The '70s Bean Bag Chair: For Serious Rec Room Lounging

By | November 7, 2018

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Bean bag chairs scanned from the Sears Catalog. Source: Pinterest

Bean bag chairs were standard furniture during the 1970s, and can still be found in many a rec room to this day. In the era of non-conformity, bean bag chairs conformed to each user allowing various positions of sitting and reclining. Let’s face it, in our groovy pads filled with cinder-block and wood plank shelving, re-purposed lawn furniture and other hand-me-downs, bean bag chairs were the most comfortable and stylish things we owned. Whether in our college dorms or basement apartments, we enjoyed hanging out in bean bag chairs ... not to mention, they were the perfect height for our milk crate end tables.

These casual furniture mainstays came on the scene in the late 1960s and early '70s. Made out of leather, and later, corduroy, denim and Naugahyde, they were filled with polystyrene beads or “beans.”  These cheap seats not only fit our bodies but our changing lifestyle as well. 

Bean Bag Chairs Were Designed By Italians

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Bean bag chairs were the brainchild of Italian designers Cesare Paolini, Piero Gatti, and Franco Teodoro. The Italian leather-clad "Sacco," as it was known, debuted in 1969 and was immediately dubbed, “appealing, comfortable and unique; Italian modernism at its best.” However, at that time, there was no market in Europe for the non-traditional chair, making the designers look to the U.S.A.