Good design works in and out of context. This is what makes it good design: its ability to adapt to or even improve a variety of spaces. A well-placed iconic piece of design is as good as an masterwork of art at completing and enhancing a room. Used in both juxtaposing and complementary ways, take a look at some design icons out in the wild.
Saarinen Round Dining Table by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
Modern meets classic. The Saarinen Round Dining Table’s crisp white finish pops against the muted, rich tones of the architecture surrounding it. The design gives purpose to some of the more contemporary pieces within the space and ties the dining space together nicely.
FL/Y Pendant Light by Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell
Sometimes the eye needs a rest. This sumptuous bath space is highlighted with green and gold, but what truly grabs the gaze is the oversized–almost moon-like–FL/Y Pendant. The white finish and classic lines also complement the bathtub, making that feel more at home as well.
Eames Molded Plastic Rocker Chair by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller
Even more casual pieces can complete a space. The monochrome effect of the space is refined and elevated with the addition of the classic Eames Molded Plastic Rocker Chair. Both practical as a space to drop items or tie your shoes, the chair also serves the cache of the room without seeming out of place.
Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer by Philippe Starck for Alessi
Good design can even transcend function. So striking, the kitchen counter does not do it justice, the Juicy Salif juicer adds serious design credentials to this modern space. While this is a deeply practical piece, you cannot deny the striking pose it makes anywhere it is placed.
Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll
Complete a modern space. This icon of modern design is a perfect complement to the vibrant canvases and pebble ottoman. The Barcelona Chair‘s sweeping, elegant legs counter the low slung bed, giving some context to the furniture and red artwork against the tall, crisp white walls.
AJ Floor Lamp by Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen
Pop of design. This is an elegant way to break a fairly monochrome space while highlighting the saturated colors in the artwork. The slim profile and passionate color of the AJ Floor Lamp add a touch of reserved flair without overwhelming or seeming out of place.
Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller
Strong spaces require strong iconic pieces. To build a space like this and not use the best of design would be a crime. The well selected veneer on the back of this Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman pulls up the rich finish of the floor against the glass walls that open up to the canopy of trees that surround. Definitely a strong piece for a strong space.
Retro Bullet Planter from Hip Haven
Matching monochrome. This white and warm space is highlighted with the graphic quality of the Retro Bullet Planter‘s black stand and rich foliage. The arrangement adds interest and vintage flair to what would have been just an empty corner.
Grand Repos Chair by Antonio Citterio for Vitra
The perfect spot. Sometimes an iconic piece is the only thing that makes sense in a space. The Grand Repos Chair sits in this living room like its the only thing that could ever be there, gently inviting you to come and stay awhile. While this is surrounded by other designs, some icons on their own, in this space, the chair is the star.
Panton Chair by Verner Panton for Vitra
Finally, in some cases, design icons can actually be what makes a space feel more modern. In this case, the ultramodern curves of the Panton Chair and its shiny plastic material provide balance to the rustic finishes and classic forms of the wood door and desk.
Cody Torgersrud is part of the sales team for YDesign Group, which works directly with customers who call and email in. When not remodeling his 1950s bungalow, Cody enjoys refinishing vintage and antique furniture as well as binging on British TV.