Furniture Design Archive

  1. Virgin-clubsize-itsnicethat-list

    If you’re tasked with redesigning the Virgin Atlantic clubhouse at Los Angeles International airport – the very last room visitors to the US’ beautiful west coast are going to see before jetting back off to their own grey lives – you’d best make sure you do a bloody good job of it. Virgin Atlantic were thoroughly aware of the potential pitfalls of such a project, and so have set about creating a space which encapsulates the warm, individual spirit that the company has gone to such lengths to establish. And it seems to us that they’ve succeeded.

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    Bringing a new perspective to industrial design and illustration, a show at The Aram Gallery sees RCA graduate Rachel Gannon illustrate a series of furniture designs, with each discipline feeding into the other as Rachel’s work is exhibited alongside products by industrial designers André Klauser and Ed Carpenter, who work together under the moniker Very Good & Proper.

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    Moving Mountains is the brainchild of Hawaiian designer Syrette Lew, who founded the company in Brooklyn as a vehicle for her stunningly simple designs. She has a range of jewellery and bags, but specialises in furniture, having launched her first collection last summer. The objects are all hand-crafted from wood and maintain a timeless sensibility, drawing inspiration both from traditional shaker furniture and modern geometric shapes and colours. The resulting objects are simple but stunning, showing off the marks of the maker’s hand to highlight the uniqueness of each made-to-order piece. They’re damn good at photographing their catalogue too…

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    There was a time when if someone said “leather furniture” to me, a horrid image of an ugly, olive green, squashy three-piece looking like it had had an allergic reaction to something was conjured. Thankfully, designers such as Kueng Caputo have refreshed my opinion of leather furniture by bringing it into the present day with an air of sophistication and coolness.

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    Sometimes the best projects are just people injecting some light into dormant, ubiquitous objects that lurk in corners waiting to be transformed. Ever contemplate how the clutter of objects on your shelves don’t really fit on your shelves? No problem. Kyuhyung Cho – creator of such design classics as the Poke Stool and Oneness is back with collaborator Erik Olovsson to give a new answer to our interior design prayers in the form of ROOM, a collection of mismatched boxes that can be arranged to form a curiously beautiful shelving unit. As well as being easy on the eye, it’s also pretty hilarious, particularly the part that has a separate hole for each of your pens to sleep in like a stationery version of a dovecote. Lovely.

  6. Wolfond-list

    We’re absolutely gutted not to be at the Salone Del Mobile right now as it turns out this is the year that everyone is there (that’s right, EVERYONE). Among them is Jamie Wolfond, one of Brooklyn’s youngest and finest furniture designers, who’s there to launch his debut collection at Designersbloc. If last year’s display is anything to go by the whole Designersbloc show should be a treat, but Jamie’s work in particular is well worth the journey.

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    Ambika Subramaniam is currently studying for a BFA at Washington University in St. Louis, though the level of skill evident in her designs suggests a skill far beyond her years. Her design fuses her Indian and Louisiana heritage to create efficient design solutions influenced by the mythologies and traditions of eastern culture. These chairs are from Ambika’s Framed Seats series, through which she considers furniture as a means of framing interior spaces. Constructed from wooden bases and a series of interwoven ropes, they almost resemble sailboats – practical and sturdy while simultaneously appearing somewhat fragile. They also come in a choice of big, medium or very very small, much like the chairs Goldilocks tests in The Three Bears tale. Furniture design doesn’t get much more appealing than this.

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    I’d like to say that I tracked Jamie Wolfond down through meticulous research and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the North American furniture design scene, but the reality is I was trying to find his email address to contact him about a magazine delivery. Still I’m seriously glad I found his website as its contents are a refreshing take on contemporary furniture design.

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    Piet Hein Eek already has an international reputation for creating furniture from waste material. He made his name in the 1990s for producing products built entirely from discarded materials too expensive to be turned into anything else. His frustration with this situation stemmed from the fact that the materials were thrown away not because they were of no use, but because the cost of labour was too great to make the finished products economically viable.

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    It’s no secret that Fort Standard make fantastic objects of use and pieces of exquisite furniture. The New York-based designers have been featured on the site before for their intricate and extraordinary contribution to the world of adventure, Life Is Precious, a ten-piece survival kit for the distinguished hiker. Now we’re featuring them again for their most recent beautiful object, created for an excellent cause. Chainsaw Stools are a collection of stools roughly hewn from fallen trees and painted with colours inspired by storms. They’ve been produced to raise funds for aid relief after Hurricane Sandy and we’re pretty confident they’ll have done an excellent job of it.

