Inspired by the Originals

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

The world is awash with a deluge of incredible design pieces, the problem is that it’s not always accessible. We’ve taken three heavyweight designers and have given you an affordable way of bringing their iconic creations into your home.

Classic 290 Easy Chair – Hans Wegner

Hans Wegner a.k.a. ‘The Master of the Chair’ is a design legend. As one of the key pioneers of the Danish modern design movement, our current design landscape would be unrecognisable without his influence. Renowned for his quality and considered approach, he has created over 500 different shapes during his career – many iconic, all timeless.

Created in the 1950s, post the atrocities of World War 2, people were craving a warmer aesthetic and longing for luxury combined with practicality in design and Wegner provided. His style often described as organic functionality combining natural materials with pragmatic design. The 290 Easy Chair, is just that – straight-forward and effortless, a real jewel in his crown.

The 290 Easy Chair - Hans Wegner

The Karla armchair from Swoon Editions is a rustic twist on this iconic classic. This stylish mid-century modern inspired lounge chair is an homage to the scandi-design movement and 1950s design in general.The beautifully handcrafted weathered oak frame and slatted back echos Wegner’s preference for organic functionality and evokes a lovely warm and natural softness. The feather-filled back cushion upholstered in stonewashed grey canvas is wonderful to sink into after a long day; conversely, the firmer seat cushion provides support and balance. This would fit naturally in an urban industrial chic living room, perfect for relaxing in after a long day in the office; or alternatively if you prefer to view this vision from afar – it can be styled in a modern bedroom as an accent chair.

Karla Armchair in Stonewashed Grey

Karla Chair from Swoon Editions, £449 – Shop Here 

DSW Chair – Charles and Ray Eames

The powerhouse couple, Charles Ormond Eames Jr. and Bernice Alexandra “Ray” Eames are to thank for so many beautiful designs we see in architecture, furniture and graphics on a daily basis. Resourceful and impactful, they raised the bar for great design and created some immutable and perennial pieces of furniture during their reign.

Charles and Ray participated in the 1948 ‘Low-Cost Furniture’ competition at MoMA, motivated by the urgent need for low-cost adaptable furniture to place in new small housing units that were fabricated in the post-war period. This led to the Eames duo creating the DAR (Dining Armchair Rod) and LAR (Lounge Armchair Rod). Designed as mix and match pieces for evolving homes, each part is easy to assemble and disassemble; with this idea governing both the design process and naming convention for each piece. The DSW stands for: ‘Dining Side Chair Wood’ and is an exquisite utilisation of fibreglass for the first time in mass production.

Vitra Eames DSW Chair in Cream

Vitra DSW Eames Chair from John Lewis, £345 – Shop Here 

You can pick up the Vitra DSW Eames chair for £345 from John Lewis, but with the market awash with replicas, there are definitely places that you can find this mid-century chair for the more budget conscious design-fiend. We’ve scoured the internet and the we feel the best imitation for price and quality is from Cult Furniture. Cult Furniture specialises in iconic mid-century designs, with a remarkable commitment to quality products with longevity, plus a price match promise on top. They offer on-trend furniture that will last a lifetime and in the replica market this is a rarity.

Cult Eames DSW Chair in Cream

Cult DSW Eames Chair from Cult Furniture, £59 – Shop Here

Ghost Chair – Phillipe Starck

Phillipe Starck is a French designer, his passion for democratising design is evident with his penchant for producing furniture with mass production in mind. The clever use of materials, in particular plastics, and thorough investigation of production processes enable him to create quality products that aren’t exclusive to the upper echelons of society. A creative force, his products are striking, breaking the boundaries of traditional design and he takes particular enjoyment in rethinking everyday objects – you can truly see the wit and humour in everything he does.

The Kartell Ghost chair is an ironic take on the classic Louis XV style and features a beautiful and surprisingly timeless baroque silhouette. Created from a single mould, the injection press forms a solid polycarbonate chair with clean, smooth lines and a completely unparallelled uniformity. This chair is durable and hardwearing as well as completely shock and weather-proof, stackable and practical, the ideal chair for a hardworking home.

Kartell Louis Ghost Armchair Crystal

Kartell Louis Ghost Armchair from Amara £213 – Shop Here

The transparent design means this melts into any interior scheme, simultaneously fitting with mid-century modern themes as well as french-country chic, whilst always offering a subtle and ethereal look – a fleeting shadow of the past. These attributes result in an incredibly versatile chair; that’s equally at home in a modern living room or contemporary bedroom, regal dining room or even summer garden. This chair is an unapologetic masterpiece in design, offering over the top decadence whilst maintaining a strong minimalist feel, a feat seemingly impossible pre-Starck. Comparatively young, at 15 years old, this chair is iconic, already ubiquitous in so many stylish homes.

You can find this on Amara – with affordability at the heart of this design, it’s fairly reasonably priced. However if you are looking for something more mid-range, then Cult furniture comes up trumps again. You can buy a replica piece for £89.00. Shop the piece here.

The furniture landscape is changing: there are more retailers online with new business models that cut-out expensive overheads and platforms for young designers and small businesses to showcase their work. Slowly prices are becoming more competitive and we’re seeing a move to democratise design. Incredible designers like Phillipe Starck have made huge efforts to enable affordable design for the masses; whilst simultaneously inspiring young designers to become more innovative with their creations and production methods. Beautiful design can enrich a person’s life and it’s great to know that these pieces are becoming more accessible everyday.


Jasper Morrison

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