It used to be that you had to wait years, even decades, before the value of a piece of furniture matched up to its impressive pedigree. Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames—if only they could see the icons their 20th-century creations have become, setting the bar for an exclusive category of collectible design. Eileen Gray is another: designed in 1917, her Dragons chair would sell at auction nearly 100 years later for a cool $28.3 million; yet back then, Gray was often dismissed as too avant-garde or even forgettable. For a long time, only paintings and sculptures were considered art, and furniture simply didn’t come with the same cache.
The Designer is the Artist
Fortunately, there has been a sea change in the way we value origin, story and craftsmanship. The designer has finally become the artist. We’ve seen it at fairs like Design Miami/ where furniture is treated as sculpture. And as I continue to travel in search of inspiration and discoveries to bring back to my clients’ homes, I am noticing more and more how collectible design is unapologetically taking over the industry—inherently an heirloom piece before it ever leaves the showroom floor. In fact, so many furniture destinations are doing away with the showroom concept and instead opting for a gallery-like setting, showcasing creations as though they were part of a museum exhibition.
French fiber artist Morgane Baroghel-Crucq’s textiles, for example, can be seen at the atelier Swadoh alongside works by artisanal lighting designers. And Garnier & Linker’s material-forward objets d’art are on view at the gallery Delbert-Arthur.
Amid this growing sense of appreciation, I recently returned from a sourcing trip to New York and felt moved to share some of my favorite gallery-minded collectible design pieces with you.
Must-Have Furniture, Accessories and Lighting
The Future Perfect does everything perfectly, of course, which we can see in David Valner’s small Fungus vase. But they’re not the only ones. From Natasha Baradaran’s Cavallo bench, which we are specifying for a client’s home, to Stefania Boemi’s matte-finished ceramic vases available through Artemest and Rogan Gregory’s Polar Bear coffee table from the fabulous R and Company, these sculptural statement makers serve as works of art in their own right.
In that vein, once you’ve seen the Big Round Spiral Chandelier in Yellow by Nacho Carbonell from Carpenters Workshop Gallery, you’ll never forget it. Lindsey Adelman’s jewelry-like light fixtures should be passed down to future generations like that diamond bracelet from your elegantly fashion-forward grandmother. And perhaps my favorite of all: Art + Loom and Bea Pernia’s collaborative installation at Alcova during Salone del Mobile, called The Art of Formation, was a dramatic scene that turned rugs and furniture into bonafide works of art.
They’re conversation starters, for sure, and I hope they inspire you to start thinking about your furniture as investment pieces. William Morris was right when he said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
Image Credits, Clockwise From Top Left: Bruler la pluie by Morgane Baroghel-Crucq, Swadoh, photo by Elisa Antoine // Maya Washi Kakishibu screen by Maya Kitakado Cannon for Garnier & Linker, Delbert-Arthur // Vases, Stefania Boemi Designs // Big Round Spiral Chandelier in Yellow by Nacho Carbonell from Carpenters Workshop Gallery // Art+Loom and Bea Pernia, Alcova, photos by @agnese_bedini @piercarloquecchia @dsl__studio // Lindsey Adelman via Pinterest // Polar Bear Coffee Table, Rogan Gregory, R and Company // Cavallo Bench, Natasha Baradaran // Top of Page: Small Fungus Vase Beige and Orange, The Future Perfect
Image Credits, From Top: Bruler la pluie by Morgane Baroghel-Crucq, Swadoh, photo by Elisa Antoine // Cavallo Bench, Natasha Baradaren // Polar Bear Coffee Table, Rogan Gregory, R and Company // Lindsey Adelman via Pinterest // Maya Washi Kakishibu screen by Maya Kitakado Cannon for Garnier & Linker, Delbert-Arthur // Vases, Stefania Boemi Designs // Big Round Spiral Chandelier in Yellow by Nacho Carbonell from Carpenters Workshop Gallery // Art+Loom and Bea Pernia, Alcova, photos by @agnese_bedini @piercarloquecchia @dsl__studio // Top of Page: Small Fungus Vase Beige and Orange, The Future Perfect