Born in Kansas in 1923, Milo Baughman studied Product and Architectural Design at the ArtCenter School in Los Angeles. After completing his studies, he went to work at the Frank Brothers furniture store as an interior and custom furniture designer.
He left Frank Brothers in 1947 to establish Milo Baughman Design Inc. In 1948 he helped create the California Modern collection for Glenn of California which included pieces by Greta Magnusson Grossman. These simple and understated designs, which were produced to order and made mostly from walnut, formica and wrought iron, helped to establish a Los Angeles style that became popular nationwide.
Although better known for his contributions to other companies, Baughman also ran his own custom design shop with Olga Lee in Los Angeles from 1951-1953. Alongside his furniture designs Lee produced wallpaper, hand printed fabrics, lamps and accessories, with this combination of products they began to offer their services as interior design consultants.
He was best known for the work he created for other companies including Thayer Coggin, Pace, John Stuart, Directional, Design Institute of America and Drexel. His simple, unpretentious furniture appealed to people looking for modern forward-thinking designs.