How to Set the Scene for these 10 Iconic Design Pieces
Keep these few simple rules in mind and these design classics will never look dated or out of place
The origin of the chesterfield is disputed, but this classic sofa with its rolled arms and buttoned sides fits perfectly with both contemporary and period architecture.Whether you go for classic leather or a more modern, brightly coloured velvet, treat it as the star of the show and place it in prime position, be that a window nook or snuggled close to the fireplace. The iconic shape is so recognisable it needs to extra embellishment, just a good location.
If it’s not positioned correctly, Achille Castiglioni’s vast, curving Arco floor lamp can look like an awkward giraffe in the middle of a room. To show it off at its best, tuck its marble base into a corner and allow its sweeping length to hug a particular section of your room.Here, the lamp’s shiny orb illuminates the sofa and coffee table, creating a more intimate area within the room.Find out more about the Arco lamp
Whether you opt for the traditional wood or the more contemporary coloured versions, these chairs by Hans J Wegner must be allowed to shine. While they look perfectly lovely grouped around a table in a matching colour, their standout beauty will be lost in the camouflage.Instead, choose a simple dining table in a contrasting material or hue. Here, these orange-framed chairs look striking around the simple white table.Browse 11 more ways with Hans J Wegner’s Wishbone chairs
As recognisable as Kate Moss, this cylindrical drum with its disappearing sliding doors is the perfect companion for the bedroom and bathroom. With its secret compartments perfectly designed for small, personal effects, it works well sitting next to a bath, topped with a sponge and candle or, as in this scheme, as a bedside table.
Magis’s classic swivel Bombo bar stool only hit the market in the late 1990s, yet its iconic rounded seat and disc-shaped base have already made it a design classic.In a residential environment, it’s most at home lined up along a kitchen island or breakfast bar. As here, it looks most effective when alongside at least two more of its friends.
With its single central support, Eero Saarinen’s dining table is designed to appear to float in midair. Don’t crowd it with bulky, upholstered chairs that would conceal its remarkable shape. Opt instead for chairs with fine supports, such as delicate Eames DSR Eiffel chairs or Saarinen Tulip chairs, as seen here.Read about another of Eero Saarinen’s classic designs, the Womb chair
Whether you go for the armed Louis or the armless Victoria – or a mix, as here – Philippe Starck’s barely there Ghost chairs should be the only pieces of transparent furniture in a room.Switching the table in this scheme for a transparent version, for instance, could veer towards overload. Instead, mixing these Ghost chairs with a solid wooden table ensures they look elegant and aren’t lost in the scheme.
Isamu Noguchi’s coffee table floats like a cloud on its sculptural base. To emphasise its timeless beauty without treating your living room to a retro design overload, mix it with furniture that crosses historic periods to allow it to shine.Here, Noguchi’s 1947 design sits elegantly in a Victorian living room, surrounded by period cornices and sash windows, late 20th century boxy sofas and midcentury modern-style bookcases.Discover the story behind Noguchi’s coffee table
With its glossy leather upholstery and smart walnut or cherry wood frame, this elegant chair must be treated like an interesting guest that holds the attention of a room. It’s a piece you’ll never cease to admire, and you’ll never tire of discussing its provenance.However, this handsome recliner works well as a solo item, so position it carefully and allow it space to breathe.Explore another Eames classic – the Plastic chair
There’s something quintessentially English about the Ercol Originals Love Seat. Like the indoor version of a (very pretty) park bench, it’s a place where anybody should be happy to sit and wait for something to happen. Consequently, it’s very at home on a landing under a window looking out onto the street below or, as here, in a hallway.