TOP 10 Most Iconic Interior Design Objects of all times

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Dear Design Lovers,

The world of interior design is fascinating and rich in styles, shapes, materials, and functionally. Identifying the top 10 most famous interior design objects of all times is not an easy task, it can be subjective and vary depending on criteria like historical significance, cultural impact, design innovation, or popularity.

Nevertheless, there are certain pieces that withstood in time and are often celebrated for their iconic status in the world of design:

1/ Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman - Designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1956, this chair has become synonymous with modern American design, celebrated for its comfort and luxury.


Here’s why it has garnered such fame and admiration:

  • Innovative Design – The Lounge Chair was innovative for its time in the way it used materials, experimenting with plywood and leather to create a luxurious, yet comfortable chair. Their pioneering use of molded plywood technology allowed them to shape the wood in three dimensions, creating a form that perfectly supports the human body. Therefore, this chair combines high aesthetic appeal with exceptional comfort, blending the best of modern design with superb ergonomics. This was a radical departure from the more formal and less comfortable furniture styles that were at the time.
  • It soon became a favorite among high-profile personalities and celebrities. Moreover, it has appeared in numerous films, television shows, and photo shoots, adding to its mystique and appeal. In such a way, it quickly gained a status symbol representing a lifestyle that valued design, comfort, and innovation.
  • The craftsmanship is unparalleled: each piece is carefully assembled and finished, ensuring a high-quality product. Over the years, the chair has been offered in various veneers and leather options, allowing buyers to customize it to their interior design needs.
  • Its design complements a wide range of interior styles, from traditional to contemporary, making it a versatile piece for various settings.
  • The lounge chair is a human-centered design; the authors emphasized the importance of prioritizing the needs and comfort of the user, and this approach has influenced countless designers and architects of the era.

Today it is produced by the Italian company VITRA .

2/ Barcelona Chair - Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in 1929 for the International Exposition hosted in Barcelona, this chair is a masterpiece of modernist design.


Its enduring popularity stems from several key factors:

  • Minimalist Aesthetic: The chair epitomizes the "less is more" philosophy that Mies van der Rohe is famous for. Its design is sleek, with clean lines and a structured form, embodying the minimalist ideals of the modernist movement.
  • Innovative Structure: The chair features a frame made of stainless steel, which was a novel use of the material in furniture at the time. The flat steel frame creates an elegant and stable base, showcasing the material's potential in a new light.
  • Luxury and Comfort: Despite its minimalist appearance, the chair does not compromise on comfort. The seat and back are upholstered in high-quality leather, padded with foam for added comfort. Moreover, they the leather upholstery is carefully tufted and buttoned, adding texture and interest to the design. The use of luxurious materials contrasts with the industrial nature of the frame, creating a piece that is both refined and inviting.
  • Versatility: Its timeless design enables it to fit seamlessly into various interior settings, from corporate offices to minimalist homes. This versatility has contributed to its sustained popularity over the years.
  • Cultural Significance: The chair was initially designed as seating for the king and queen of Spain during the exposition, adding an element of prestige and historical significance. Over time, it has been featured in numerous architectural and design publications, further cementing its status as an iconic piece of furniture.
  • Status: The Barcelona Chair is often viewed as a status symbol, associated with sophistication and an appreciation for design history. Its appeal to collectors and design enthusiasts has kept demand high, making it a coveted item in the world of design.

Today it is produced by KNOLL INTERNATIONAL, see more details on .

3/ Arco Floor Lamp - Created by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962, is a masterpiece of modern industrial design, embodying both functionality and elegance. A perfect blend of form and function, with its distinctive arc shape and marble base.


The Castiglioni brothers sought to create a lamp that could offer the direct light of a pendant lamp but with the flexibility and convenience of a floor lamp. This led to the design of the Arco Lamp, which features a long, arching arm that extends from a marble base, allowing it to provide overhead lighting from the side of a room rather than directly above. This design was particularly suited for dining tables or living areas where direct overhead lighting was desired without the permanence or structural requirements of ceiling-mounted fixtures.

Key Design Features:

  • The marble base provides stability for the long, curved stainless steel neck, an essential feature given the lamp's significant reach.
  • The stainless-steel arm arches gracefully over living spaces, allowing the light to hang overhead without being fixed. This innovative design feature was revolutionary at the time.
  • The lamp's height and reach can be adjusted, making it versatile and functional for different spaces and lighting needs.
  • The aluminum shade can swivel to direct light where it's needed, adding another layer of functionality to the lamp’s design.

The Arco Lamp remains one of the most iconic pieces of mid-century modern design. Its innovative approach to solving practical problems through design, coupled with its elegant form, has made it a favorite among designers and design enthusiasts alike for over half a century.

It is produced by the Italian lighting company FLOS .

4/ Tulip Table and Chairs - Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957, this collection was groundbreaking for its fluid forms and single pedestal base, moving away from the traditional four-legged structures.

