Most of us are becoming increasingly interested in buying furniture that looks great for a very long time yet fits well with modern lifestyles.
It’s partly about sustainability, partly down to a growing appreciation for good design and also that our homes are increasingly important to us, especially if we have been working from home in recent months.
Design classics are pieces that adapt well to any home, often combining strong shapes, excellent craftsmanship, outstanding functionality and innovation. For a piece to become an icon it has to have stood the test of time and been enjoyed and lauded, not only in the era it was created and popularised, but also for decades beyond that. They are timeless designs that work well in almost every setting.
Many of the most iconic furniture pieces were designed by architects who wanted the interiors of their building to echo the exterior. They wanted their design to be holistic and so created some of the most iconic furniture, particularly chairs. We’re all familiar with the Eames Lounger, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair, Philippe Starck’s Ghost chair or Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair, even if we don’t know the names of the designers who created them. Originals can cost many thousands of pounds, but there are contemporary versions which vary from faithful high end reproductions to cheaper copies in less expensive materials.
Many design icons originate from Denmark and Scandinavia in the mid-century period and still look fresh today. It’s really exciting to juxtapose a classic or iconic design into a modern interior. It adds integrity and interest into something which could be very ‘of the moment’. In many respects, retro has become the new contemporary in interior design.
When it comes to design classics, only buy pieces that you love. They will undoubtedly be more expensive, but they will last a lifetime and may even be passed down to future generations. Fleeting trend pieces should be kept to items that are more disposable like cushions or accessories that you can swap out easily.