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August 17, 2022

For 80+ years, Knoll has been revolutionizing the furniture design industry through their modern, durable, and high-quality products.

Keep reading this article to learn more about Knoll, its unique history, and what makes their brand so authentic and popular.

History of Knoll

When was Knoll started?

Knoll was founded in 1938, and it offers different types of furniture for residential/personal environments and professional/office settings.


The company was established in New York City. Since then, it has grown to become a globally-present brand with customers from all over the world.

By who?

It was founded by Florence and Hans G. Knoll. Throughout the following decades, the company partnered and worked with renowned designers and architects that include David Rockwell, Don Chadwick, Barber Osgerby, and others.

The Bauhaus School and the Cranbrook Academy of Art strongly influenced and inspired Florence and Hans G. Knoll's furniture and residential/workplace environment designs.

What style of furniture does Knoll create?

Knoll's products have a Bauhaus-oriented modern style. The Bauhaus philosophy revolves around creating modern and contemporary furniture designs that complement (rather than compete with) architectural layouts.

Currently, the company works with contemporary designers who have the same principles and guiding ideas. In turn, they serve their clients by providing them with efficient, orderly, and joyful-looking furniture that's suitable for both office spaces and homes.

Overall and since its foundation, Knoll's two goals have been to attain timelessness and adaptability. The company has done so by bearing in mind that people's tastes and preferences will change and designing their products accordingly.

When did Knoll go public?

In 1983, General Felt Industries made Knoll a publicly-traded company. When its shares were initially offered for sale to the public, the firm raised $56 million.

Who owns Knoll now?

After reaching an agreement to pay $1.8 billion, Herman Miller completed its acquisition of Knoll in July 2021. The former is another design and furniture company that already had 19 subsidiaries and a globally-reputable brand.

Later that month, Knoll's stocks stopped being publicly traded under their own ticker (NYSE: KNL). Instead, those who were interested in Knoll could invest in the company through buying the shares of Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR). 

Knoll's shareholders received $11 in cash for each stock that they owned. The ones who preferred to keep their investments were able to convert their Knoll stocks to Herman Miller's.

With that being said, Knoll continued to market itself and offer furniture products under its own, retained brand.

Who are some popular Knoll chairs?

Here are a few of the most popular and highly-demanded chairs that Knoll sells:

Womb Chair with Ottoman

Thewomb chair is named after the comfort and calmness it provides, this chair's seat shell is made out of molded fiberglass that's covered with foam and can be enjoyed in various sitting positions, even more so alongside the ottoman.

The leather upholstery is customized based on the buyer's preference. It is available in Crossroads, Journey, Knoll Velvet, Acqua Leather, and other options. 

  • Size: The chair is 40" in width, 34" in depth, and 35.5" in height; the seat itself is 16" in height; the ottoman is 25.5" in width, 20" in depth, and 16" in height.
  • Price: $6,215

Barcelona Chair

The Barcelona Chair consists of 40 panels with urethane foam-filled cushions that are supported by 17 straps made from cowhide belting leather.

When it comes to the upholstery, Knoll's customers can choose between three types: Acqua, Sabrina, and Volo Leather. Each of them has multiple colors and patterns to pick from.

  • Size: 29.5" wide and 30" deep. The heights are 30.25" (the chair) and 17" (the seat).
  • Price: $7,412

Wassily Chair

This chair is suitable for several residential and recreational areas, including living rooms, guest areas, and by a window or patio. The Wassily Chair, originally designed after the shape of a bicycle, is a piece of furniture with a revolutionary story.

  • Size: The chair is 31" wide and 27" deep; the chair, seat, and arm heights are 28.75", 16.5", and 23", respectively.
  • Price: $3,310

Cesca Chair

Made to ensure that the user sits comfortably and flexibly, the seat and arm are manufactured with urethane foam over molded plywood. The Cesca Chair can be purchased armless, with arms, and with arms and a caned back.

  • Size: 23.5" in depth and 31.5" in height; the width is 18.5" for the armless chair and 23.5" for the types with arms; the chair's height is 17.75"; the arm height is 27".
  • Price: $665 (armless); $919 (with arms); $1,049 (with arms and caned back)

Bertoia Side Chair

Made from welded steel rods, this chair's seat pad is attached to the chair through snap buttons. It also comes with plastic glides for the base that prevent scratching and floor damage.

It is designed for both recreational and professional uses, and the colors of each of the frame and upholstery may be customized.

  • Size: 21.75" wide and 19.75" deep; the chair and arm heights are 28.75" and 17.75", respectively.
  • Price: $990

1966 Dining Chair (with Arms)

To allow for indoor and outdoor uses, this chair's makers designed it out of aluminum that can withstand harsh weather conditions and strong winds.

Not only are the woven vinyl coated polyester mesh ideal for staying cool during hot summer days, but buyers could also purchase this chair with pads, pillows, and outdoor covers.

  • Size: 23" wide and 24.25" deep; the heights are 31" (chair), 18" (seat), and 25" (arm).
  • Price: NA

Generation by Knoll

What makes this ergonomic chair unique is that its design and size dimensions are made to fit the buyer's professional use. Its seat may be moved backwards and forwards to adjust the depth by up to 3 inches while the back is flexible enough to bend over and support multiple sitting positions.

The sophisticated High Performance could be appropriate for those who work for long hours at their desks. This is because the product has height-adjustable armrests that pivot and move right/left and forward/backwards.

For a simpler (and lower-priced) design, the Height Adjustable option has still (but modifiable-in-height) armrests. 

  • Size: The chair is 28.5" in width and 26" in depth. The chair and seat heights are 39.35" to 44.5" and 16.5" to 21.75", respectively (depending on whether the low or high cylinder is purchased); the arm height is 22.75" to 32.5".
  • Price: $1,031 (Height Adjustable); $1,115 (High Performance)

Is Knoll a good brand?

Yes. Knoll's designs are unique, revolutionary, and, at the same time, joyful and cozy in offices and homes, alike. Just as importantly, the quality of their products and materials is world class and their furniture is very durable.

Above all, what makes Knoll a good brand is that it combines its distinctive designs and high-quality products with an authentic mission that its founders, investors, employees, and, of course, customers appreciate. 

Esti Cohen
Esti Cohen

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