Kjarerholm projected modern and functional furniture, which were complimented by its clean, smooth and elegant lines. He studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he would teach later on, between 1952 and 1956. Kjaerholm was a consulter and professor of the Furniture and projects department at the Academy of Art from 1957 to 1976.
Even though originally a cabinetmaker, he was one of the obstinate motivators of mass production. By doing so, he made himself different from his Danish colleagues due to the excessive use of steel instead of traditional wood. Nevertheless, many of his projects of seats were made out of natural materials such as canvas, leather and rope. Always inspired by the Bauhaus project, he later evolved his technique into the “PK popular 22”.
Throughout the 50’s decade, he projected numerous other versions, even in leather, and reached the elegance he is internationally renowned for. One of his last pieces was the Louisiana Chair in 1976, for the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Differently from other Danish designers at the time, his pieces of work were sparsely displayed in Copenhagen exhibitions, as he had been working with new materials rather than wood.
Although his work kept a close relationship with traditional techniques and natural types of wood, it was directed to the mass production and the Modern Movement. In 1958, Poul Kjaerholm was awarded the Lunning prize.