  11. List-2

    Where can you find a giant bronze thumb, a chair made out of a female mannequin and a statue of a cowboy all in the same London location? That’s right, The Barbican! And it’s not a collection of weird, semi-fetishistic memorabilia, but an excellent exhibition of some of the most notable works to mark Pop Art’s takeover of the design scene in the latter half of the 20th Century.

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    ‘Tis the season of furniture adverts and we’re getting bombarded from all sides by bogus pine warehouses flogging their beige leather numbers at ‘only one nine nine!’ To counteract this is the cooling oasis of Nick V. De Marco’s website, which showcases his extraordinary, ultra non-boring furniture. Sure, Nick’s more of an artist than a carpenter, but it doesn’t mean we want his molecular Void table in every room of our house. Check out the rest of his rather colourful portfolio over on his site.

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    Jack of all trades and master of quite a few Jonathan Zawada has added yet another string to his already stringy bow in the form of a set of beautiful textured tables. Affordances #1 (You Only Reincarnate Infinitely) are an open edition of side tables made from three modular pieces of marble and granite. Easily pieced together and intuitively designed, the really exciting feature of these hard furnishings is the patterns; the limitless possibilities afforded by the rich natural textures in the granite and marble that add a maximalist aesthetic to an otherwise minimal design.

  14. Apo-list

    There was a time, as a young budding freelancer, when my business partner (that’s much too professional a title really) and I used to work on his kitchen table all day. We’d eat breakfast and lunch there and sometimes dinner too, with our computers pushed to one side for five minutes so we could shovel down tins of soup. The best part of this otherwise disheartening existence was rigging up a table tennis net on the table every lunchtime and pretending we worked in some trendy up-and-coming studio where 50% of your time is spent brainstorming over foosball or hot-desking on bean bags.

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    It was London Design Festival last week and so creative stores city-wide joined in the excitement; perhaps none more so than Darkroom. The design accessories store launched a season of products based on the work of Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass using themes he introduced during his time with the legendary Memphis group.

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    We’re no strangers to the age-old conundrum of how best to fix a wobbly table leg at dinner (see folded up train tickets, the restaurant menu, a salt shaker, your foot), and neither, it seems, is Ana Rita Antonio. A Portuguese-born, Oslo-based designer who claims to have too much time on her hands, her recent project 14 Ways of Replacing a Table Leg does exactly that, and takes full advantage of her limited resources. This hilarious project was first presented as the second chapter of an ongoing series The Poetics of Miss Understanding as part of her graduation show from DesignLAB and promises to be the first of many strange but brilliant ideas from Ana.

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    It’s important not to underestimate the significance of where you place your behind. Not that I’m going to judge you for, say, a misjudged grassy patch (the modern world is rife with dogs, after all) or a a triple pronged camping chair (we’ve all been there) but when thrones such as these are a feasible option, you might want to rethink your choices. Besides, the stool may well have been shunned by comfort-seeking hedonists left, right and centre since sofas became a thing, but if Ikea has taught us anything it’s that independent interior design should damn well play a part in your Swedish mass-produced life, and that means the stool is on its way back in.

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    Impractical yet inexplicably cool and beautiful. these wooden sleeping pods are the fixed gear bikes of the furniture design world. Designed by Australian design collective SIBLING, these cosy little “transient dwellings” are the sort of place you may want to conceive a child in, or perhaps embroider a quilt. Perfect, also, if you live in one of those big trendy warehouses and you want to separate yourself from your frantically copulating or raving housemates. Great example of a nice idea being made into something real and smile-inducing.

  19. Worknest-list

    Wiktoria Lenart is a product designer based in Wroclaw, Poland. She’s just finished work on her first marketable product, Worknest, a modular wooden workstation that allows you to organise the chaos of your desk. The surface of the desk is embellished with fine grooves that allow you to hang a myriad attachments from it, and there’s a bookshelf/room divider with similar functionality.

