A modern classic, plain and simple

Introduced in 1956, the Coconut Lounge Chair is one artifact of the burst of creativity issued from George Nelson’s design studio, that bustling cadre of designer talent who changed the look and feel of modern American furniture in the mid-20th century.

Three Nelson Coconut Lounge chairs facing forward and placed side by side. The left chair is dark grey, the middle black and white checkerboard and right is yellow.

Coconut is just one of a number of eye-catching designs that came out of the studio while he was Herman Miller’s director of design. Alongside the Marshmallow Sofa and the first L-shaped desk (what we’d call a workstation today), the Coconut Chair stands out as a modern classic, plain and simple.

A vintage advertisement for the Nelson Coconut Lounge Chair featuring a black an white image of the chair with an overlay of energetic orange graphics.

Advertisement designed by Irving Harper and Don Ervin for George Nelson Associates, 1956.

A Nelson Coconut Lounge Chair in a yellow Mode fabric viewed from a 45-degree angle.

Its three-point triangular cushion evokes a chunk of coconut—Nelson said that it looked like one of eight slices of a whole coconut. The third corner—the one that forms the backrest—is just slightly longer than the two on the sides. That's where the comfort comes from.

This Nelson Coconut Chair we produce today remains true to Nelson’s original design, but we’ve updated the material to a new, more sustainable polymer shell and expanded your available upholstery options.

Two Nelson Coconut Lounge chairs facing each other. The left dark grey chair at a 45-degree angle, and the right black and white checkerboard chair is in profile.

“Total design is nothing more or less than a process of relating everything to everything.”

More about George Nelson

Product Designer George Nelson