The Finnish-American architect and designer Eero Saarinen was driven by a desire to create harmony between the chair and the table, to clean up the clutter of legs, and to simplify the silhouette of furniture to its most essential form. He wanted to produce a design that was both functional and sculptural, blurring the lines between furniture and art.


The design for the Tulip series was revolutionary, featuring a single pedestal base instead of the traditional four legs, which was a radical departure from conventional furniture design. This singular base mimicked the graceful, organic lines of a tulip's stem, hence the name.

The table pedestal base is made of cast aluminum coated with a high-protective finish, giving it durability and a sleek appearance. The tabletop was originally made from laminate or wood, but over time, versions with marble and granite tops were introduced, offering a more luxurious surface. Like the table, the chairs have a cast aluminum base, while the seat shell was initially designed in fiberglass, and a cushion is offered for added comfort, upholstered in a variety of fabrics.

The Tulip Table and Chairs became popular and distinguished for:

  • Innovative Design: The unique, single-leg design was unlike anything seen before, making it an instant subject of interest and admiration within the design community and beyond.
  • Versatility: The simplicity and elegance of the Tulip series meant that it could fit into a wide variety of interior spaces, from classic to contemporary, making it popular among architects, interior designers, and homeowners alike.
  • Symbol of Modernism: Saarinen’s designs captured the optimism and forward-thinking spirit of the mid-20th century, symbolizing the era's belief in progress. Over time, the Tulip series has been featured in numerous publications, museums, and collections around the world, cementing its status as an icon of modern design.

It is produced by KNOLL INTERNATIONAL .

5/ Noguchi Coffee Table - Designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1947, has become an iconic piece of furniture, celebrated for its unique blend of art and functionality. This table is a sculpture piece of furniture, stands out in the vast world of furniture design for its artistic expression, innovative use of materials, and the harmonious balance it strikes between form and function.


Unlike many other tables, the Noguchi Table stands out due to several factors that contribute to its uniqueness and timelessness:

  • Isamu Noguchi was a renowned sculptor, and this table is a testament to his artistic skills. The table is characterized by its distinctive sculptural form, which is both functional as a table and expressive as a piece of art. The biomorphic shape of the glass top and the intricately designed wooden base make it immediately recognizable.
  • Moreover, the table reflects Noguchi's skill in creating balance and harmony within his designs. The heavy, flat glass top contrasts with the light, airy feel of the two-piece wooden base that interlocks to form a tripod for support. This creates a sense of stability and elegance.
  • The table is often considered a signature piece of Noguchi's work, encapsulating his philosophy and approach to design. It represents a successful fusion of Japanese aesthetic principles and mid-century modern design, making it a cultural symbol.
  • One of the reasons the Noguchi Coffee Table has remained popular is its versatility. The table can complement a wide range of interior décor styles, from mid-century modern to contemporary, due to its simple, elegant design and neutral materials.
  • Moreover, it has been featured in numerous design and architecture magazines, museums, and art collections around the world, it has helped cement its status as an iconic design.

It is produced by the Italian company VITRA

6/ Chesterfield Sofa - With its origins in the 18th century in England, the Chesterfield sofa has become a staple of traditional and sophisticated interior designs.

It is known for its quilted or tufted style and high arms that are the same height as the back. It is often said to have been commissioned by the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, who wanted a piece of furniture that would allow a gentleman to sit upright comfortably without wrinkling the garment.


The Chesterfield sofa has become popular worldwide for several reasons:

  • Its classic design exudes sophistication and elegance, making it a statement piece in any room. The Chesterfield is versatile enough to fit into various interior designs, from traditional to more modern settings.
  • Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the Chesterfield sofa is known for its sturdy construction and comfortable seating. Its tufted design not only adds to its visual appeal but also enhances the comfort level.
  • Historically, the Chesterfield sofa was a symbol of luxury and high status. Its association with English nobility and the elite contributed to its desirability and adoption in prestigious clubs, luxury estates, and upscale offices around the world.

Traditional craftsmanship is still highly valued, and several manufacturers in Europe and overseas specialize in handcrafted Chesterfields using time-honored techniques and materials. In Italy, one of the most notices is POLTRONA FRAU making it in a wide variety of top-quality leathers. For details visit

7/ Louis Ghost Chair - Designed by Philippe Starck in 2002, this chair is a modern interpretation of the classical Louis XVI armchair, famous for its innovative use of polycarbonate in a single mold.

The chair is a postmodern triumph, inspired by the classic Louis XVI armchair – a symbol of French taste and elegance from the late 18th century. Starck’s genius lay in his ability to reimagine this antique form in a completely modern material: injection-molded polycarbonate. This choice of material allowed the chair to be produced as a single piece, eliminating the need for assembly and joints and giving it a sleek, seamless appearance.


