell chair, that’s because of this Norman Rockwell illustration.


Which was featured on the front page of the Saturday Evening Post, September 1961.

The painting is not the problem. In fact, it’s kind of fun… but then that’s the nature of Rockwell’s work. No, it’s the fact that the Cherner Chair is sometimes referred to as the Plycraft Chair.

Without getting into the long details (read them here), the short version is that Norman Cherner had been hired by Plycraft’s Paul Goldman to design a sturdier version of George Nelson and team’s Pretzel Chair. It was Nelson’s recommendation that Cherner and Goldman collaborate…

When Cherner presented Goldman with his design he was told the project was scrapped. Lo and behold, six months later, Cherner saw the chair on a showroom floor for sale! The label indicated the chair was from Plycraft with the design attributed to “Bernardo”. Cherner sued Plycraft and won… And, Goldman admitted that Bernardo was a fictitious name. Seriously!

In the end Plycraft was still legally allowed to produce the Cherner Chair, but had to pay Cherner royalties and give him proper credit. If you see the Cherner Chair identified as the Plycraft Chair, or the Plycraft Rockwell Chair, this is how that came to be… but not the way it needs to be.

Isn’t this a great space?


There’s always a story behind every piece!

But here’s another story that’s a bit more amusing, and certainly illustrates a stroke of luck.

Notice the Cherner Chairs?


Well they were found sitting beside a dumpster by this gentleman, Chris Gulley. Yes, that’s right. A dumpster! Can you imagine? And they have been verified as authentic 1958 Cherner Chairs. And just to put perspective on the dollar value of this lucky discovery, a Cherner reproduction is worth upwards of $1000. So an authentic Cherner… well, you do the math!

Unmistakable, shapely, and innovative…

Do you see the Cherner chair a little differently now?


Isn’t it amazing how powerful a story can be? Thank you Norman Cherner for such a gorgeous design!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Photograph source linked below each photograph.

Plywood: Shapely & Curvaceous

Shapely and Curvaceous. Really?

When you think of uses for plywood, generally framing and construction come to mind. But would you think of furniture?

One of the latest trends is really a revival of something from the past. Think Eames lounge chair, or molded plywood chairs.

Do these look familiar?

You may have seen this next chair showcased on the Lonny blog… it’s the Cherner chair armchair.

Isn’t the shape just stunning? Curvaceous and elegant. I would SO put this chair in my office!

I love the description tagged with this next shapely piece designed by Eric Pfeiffer

A truly chic magazine stand that’s molded and folded to keep your favorite magazines close at hand! What more needs to be said?

Or how about this ‘Big (O)Val’  table extraordinaire designed by Adam Fitzgerald?

Part of the Jackson Street collection, this table standing alone makes a statement. Can you imagine its impact once dressed and placed?

Then there’s the Ionic Bench designed by Laurie Beckerman. Truly, this is a masterpiece.

The lines are simply gorgeous. Would you dare to sit?

And with all great design, there’s always a piece to contemplate…

Minimalist and modern, I’ll leave you with the AP Stool designed by Shin Azumi for Lapalma to ponder…

Remember, all these pieces are made from plywood.

Plywood is a structural material that is made of layers of wood glued together, usually with the grains of adjoining layers at right angles to each other. As Popular Science puts it, think a layercake of lumber and glue! Hmmm, or is that Mmmmm?

Wouldn’t you say these molded pieces are simply amazing?

I would have to agree. They are all so incredible. And every incredible space that sets itself apart has something unique to share.

Would you feature a molded plywood piece in your space? Do you already own one? Care to share?

If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!


Thumbnail Feature Image

Eames Moulded Plywood Chairs

Cherner Chair Armchair

Eric Pfeiffer Magazine Rack

Oval Table – Jackson Street Collection

Laurie Beckerman Ionic Bench

Shin Azumi AP Stool

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