Interior design classics: 12 of the best

This collection of 20th-century pieces is quirky and colourful but with a timeless elegance that will suit any space

Saarinen for Knoll 'Tulip' table with 'Nero Marquina' marble top
1

Bertoia for Knoll ‘Bird’ chair, £1,450, Fears and Kahn. 01949 851736; fearsandkahn.co.uk

Advertisement
2

Fornasetti ‘Tema e Variazione’ plate, £450, Holly Johnson. 01260 253110; hollyjohnsonantiques.com

3

Timo Sarpaneva for littala stacking decanters, £850, The Moderns. 07986 218446; themoderns.eu

4

Charles and Ray Eames ‘DWC’ chair, £1,950, Matt Mitchell. 07932 678410; 1stdibs.com

5

Stilnovo chandelier, £2,254, Philip Thomas. 07930 580545; 1stdibs.com

6

Achille Castiglioni for Flos ‘Arco’ floor lamp, £1,422, Design 55. 01422 375940; design55online.co.uk

7

Alvar Aalto ‘Aalto’ vase, £125, Amara. 0800 587 7645; amara.com

8

Arne Jacobsen ‘City Hall’ wall clock, £172, Cloudberry Living. 07780 693034; cloudberryliving.co.uk

9

Dorothee Becker for Vitra ‘Utwn silo’ wall organiser, £225, Aram Store. 020 7557 7557; aram.co.uk

10

Saarinen for Knoll ‘Tulip’ table with ‘Nero Marquina’ marble top, £7,140, Skandium. 020 7584 2066; skandium.com

11

Charles and Ray Eames for Vitra ‘Hang It All’ wall hooks, £214, John Lewis. 03456 049049; johnlewis.com

12

Ron Arad for Kartell ‘Bookworm’ shelf, £340, Barker & Stonehouse. 0333 355 9377; barkerandstonehouse.co.uk

Iconic, beautiful and timeless: there are several deciding factors in making a design a classic. They are pieces that stand alone thanks to their shape, material or craftsmanship meaning that across the decades they remain current and desirable regardless of the year they are created.

The 20th century is the period most associated with the term ‘design classic’. It was a time of enormous social and artistic upheaval. The changes that followed two world wars caused huge changes in aesthetic and, as a result, spawned some highly individual designs. With pieces characterised by stark simplicity and natural shapes – think Eames chairs, Louis Poulsen lights and Arco floor lamps – mid-century and post-war design lives on easily in the interiors of today.

Advertisement

Take a look through this gallery for a taste of both old and new 20th-century-inspired design pieces that will lend an iconic accent to your home.