Iconic Furniture Pieces that add Elegance to your Modern Home

For many decor lovers, the quest for timeless home furnishings can be a challenging task, mostly because when it comes to investing in the right furniture, most of them do not want one that will be out of fashion next season. Instead, they opt for iconic pieces that will never go out of style because they want their home decor project to stand the test of time. These designs are usually considered ‘groundbreaking,’ set new standards, and become a benchmark for similar products. But maybe most importantly, iconic furniture pieces retain their value and, therefore, are an investment just like artwork.

Now, you might think your current decor style does not allow you to incorporate exquisite furniture pieces without making significant interventions. Yet, the truth is quite the opposite. If you find yourself being enthusiastic about a specific piece of furniture that is elegant and timeless, you are not bound to completely redecorate to include this item with your existing modern decor. Interior designers agree that whether it is done out of necessity or for an eclectic flair, mixing, matching and coordinating furniture pieces can bring a sense of style, uniqueness, and cohesion in a home. That said, the iconic pieces of decor and furniture can blend in with any theme of interior design and add sophistication to any room. All things considered, let us give you a list of what we think are the most iconic furniture design pieces of all time.

Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise Longue

The Bauhaus classic – the LC4 Chaise Lounge, was designed in 1928 by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand. Created in shape to guarantee relaxation, this chair was made when the three designers teamed together and decided to put man at the center of their design. Based on the idea that form and function should be at the service of relaxation, they created a perfect balance by incorporating geometric purity and ergonomic intent in one furniture piece. The stability of the frame in any angle of inclination is guaranteed by the friction through rubber tubes that cover the base’s crossbar. The original LC4 is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Still, you can opt for purchasing le Corbusier chair identical to the original and enjoy the ergonomic design of this “art piece” every day.

The Wassily Chair

One of the most interesting pieces, the Wassily Chair, also known as the Model B3 Chair, was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925-1926 while he was the head of the cabinet-making workshop at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. Made of leather and cantilevered steel, it was inspired by the sleek and functional body of a bicycle. The tubular steel frame, preferred because of its lightness, has only two legs instead of the traditional four. The Wassily chair has become one of the world’s most lasting and epochal pieces of furniture. It received an Award of the Museum of Modern Art in 1968, and in 1982, was recognized as a “Piece of Art.”

The Arco Floor Lamp

The famous Arco Floor Lamp with its elegant marble base, adjustable arc, and swiveling shade for precise lighting control was designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for the Italian manufacturer Flos. Its light source is almost 7 feet away from the base, which makes it perfect for illuminating a dining table or large sofa from above. Clearly exhibiting “form follows function,” this lamp is a staple to modern design that rightly holds a spot in the permanent collection at MoMA.

The Noguchi Table

The contemporary and sleek Noguchi coffee table is a piece of modernist furniture first produced in the mid-20th century. It was introduced by Herman Miller in 1947 and designed in the United States by Japanese American artist and industrial designer Isamu Noguchi. At its launch, it was described as “sculpture for use,” a table that looks like a piece of art but still performs a functional part in a home. The iconic but straightforward design consists of a wooden base composed of two identical curved wood pieces and a heavy plate glass top without connectors. This piece of furniture clearly displays Noguchi’s biomorphic style, and most definitely can be the crowning item of any elegant living room.

The Barcelona Chair

The Barcelona Chair was designed by the cutting-edge talents Mies van der Rohe, an architect and Lilly Riech, modernist designer. It was revealed at the Barcelona International Exposition of 1929. This famous piece of furniture clearly shows Mies’s style – deceptively simple with clean lines. The Barcelona chair was designed for the Spanish Royalty, making it an exception from the intent on providing well-designed homes and impeccably manufactured furnishings for the “common man.”

The Florence Knoll Sofa

Florence Knoll is best known as the Knoll furniture company’s design director, taken on from her husband, Hans Knoll, in 1955. The company worked with Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen to create some of the iconic designs that we still see in modern homes today. Florence was creative director at the time, but her own designs, like the Florence Knoll Sofa, were iconic pieces in their own right. Her appreciation of square geometry, steel, a mix of textiles, and a clean form makes her pieces still look modern and fresh. Her lounge collection, designed in 1954, is a prime example of her aesthetic sensibilities, leading the sofa to become one of the most timeless furniture of the 20th century.

The Bertoia Diamond Chair

In 1952, designer and sculptor Harry Bertoia found inspiration in an industrial material, turning it into a work of art that we still consider one of the most famous chairs in history. By transforming the usually angular metallic material into a rounded, almost cocoon-like shape, Bertoia gave the chair a most unique appearance, loved to this day.

The Nelson Platform Bench

Designed in 1946 by George Nelson, this bench with its clean, rectilinear lines is a precursor to modern-day furniture. It was intended to serve as a high base for deep and shallow cases, but it can also serve as a low table for extra seating. The Nelsons’ Platform Bench has an “honest design,” shorn of any frills and fancy, putting all the focus on its purpose- to provide seat and surface, in equal measures. It was initially available with a natural birch top and ebonized base or with both ebonized top and bottom. Due to its simple design and versatility, it fits perfectly in the living room, bedroom, leisure area, and dressing room.

Final thoughts

Though iconic pieces of furniture might seem like an extravagant expense, let us assure you that they will prove to be a safe investment over time. High-quality furniture can give you years of excellent service if properly maintained. Furthermore, these (and many more) modernist, brilliantly simple, stackable, and comfortable furniture pieces wear today the staple “piece of art”- thus buying one of them is undoubtedly a purchase that will last a lifetime and will never go out of style.

Photography courtesy of: Phghvvcftyyufj, Mohd Hatta Ismail, Mocka NZ

- by Matt Watts

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