  20. Lexpott-list

    Dutch designer Lex Pott has a product design practice that’s intuitive in its logic, making use of natural processes, historic traditions and happenstance to inform the conceptual backbone of his physical projects. He’s fashioned jewellery from coins, intentionally tarnished mirrors for aesthetic purposes and even, most impressively, created furniture that’s reliant upon the oxidisation of its component materials.

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    I’ve never experienced such joy as when I began exploring the website of Al Que Quiere, an extraordinary collection of furniture you’ve only ever seen in your dreams and in that bit in the 1985 film Return to Oz. We’ve already gushed about them on our site so now we’re going to gush about their blog, which is a cohesive collection of every image that has inspired the pieces they create. The best bit? You can actually see the items that have directly inspired their work. Love that.

  22. Swine-list

    Studio Swine are pretty unique in their commitment to sustainability in the luxury product market. There’s not many other designers out there that would trawl the oceans for plastic to create a bespoke stool or use human hair as a production material for luxury eyewear. It seems to us that they’re almost single-handedly championing recycling and reusing in their area of the creative industries – which is all well and good on its own, but all of Swine’s output also looks fantastic.

  23. Wonmin-list

    We came across South Korean designer Wonmin Park tucked away in a basement of the Spazio Rossana Orlandi – just below the space in which Konstfack were exhibiting – but don’t be fooled, the quality of this man’s work can’t be contained below ground. Wonmin is a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven and since 2011 has presided over his own studio creating unique products and furnishings, all notable for their ethereal beauty (not a word you’d normally associate with an object designed to cradle your backside).

  24. Philips-list

    It might be over now but we’ve still got one or two bits and pieces left over from Milan Design Week that we’re not done talking about just yet, one of which is the collaboration between Philips, Kvadrat and Patricia Urquiola at Moroso’s Milan showroom. To celebrate the launch of Patricia’s first textile collection for Kvadrat, Moroso held a special launch event, The Revolving Room, that played host to these innovative fabrics.

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    With the design world’s attention now well and truly turned towards Milan, different exhibitors try different things to have their contributions stand out from the crowd. And while for some it’s all about being as big and as loud as possible, it’s great to see a brand realise that less can be more. COS have teamed up with Parisian duo Bonsoir Paris (whose talents we have espoused before) to produce a beautiful installation in the Ventura Lambrate district of this year’s Salone.

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    “Everyone’s a winner baby” sang Hot Chocolate and in a way they were right, but in another, more accurate way they were wrong. Of course all the work which gets nominated for the Design Museum’s prestigious Designs of the Year is brilliant, but we’ve just this minute received word which projects scooped the top prize in each of the seven categories.

  27. 68_thepokestoolimage21list

    Kyuhyung Cho is one of our creative heroes, from incredible typography to innovative designs for diplomas. It is no surprise that Kyuhyung has managed to blow us away yet again with his new project The Poke Stool. These simply-designed pieces are unbelievably versatile – through a series of holes, you are able to slot them together to create higher stools, tables and sculptures. They also come in a range of different colours, all complementing each other nicely. You know when we say that something is ruddy good? Well, this is pretty freaking amazing.

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    Right then team, Thursday morning starter for ten – why is Henry Ernest Dudeney famous? Because in 1903 this mathematician worked out how to turn a perfect square into a perfect equilateral triangle by dissecting it into four distant shapes. Fast forward 100 years and architects David Ben-Grünberg and Daniel Woolfson, who work together as The D*Haus Company, have applied Henry’s approach to creating a stylish, super versatile table.

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    If, like us, the way you decide which wine to buy is governed by a simple combination of colour and price, then you too will more often than not find yourself with a screw top bottle. Of course for convenience that’s all well and good, but there’s definitely a certain satisfying ritual about uncorking a bottle – the anticipation, the delicate angles and that satisfying pop that promises imminent alcohol. The London-based Portuguese designer Gonçalo Campos clearly feels the same way, and his new Rolhaî is a tribute to this simple act. The three legs of the cork table screw into the surface using corkscrew technology, and as Gonçalo explains: “Thanks to the amazing mechanical properties of cork, this elementary action is enough to keep the table sturdy and stable.”

  30. Well-proven-chair-list

    Furniture factories generate a huge amount of timber waste – usually 50-80 per cent during normal manufacture. What happens to all these chippings, sawdust and shavings? In one factory they’ve been transformed to create a wild, foamy chair seat.

