Trends in home decor can be fickle. They come and go. And sometime they're hard to predict — something that's all over design blogs this year could feel dated five years from now. Which got me thinking: what are some designs that have been around for a long time but still feel fresh? What are some pieces that will look as good ten, fifteen years from now as they do today, not because they're trendy, but because they're timeless? Here are my picks for classic pieces that will never go out of style.
1. Bentwood chairs.
Michael Thonet began producing his iconic bentwood chairs in 1850. The revolutionary process that he used to create the chairs produced furniture that was strong, lightweight, and had a simple elegance entirely different from the ornate carved designs in fashion at the time. More than 150 years later, Thonet's designs are still gracing Paris cafes and stylish homes — and they still feel modern and fresh.
2. Oversized mirrors.
Big, ornate mirrors look as good leaning against the wall in the modern office above as they do at the Chateau of Versailles. I love the way the extra flourishes add a little freshness and contrast to a modern space, and as a bonus, they make the room look bigger, too.
3. Chesterfield sofas.
These distinctive sofas with the button tufting and the high, rolled arms have been around at least since the 1850s, and they look as good in modern interiors as they did in Queen Victoria's drawing room.
4. Oriental rugs.
These classic rugs add a bit of color, pattern, and understated luxury to any space.
5. Barcelona chairs.
Designed by Mies Van der Rohe for the Barcelona Pavillion at the 1929 international expo, the Barcelona chair has been a hallmark of modern design ever since. Its sinuous steel undercarriage and tufted leather seat help it to feel simultaneously industrial and luxe, and it's at home in a huge variety of interiors.
6. Tulip tables.
The tulip table was Finnish designer Eero Saarinen's solution to the 'slum of legs' created by traditional four-legged tables. Created in 1956, the tulip table is the youngest design on this list, but its elegant shape and versatility have already made it a timeless classic. (The tulip table is also available as a dining table, but it's the side table that is pictured here.)
7. The Florence Knoll sofa.
When she created her iconic sofa, Florence Knoll was aiming for a design that would play nicely with other, showier pieces, one that would fade into the background a bit and let the other furniture in a room take center stage. Perhaps that's why this design has made its way into so many interiors, and inspired so many imitations. It works well with pretty much any kind of decor — but it may just steal the show with its quiet grace.