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Colonial Sofa
Iconic Designs

Colonial Sofa

About the Design

In 1964, Danish designer Ole Wanscher (1903–85) created for P. Jeppesens a successor to his popular 1949 Colonial chair that maintained its high quality of craftsmanship with a little extra room. The two-seater Colonial sofa, with its loose cushions on a cotton webbing base and elegant double center wooden legs, is an update on a nostalgic style that channels the functionality of Scandinavian mid-century design.


The son of an art historian, Wanscher was fascinated with the history and culture of furniture, having studied under design master Kaare Klint and traveled the world to explore different vernacular traditions. Although he adopted the minimal tenets of modernism, he did not believe in totally overlooking the past. He drew on influences from ancient Egypt and China as well as the Shaker and Viennese Secession movements. He also published extensively on this heritage — his books include The Art of Furniture: 5,000 Years of Furniture and Interiors.


Wanscher was especially drawn to 18th-century English furniture created by designers like cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale, who heavily inspired his Colonial series. Along with the chair and sofa, the series has a coffee table and footrest, all featuring the meticulous bracing that gives strength to their graceful designs. The Colonial sofa also shares the curved armrests that were a Wanscher signature. The refined two-seater was meant for the mass market yet manufactured to stand the test of time, both aesthetically and structurally. In 2015, Danish furniture company Carl Hansen & Søn reintroduced the sofa design as part of a relaunch of the whole Colonial series.


Wanscher Colonial Sofa

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OW149-2 Colonial Sofa in Walnut Oil by Ole Wanscher
By Carl Hansen & Søn, Ole Wanscher
Located in New York, NY
The OW149-2 Colonial sofa was designed by Ole Wanscher in 1964. Manufactured in very small quantities, the design was virtually unknown until Carl Hansen & Søn launched the entire Co...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Danish Modern Sofas

Materials

Walnut, Leather

OW149-2 Colonial Sofa in Oak Painted Black by Ole Wanscher
By Ole Wanscher, Carl Hansen & Søn
Located in New York, NY
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Danish Modern

Materials

Leather, Oak

OW149-2 Colonial Sofa in Oak White Oil by Ole Wanscher
By Ole Wanscher, Carl Hansen & Søn
Located in New York, NY
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Danish Modern

Materials

Leather, Oak

Colonial 2-Seat Sofa, Model OW149-2, by Ole Wanscher, 1960s
By P. Jeppesens Møbelfabrik, Ole Wanscher
Located in Lejre, DK
Colonial 2-seat sofa, model OW149-2, designed by Ole Wanscher in 1964 and manufactured by P. Jeppesen in the 1960s. The sofa is of rosewood with black leather cushions and is in grea...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Sofas

Materials

Leather, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Daybed
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Chicago, IL
Ole Wanscher daybed, stained beechwood, new cushion with great plains nubby fabric. Signed with stamped manufacturer's mark to each example: [FH]. Signed with paper manufacturer's l...
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Beech

Sofa “Colonial” Designed by Ole Wanscher for P. Jeppesen, Denmark, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Stockholm, SE
Brazilian rosewood and black leather.
Category

Vintage 1950s European Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Leather, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Colonial Sofa
By Poul Jeppesen, Ole Wanscher
Located in Paris, FR
Ole Wanscher Colonial sofa made of wood and cane. Danish work, circa 1970 marked by Poul Jeppesen. Danish Control label. Missing cushions.
Category

Vintage 1970s Danish Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Cane, Wood