  31. Main4

    Not often does furniture actually make you dribble, but the images on Al Que Quiere’s stylish site had half the editorial team open-mouthed and more hypnotised than the Podlings in The Dark Cyrstal. Drawing influences from the Doric pillars of ancient Greece, this Los Angeles furniture and object-making collective have some of the most original and mystically beautiful pieces we’ve seen for a long time. No detail spared, even their info page, which can notoriously be quite lifeless, is genuinely engaging and fascinating. Bravo, Al Que Quiere! Bravo. Beware though, Prices on request.

  32. Oms-list

    If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Stockholm between February 4 and 8 then you’re in for a bit of a treat. Local designers, artists and craftspeople of Örnsberg are coming together for the first time to launch their very own artist-operated auction house, the Örnsbergsauktionen, where they’ll be selling an enormous range of covetable work.

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    Well done Ana Kraš, you’re not only one of the most beautiful women I have ever, ever seen, and the wife to Devendra Banhart – you’re also extraordinarily talented. It’s not often that a product designer invents something so unique and brilliant that it can just keep being produced and photographed and never lose it’s charm, but Ana has totally just knocked that theory out of the park. Her big woven lanterns, or ‘Bonbons’, are cool, fun, colourful, friendly and well made; a theme that runs consistently throughout all of her other creations.

  34. Earnestly-list

    Earnest Studio is the working Moniker of Netherlands-based designer Rachel Griffin, whose practice spans everything from experimental printed matter, public installation and furniture design. For a one-man show Rachel’s portfolio is incredibly impressive; she’s built large-scale wooden structures in Norwegian towns, created experimental storytelling spaces, produced books that question the nature of design and built functional modular furniture that you’d actually want in your house. Impressive stuff we’re sure you’ll agree.

  35. Alonso-list

    RCA graduate Tomás Alonso commands a lot of respect here at It’s Nice That. We can’t help but admire the way he makes functional furniture in new and exciting (but often deliciously simple) ways. Sure, it helps that his products look really good, but it’s Tomás’ commitment to function over form that we appreciate the most – if it doesn’t do the job properly, he won’t bother making it. You can see this commitment to function throughout all of his work, but his ongoing project A Frame Tables highlights it the best. It’s a series of foldable trestles that can be stored flat when they’re not in use, meaning you can fit a beautiful piece of furniture in even the tiniest of spaces. No big deal? You try finding space to eat dinner in a typical London flat.

  36. Listimage

    On first viewing this tasty selection of stools, my immediate reaction was one of “Wow, I really fancy a liquorice allsort”, then my pang of sweet need gave way to pure Wow!

  37. Stool-list

    If you’re looking for a comfortable place to park your backside for the day (it doesn’t have to be for the whole day) then we thoroughly recommend the latest offering from Australian designer Timothy John; the Sidecick Stool. Crafted from powder-coated steel with a cork seat, the Sidekick reminds us of those glass beakers you used to find in school chemistry labs back in the day when you were allowed to mix chemicals in your hands and lick asbestos mats, and for that reason we’re pretty damn keen on it – even though we definitely can’t afford one!

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    Take a moment in your day to gaze in amazement at these fantastically creative transformations of the humble, versatile garden chair. This particular chair design is embedded in our perceptions of garden life, yet hardly registers on our conscious visual radar. I mean, how often do we notice the noble plastic providers of adequate comfort while we chow down on the delights of a summer BBQ?

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    If creativity is catching then Barcelona has been in the grip of an epidemic this past year. So much fun, interesting and exciting work has been produced there these past 12 months across a host of disciplines that it’s never a great surprise to discover a project we like hails from the Catalan city. The latest we can add to the list is Midi Colors by lagranja design. This new collection of tables, cabinets and shelves for the Sistema Midi company uses a bright colour palette and extruded aluminium as the starting points to create really eye-catching, playful and good-looking pieces of furniture.

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    Here we have it, our brand spanking new Students of the Month! Hailing all the way from Vancouver, Knauf and Conrad are in their fourth year of studying at Emily Carr University and produced this rather beautiful Profile Chair last year. Of all our entries this month, Conrad and Knauf showed a rare knack for collaboration and a strong sense of the importance of the finished product. This subtle yet incredibly beautiful chair is a testament to how well they work together as a duo, which we will hear much more about below (along with some top tips on how to make your student work as lucrative as possible).