The world of design is a weird and a wonderful one, and in my line of work I see plenty of unique things. There's plenty of really peculiar furniture out there, and I've written about a lot of it, but out of all of it, there a few pieces that stand out to me: things so unusual and yet so arresting that I can't get them out of my head; things so bizarre and yet so lovely that I would gladly take them home, no matter how many friends were to ask me "What is that?" These things are too good for a museum collection. They need to be mine.
The Living Tower
The Living Tower, a creation of Verner Panton, is a sofa that looks not quite like any sofa you've ever seen before. It's really more like a cat tree for people. You can sit or sprawl on it in several different positions, and on several different levels. It's bizarre, it's revolutionary, but most of all, it just looks fun. I dream of replacing my sofa with this thing, and have kickass parties with all my friends artfully draped across it, but I may have to satisfy myself with dreams because this thing costs 16 thousand dollars. Maybe I can find one on Craigslist.
A beautiful blue Living Tower, as seen on Panton World.
Designer Verner Panton and friends lounging on his creation, also from Panton World.
Yves Klein's Table Bleue
Yves Klein was a visionary and "critical prankster" who used naked models as human paintbrushes and once invited the who's who of New York's art world to an art opening at a gallery that was completely empty. He also created a coffee table in his signature shade of cobalt blue. The design is quite simple and yet strangely fascinating: a glass (or acrylic?) box filled with blue pigment set on four metal legs. It also comes in pink, and in gold, and I would love to have one but for the fact that it costs $22,500 (or did, when I last wrote about it: now the price of the table has changed to a mysterious and inaccessible 'price upon request').
The coffee table I covet in a Manhattan apartment spotted on Architectural Digest.
The Shuffle Table by Mia Hamborg
I love this table. I have loved it for a long time. I wrote a post about it for Apartment Therapy way back in 2012, and every time I see it in an interior I get a little thrill. I love how colorful and irreverent and unique it is. It's like a toy! You can take it apart and then reconfigure it! And it is by far the most affordable of all these designs; the Finnish Design Shop will sell you one for $481.
I have decided that buying one of these for my apartment would be a mistake, because it would clash with all the other crazy, colorful things I have bought, because I love crazy, colorful things, but that is a decision that continues to grieve me. I currently have a very tasteful Saarinen white marble tulip table serving as my nightstand, but it is in constant danger of being replaced. I might still do it. I might do it now.
The Shuffle Table in an interior from Ideal Home.