Iconic Works by Legendary Furniture Designers Take These 1stDibs 50 Spaces to the Next Level

Here’s how 10 of this year’s 1stDibs 50 honorees used some of their favorites to infuse rooms with timeless style. 
Photo by Aimée Mazzenga

“I’m drawn to interesting pieces that feel impactful, and given the neutral palette of this home, we needed some heavy hitters for the space to have a sense of intelligence and character,” says Chicago-based Wendy Labrum, referring to the living room of a greystone residence she designed near Wrigley Field.

Labrum put several statement-making pieces front and center, including two Soriana chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa and a black Ox chair by Danish legend Illum Wikkelsø. Bridging the space between them are two Paul McCobb stools. A Michel Boyer for Rouve stainless-steel side table stands beside the custom sofa, while a vintage Jean Prouvé sconce is mounted above.

Photo by Joshua McHugh

Devin Hines, of New York– and Los Angeles–based firm Hines Collective, took inspiration from his clients’ love of mod furniture and their existing Eero Aarnio Ball chair when designing the sleek, minimalist main bedroom in their Manhattan apartment, which, fittingly, is adjacent to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Created in 1963, the futuristic-looking seat was made to be roomy enough for the Finnish designer’s family to sit in it together.

“We designed the statement headboard to speak to the chair in a fresh way,” says Hines, who covered the custom piece in a Paul Smith fabric from Maharam, lending the space a touch of color, and topped the Mondo Collection bed with a playful Missoni bedspread. Cobra lamps by Elio Martinelli sit on bedside tables, while a Brix modular stacking system by Bensen provides storage.

Photo by Shade Degges

One look at the Gio Ponti–inspired interiors of a Jersey Shore cottage designed by Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro makes clear why the New York–based duo chose the DS-600 sofa from Swiss maker de Sede for the living room. The modular system, designed in 1972 and known informally as the Snake (or Tatzelwurm, depending on where you are in the world), not only complements the mezzanine balustrade and the lines of the wood-paneled walls and ceiling but also provides contrast with its sexy curves.

The sofa is not the only iconic piece the designers selected. A vintage Akari pendant by Isamu Noguchi hangs overhead. It was sourced from 1stDibs, as was a vintage Angelo Lelii for Arredoluce Triennale floor lamp.

Photo by Kate Martin

“Our process brings together collectibles, internationally recognized design pieces, antiques and vintage finds,” says London-based Brigitta Spinocchia Freund. Her concept for the study of a house in the Oxfordshire countryside was inspired by her client’s love of the classic 1956 Eames lounge chair. Playing off the chair, Spinocchia Freund and her team “explored other key mid-century influences to build an interior-design story that was comfortable and chic,” she explains. Thus, they installed a 1960s teak wall unit by Thygesen and Sørensen for Hansen & Guldborg that comprises a bar cabinet, a small desk and a chest. To counter the professorial vibe of these pieces, they added a playful Wormhole floor lamp by Simone Calcinai for Brass Brothers that puts one in mind of a Jacques Tati film.

Photo by Trevor Tondro

“The goal was to create a space that the couple would never want to leave,” says Jeremiah Brent, describing the main bedroom in a recent project in Brentwood, California. “Everything was designed with future heirlooms in mind.”

What better piece to use, then, than a Soriana chair by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Cassina? “The Soriana chaise has always been a favorite at Jeremiah Brent Design,” says the New York–based interiors expert, who’s been tapped to join the Netflix series Queer Eye. “It feels so contemporary and looks good in almost any material.” Here, Brent chose an alpaca fabric from Holland & Sherry. To provide subtle lighting, the designer selected an alabaster pendant from Handelshuis Wassenaar.

Photo by Read McKendree

When converting a former bedroom into a multifunctional TV lounge and game room in an apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West, Andrew Kotchen, Matt Berman and Thomas Zoli, of Workshop/APD — which has offices in New York, as well as Connecticut, Massachusetts and Minnesota — wanted to reflect the energy of their clients, a vibrant and creative family of five.

Drawing inspiration from varsity colors for the room’s palette, they took a big swing with the sofa. “Designed by Nina Edwards Anker for Dune, the Landscape sofa’s form is as young and playful as its end users,” says Berman. “Close to the ground and devoid of sharp edges, it melts into the room, providing a spot for chill movie viewing or a safe and comfortable landing zone for energetic play.” Good thing, given the mini basketball hoop on the AstroTurf wall.

Reminiscent of basketballs themselves are a pair of Michel Ducaroy Togo chairs. Opposite these is a Clifford Ross photograph of Mount Sopris. “It’s an Aspen peak the family knows well,” says Berman. The placement of the work is crucial, he notes: “It’s positioned a safe distance from wayward basketball shots.”

Photo by Michael Clifford

“There’s nothing like the classics,” says Los Angeles designer Brigette Romanek. “I love an eclectic room and the mixing of eras.” And mix she did in the family room of a Beverly Hills home. Starting with a contemporary asymmetrical sofa from Ligne Roset, Romanek deployed a vintage coffee table and a mid-century Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair to create a relaxing space in which the clients could “come together and talk about the day, about life,” she says. Watching over the scene are two African busts on a tigerwood stand.

Photo by Kris Tamburello

Nineteen-seventies cool meets comfy individualism in the living room of a Miami home by Tiffany Thompson, of Portland firm Duett Interiors. Key to that aesthetic is a set of 1971 Mario Bellini for B&B Italia Le Bambole leather seats, purchased on 1stDibs from Modernab, which face an Art Deco chair found at JUSTCO and reupholstered in a chocolaty mohair.

For some textural and material contrast, Thompson added a steel-mesh credenza, as well as two showstopping artworks — Cesar Bailleux’s cloverleaf-shaped wall sculpture Make Believe, also acquired through JUSTCO on 1stDibs, and Anthony James’s light sculpture 50″ Icosahedron.

Photo by Chris Mottalini

When creating a media-room-cum-office for an apartment in Miami Beach, Adam Charlap Hyman and Andre Herrero, of New York– and L.A.-based firm Charlap Hyman & Herrero, used the famed Gae Aulenti–designed steel-clad Palazzo Pucci apartment in Florence as an inspiration. “The pieces in this room were meant to bring a good mix of high-tech and natural,” explains Charlap Hyman. “So, we have a bit of steel near a bit of canvas and wood.”

The duo installed a custom stainless-steel desk and cabinetry, finishing the space with an Afra and Tobia Scarpa Monk chair from the 1970s. A Beni Ourain rug in a vibrant, true-to-the-era blue provides a punch of color.

Photo by Billal Taright

In the case of a house in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon designed by Giampiero Tagliaferri, not only is much of the furniture iconic but so is the building itself. The 1938 structure was the home and studio of mid-century master architect A. Quincy Jones and the first residence of his own design, explains Tagliaferri, who recently moved into his own new studio, in the city’s Silver Lake neighborhood.

In conceiving a sunlit nook off the living room, Tagliaferri says he aimed to add interest by “juxtaposing a highly angular space with a completely rounded and soft piece.” To that end, he placed a Gaetano Pesce La Mamma, or Up 5, chair and ottoman — a design that all but hugs the occupant with its warmth — in front of the slanted wall of windows. A distinctly linear Omicron floor lamp by Vico Magistretti for Artemide and a similarly lean Osvaldo Borsani side table heighten the contrast.

These choices were made with great reverence for the structure’s past, says Tagliaferri: “Every modification was carefully executed to uphold the house’s integrity while introducing tension through the furniture.”

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