Lilla Åland chairs designed by Carl Malmsten

Lilla Åland chair by Carl Malmsten for Stolab

Dezeen Showroom: Swedish solid-wood furniture brand Stolab is celebrating 80 years of its Lilla Åland chair, designed by mid-century designer and architect Carl Malmsten.

To mark the anniversary, Stolab has released a limited edition run of 2,022 Lilla Åland chairs coated in smoked oak oil.

Stained oak Lilla Åland chair
A smoked oak oil edition has been released to celebrate the anniversary

The Windsor-style chair has been produced in the same factory in Smålandsstenar continuously since it was first released in 1942.

According to Stolab, Malmsten got the idea for the design during a visit to the medieval Finström Church on the Finnish island territory of Åland.

Lilla Åland chairs by Stolab
The chair has been in constant production since 1942

"Carl Malmsten was inspired by a visit to the Finström Church on Åland in 1938, which contained a number of stick-back chairs lined up," said the brand.

"He drew them and after a few of his own adjustments and additions, typical of his own style, serial production at Stolab began."

Lilla Åland designed by Carl Malmsten
Malmsten's design was informed by the furniture in a medieval church

Creating smoked oak for the chairs normally requires ammonia, but for the special edition version, Stolab used a more sustainable process that instead uses a warm dark stain covered with a low aromatic oil.

As part of Stolab's celebration of the Lilla Åland's 80th birthday, the brand has teamed up with Dezeen to produce a three-part video series called Stolab Stories.

Product: Lilla Åland Chair
Designer: Carl Malmsten
Brand: Stolab
Contact: [email protected]

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Smoke stained oak Lilla Åland chair