Interior Designers on the Most Iconic Furniture of All Time

Jerome Powell

Noguchi’s lanterns are potentially my favorite items to use in almost every project. Made with traditional Japanese craft techniques, the lanterns are made of a wire structure and a rice-paper envelope, which gives them a beautiful glow of light. Though they have been used so many times, they still manage to keep their iconicity. Perhaps it’s their modesty, low price, uniformity, and simplicity that makes it easy for a designer to integrate them into almost every project. —Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger, BoND

Photo: Courtesy of 1stDibs

The klismos chair is undoubtedly one of the design world’s most iconic pieces, having been reintroduced into interiors repeatedly for over a thousand years, starting with its great ancient Greek beginnings. It was first seen in fifth-century B.C. depictions of the furniture on vases and bas reliefs and later in similar views on Roman pottery and etchings. The chair fell out of fashion for hundreds of years; however, during the second neoclassical revival, it returned with great aplomb, dressing the drawing rooms and salons of all fashionable society from the 1780s till the late 1830s. At the turn of the 20th century, the Villa Kerylos in the South of France led the fashion again for Grecian-inspired interiors, and the klismos hit the scene once again.

My personal favorite revival, however, was the one directed in 1960 by T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings, who met a Greek cabinet-making couple, the Saridis. Together they created the Klismos line of furniture, with special care taken to the reproduction of the klismos chair created in many wood finishes and metals. These pieces are now icons of the midcentury movement, wildly collectible and highly prized. Very few designs have lasted in the ever evolving tastes of interior fashion. However, the klismos has been, and undoubtedly will continue to be, a beacon of style and good taste. —Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Photo: Courtesy of 1stDibs
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