These Midcentury-Modern Classics Will Never Go Out of Style
Though midcentury-modern design has returned with a certain vengeance in the last decade, a few particular pieces from this very special era of design have long-lasting appeal. Given that a half-century or more has passed since some of these pieces were first designed, we wouldn't hesitate to call them truly timeless. Beloved for their iconic forms, coveted for their surprising versatility, and sought after for their place in design history, these seven midcentury-modern pieces will never go out of style. Go ahead, quote us on this one.
The PH Artichoke light fixture, considered a classic masterpiece, was first designed by Copenhagen-born Henningsen for a restaurant in Copenhagen called the Langelinie Pavilion (originals still hang there today). The fixture consists of 72 individual leaves in 12 circular rows that shield the light source, and serve to redirect and reflect the light onto the underlying leaves. We love its striking, organic-meets-mechanical form.
The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, designed by celebrated furniture design duo Charles and Ray Eames, have been in constant production since their introduction, making the set one of the most recognizable forms of the period. We love how the gorgeous, molded wood frame and buttery soft leather work with a variety of styles, and have the power to serve as a focal point in any interior.
The oblique angles of Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen’s AJ Floor Lamp are immediately recognizable. It lends the piece—an all-together slender form—a unique and undeniable charm. We love how it has sculpture-like appeal, while still being entirely practical and functional.
In the mid-1940s, Danish designer Hans Wegner began designing a series of chairs that were inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting in classical Ming Chairs. The Wishbone, with its light, spindly, sculptural form, serves as a gorgeous complement to minimalist spaces, as well as an accent piece alongside other aesthetics.
The sleek designs of Boston-born furniture designer Paul McCobb, especially his petite stools often featuring a criss-cross of gleaming brass legs, are the ideal polished midcentury staple. Spare and clean in their design, with just a dash of upscale sexiness (leather against brass will have this effect), these versatile pieces make for the perfect starter purchase for anyone looking for a safe bet.
Milo Baughman’s Cube Chair presents an exciting balance of forward-thinking creativity and uninterrupted practicality. The juxtaposition of its linear geometric base, gleaming in gold or silver, alongside the plush seats themselves, renders the piece an eye-catching statement of contrasts.
This pointedly minimalist design reflects designer Poul Kjaerholm’s background in industrial design. In satin-brushed stainless steel, the table base is joined by machine screws, and the free-floating tabletop is available in either marble, granite, slate, or most commonly glass. Its subtle yet considered form makes the PK61 utterly sophisticated.