The Ghost chair is a post-modern triumph, got its popularity through:

Visual Appeal: The transparent or translucent frame enables it to blend with any décor, making it versatile across various interior styles. Its clear form can make a room feel more spacious while adding a touch of modern elegance.

Innovative Material: The use of polycarbonate was groundbreaking at the time of the chair's design. This material made the chair durable, weather-resistant, and surprisingly comfortable, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Its durability and ease of cleaning have contributed to its popularity in both residential and commercial spaces.

Cultural Icon: Beyond its physical attributes, the chair has become a cultural icon, embodying the blending of historical design with modern technology. It has been featured in numerous design magazines, exhibitions, and even in movies and television shows, further confirming its status in the design world.

Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost Chair is not just a piece of furniture but a statement on the evolution of design, offering a clever mix of elegance, technological innovation, and functionality. Its ability to pay homage to the past while simultaneously embracing the future is key to its widespread appeal and enduring popularity.

8/ Sputnik Chandelier - Emerging in the mid-20th century during the space race, specifically in the 1950s and 1960s. Its design was inspired by the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957, which was the first artificial Earth satellite. The event sparked a global interest in space and science fiction, influencing various aspects of culture and design, including interior decor.


The chandelier's design mimics the appearance of a satellite or a starburst, featuring a central sphere from which multiple arms or rods radiate outward in all directions. At the end of each arm typically sits a light bulb, contributing to the fixture's overall dramatic and dynamic appearance.

The design is versatile and has been interpreted in numerous ways, using different materials, sizes, and finishes, allowing it to fit into a wide range of interior settings, from mid-century modern to contemporary.

Today, the Sputnik chandelier is produced by numerous companies worldwide, each offering their version of the iconic design. Companies such as Jonathan Adler, West Elm, and Restoration Hardware are known for producing Sputnik-style chandeliers that cater to a wide range of tastes and interior design needs. Additionally, VITRA ( and other design-focused companies often produce or sell variations of the Sputnik chandelier, emphasizing quality and design fidelity.

9/ Shelving System 606 Universal - Designed by Dieter Rams in 1960, this shelving system exemplifies the functionalist design philosophy with its simplicity, versatility, and timeless appeal.

This shelving system was designed by the German industrial designer Dieter Rams in 1960 for Vitsoe, a furniture company known for its high-quality modular furniture.


Constructed from high-quality materials, including aluminum and steel for the supports and tracks, and wood or metal for the shelves, the 606 Universal Shelving System is designed to be durable and timeless. The system is modular, meaning it can be expanded or reconfigured to meet changing needs and spaces, making it incredibly versatile.

Its clean, minimalist aesthetic is characterized by straight lines and a lack of unnecessary details, which allows it to blend seamlessly with a wide variety of interior styles, from traditional to contemporary.

Today we find such library system in the catalogue of the Italian producer DE PADOVA

10/ Chandelier 2097 - Designed by Gino Sarfatti in 1958, this chandelier is an elegant solution to lighting, featuring a central steel structure with multiple arms, each holding a light bulb, combining functionality with a distinctive aesthetic.


The design typically features a central steel structure with a series of arms extending outward, each holding a small, spherical bulb. The arrangement of the bulbs and the arms creates a luminous sphere that provides not just light but also acts as a statement piece for interiors. The chandelier comes in various sizes and finishes, such as brass or chrome, allowing it to fit a range of interior designs and spaces.

The design typically features a central steel structure with a series of arms extending outward, each holding a small, spherical bulb. The arrangement of the bulbs and the arms creates a luminous sphere that provides not just light but also acts as a statement piece for interiors. The chandelier comes in various sizes and finishes, such as brass or chrome, allowing it to fit a range of interior designs and spaces.

Over the years, the 2097 chandelier has become a sought-after piece for design enthusiasts and collectors, celebrated for its timeless elegance and the way it harmoniously blends form and function. Its influence and popularity endure, making it a classic piece of lighting design that transcends its era to offer something truly timeless.

It is produced by the Italian company FLOS

Sales statistics for iconic interior design items like the ones mentioned above are not typically disclosed in detail to the public by the manufacturers or designers. However, it's widely recognized that these iconic pieces have remained in continuous production since their lounch, indicating sustained popularity and demand. For example:

  • Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman: Produced by Herman Miller in the United States and by Vitra in Europe, this chair has been a consistent best-seller since its introduction in 1956. Its sales, while not publicly detailed, are supported by its status as a symbol of luxury and comfort in modern design.
  • Barcelona Chair: Manufactured by Knoll, the Barcelona Chair is another enduring piece of furniture that has been in production since its debut in 1929. It's considered a staple of modernist furniture, with its demand reflecting its iconic status in both residential and commercial settings.

These items have been influential in the world of design, each marking a significant point in the evolution of interior design trends and principles. They are celebrated not just for their aesthetic appeal but also for their innovation and the way they have shaped contemporary design thinking.

Best wishes,


MetropolitanMe Blogger