The Beautiful and the Useful

If all the world’s a stage and we are merely players, then the furniture and objects that surround us are everything in between. They set the tone, build context, and give meaning to the everyday. In a shadowy, rugged setting, high-end furniture design lets form speak first to create an elevated, structured, contemplative atmosphere.

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January 11, 2024

blu dot deep thoughts chaise high-end furniture design
blu dot chaise and candelabra high-end furniture design

Deep Thoughts Chaise and Nosferatube Large Candelabra
Blu Dot

Blu Dot got its name from the idea that an object can speak for itself, having started with literally just a logo—a blue dot. The Minneapolis company designs furniture that, after passing through dozens of minds and hands, is smart, beautiful, and stand-alone. The Deep Thoughts chaise is designed to trace the line of the human body’s contours at the perfect angle to recline for socialization and solo relaxation alike. Its contrasting lumbar pillow against smooth leather adds a few Hs to the “ahh” you’ll sigh upon sitting down. The Nosferatube candelabra bends every vampire’s favorite lightsource into a more avant-garde arrangement—because clever design speaks for itself at many volumes, even a whisper in the misty night., Nosferatube Large Candelabra $295, Deep Thoughts Chaise $2,495

eames stool for herman miller

Eames Turned Stool – C Shape
Herman Miller

The influence of Ray and Charles Eames can hardly be overstated. With four geometric silhouettes, each an individual exploration of form and materiality, the turned stool is but the most recent of the Eames’ designs to be revitalized by Herman Miller. The object serves dual purpose as a stool or side table with a surface that’s just slightly depressed, like a giant thumb pressed ever so gently into its top. Originally called the Eames Walnut Stool in 1960, the reissued stool is made using ebonized ash and renamed in reference to its manufacturing process., $1,295

eilersen havana chair
eilersen havana chair for high-end furniture design

Havana Chair

Eilersen is the sofa designer in Denmark, but its Cuba-inspired Havana chair contributes new worldly expressions to the brand’s collection. Havana’s blob-like form looks immediately like an inviting place to sit and relax, but upon further inspection and interaction, unexpected contours and finishing touches give the chair an upscale flair. Danish duo Lab 15 designed the chair with Eilersen using a combination of Danish attention to detail and Cuban rhythms to give the chair a boisterous personality, even in subdued colors and settings., $2,470

faina toptun chair high-end furniture design
faina toptun armchair detail

TOPTUN Armchair
FAINA and Galerie Philia

TOPTUN is the Ukrainian term for one who loudly stomps, its thick-legged upholstered frame giving the geometric seat a sense of liveliness. The chair is part of the FAINA collection, designer Victoria Yakusha’s furniture, lighting, and decor studio championing modern Ukrainian design and the country’s cultural heritage. Animated, simple designs like TOPTUN are part of Victoria’s trademark “live minimalism,” wherein minimalist designs are simultaneously a continuation of the human and the organic, with its precise upholstery granting softness to its strict cubic outline. TOPTUN and more from the FAINA collection are sold through Galerie Philia., From $2,840

ferm living distinct coffee table high-end furniture design
ferm living distinct detail

Distinct Coffee Table

ferm LIVING’s Distinct Coffee Table is inspired by Japanese minimalism, designed to give voice and tangibility to sandy travertine, which stars in the table as a surface and structure full of rich textures and a certain rawness. Creative director Trine Andersen founded ferm LIVING 14 years ago when she designed her own wallpaper for her new home, aiming to create something beautiful, honest, comforting, and true to her own style. The Distinct table embodies the Danish design firm’s dedication ever since to creating balance through design—like how the architectural structure offers measured contrast to the organicism of the travertine., $1,969

emeco hudson chair high-end furniture design
hudson chair emeco detail

Hudson Chair

Philippe Starck designed the Hudson Chair with Emeco in 2000 for the Hudson Hotel in New York City. But Philippe’s first collaboration with the brand, known for its iconic Navy Chair and the 77-step process required to make it, has the kind of essential form that would suit just about any space. Philippe described designing Hudson as “washing the details from the Navy Chair.” The result is a timeless, essential shape, handmade in recycled aluminum at Emeco’s Hanover, Pennsylvania headquarters and available in brushed or polished aluminum or with an optional seat cushion., from $1,210

ethnicraft bok chairs round table

Roller Max Dining Table and Bok Chairs

More than 25 years ago two friends, Benoit Loos and Philippe Delaisse, discovered the beauty of craftsmanship and materiality in Indonesian furniture. As demand in Antwerp grew for their imported goods, the duo began to design their own pieces, each embodying quality and simplicity, and Ethnicraft was born. The Bok chairs, designed by Alain van Havre, became the epitome of the vision behind Ethnicraft—their graceful curves and simplicity giving the chairs staying power. With its curving fluted legs and streamlined round top, the Roller Max Dining Table forms a perfect companion with just enough flair to make even a simple design personal and powerful., Roller Max Dining Table $3,249 and Bok Chair $869

lc4 chaise for cassina

4 Chaise longue à réglage continu, noire, durable

Designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand in 1928, the iconic, timeless Chaise longue à réglage continu exemplifies Le Corbusier’s commitment to pure form and logic. Its simplified shape is intended to cradle and offer perfect repose for the human body. Le Corbusier defined human scale in design and architecture in his study of anthropomorphic proportions, the Modulor, based on the average human being 1.75 meters tall—or 5 feet 7 inches. The chaise, available via Luminaire as part of Cassina’s iMaestri collection, is folded to be just right for the architects’ Goldilocks user.,, price available on inquiry

muuto wrap chair high-end furniture design
muuto wrap chair detail

Wrap Chair

Designing the Wrap Lounge Chair, designers Jean-François Dingjian and Eloi Chafaï, or The Normal Studio, envisioned a soft blanket draped atop a lounge chair to create a flowing but clear silhouette. “We were driven by the idea of creating a really snug chair with an enveloping feel,” the designers say. The textile of Wrap embraces its shell for a generous, comfortable shape that almost floats on its light steel frame. It’s large, but not chunky; soft, but still strong of form; refined, but retains a good sense of humor.,, $3,842

umo oko stylex

Oko Chair and Umo Table

Designed by the Milanese design duo LucidiPevere, Oko is a swaddling, swiveling spot to nestle, designed to bring the softness and comfort of home into non-home settings with a pillowy seat and backrest. Oko’s design is based on a cocoon and utilizes striking material combinations—fabric, leather, and wood are all possibilities—to create an elegant yet cozy seat. The Umo side table by designer Brandon Walker matches Oko’s sophisticated yet playful energy. With curved shapes and angular cutouts, Umo makes an architectural, sculptural resting spot for drinks, books, laptops, or whatever else., Oko from $3,507, Umo from $1,528


A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 11 with the title “The Beautiful and the Useful.” Subscribe today.