It is the enduring and cohesive mix of function, style and form, classic lines and shapes that have been replicated over time that can help to identify a timeless piece.
Often it is simple, understated pieces that can be used and incorporated with other styles of furniture, interiors and architecture that deem these pieces with universal timeless appeal.
Originality, whether it be revolutionary or evolutionary, seems to also be a ‘timeless‘ trait in any form of design. It may involve technically innovated materials & manufacturing processes to produce unique forms. It can also be nostalgia that creates timelessness in design. Nostalgia is a powerful way to feel emotions that you have experienced before.
Perhaps it was a previous positive experience such as a fabulous slipper chair you sat in whilst in a hotel suite in Rome and you want to recreate that sumptuous luxury in your bedroom at home?
Or it could have been a wonderful childhood memory of a furniture piece from the family home or a home that you admired?
Eileen Gray, Mies Van Der Rohe and Marcel Breuer to name a few, were pioneers of the modern movement in the middle of the 20th century in the radical change of furniture design. This radical design change came in about with industrialization introducing materials such as steel, plastic, glass and molded plywood. Also there was an influx of creativity stemming from artists, Art movements such as Bauhaus, Art Nouveau with its curves and emulating natural forms reflected in nature and influences from other countries such as Asia and Africa – particularly Japan know as Japonism that swept Europe at this time.
Many replicas are still being produced from these innovative designers of this era.
The designs that prompted this paradigm shift were produced in the middle of the 20th century, most of them well before 1960. And yet they are still regarded internationally as symbols of the modern age, the present and perhaps even the future. Their furniture known as “modern classic furniture” became an icon of elegance and sophistication. The furniture designers of this era featured in Coco Channel’s apartment in Paris, which to this day is classic interior design reflective of her timeless style in fashion also.
Coco Republic has a reproduction of the Barcelona Chair based on the design by Mies Van Der Rohe. Striking for a small sleek sophisticated inner city apartment in black button studded leather and polished steel frame that also has a matching ottoman. The leather is ‘antiqued’ beautifully and has the aesthetic that appears 50 years old.
My all time favourite designers of the moment would have to be American designers Thomas Pheasant, Christopher Guy and Barbara Barry who design beautiful classic pieces of furniture with amazing sculptural elements to their designs.
I also believe that recycling and reusing will be prominent in timeless design not only for the nostalgia and uniqueness of a piece but with people becoming more ‘eco’ concerned and budget conscious it will become de rigueur to resurrect that special furniture item.
What you buy now, if you buy wisely, may become just that.