Accessories & Decorations, Furniture Tips, Renovation Tips

Investing in Design Classics

Written by Jaime Koh of HYJK Design, 22 March 2022

Here are five reasons why we think design classics are worth the investment and why they are not restricted to homeowners who have deep pockets.


1. They’re timeless

Design classics have become classics for a reason – they don’t date. Some of the most iconic pieces on the market today were developed in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties – and Mies van der Rohe’s famous ‘Barcelona’ chair dates back as far as the 1920s – but they look just as stylish nowadays as they did when they first appeared. They also tend to fit seamlessly into almost any interior scheme (industrial, rustic, minimal), so they don’t become redundant when you move home or your tastes change.


Above: Mies van der Rohe’s ‘Barcelona’ chair and ottoman



2. They can be both form and function

But classics don’t just stand the test of time because of the way they look: they’re highly functional, too. Many took years to develop (five, in the case of Eero Saarinen’s ‘Tulip’ table), with numerous prototypes being used to refine every detail – from a seat back angled to ensure maximum comfort, to legs set at the perfect height for dining.

Eero Saarinen’s ‘Tulip’ side table


3. Built to last

Authentic designs are carefully crafted using top-quality materials, and will last for decades. They also tend to age gracefully, developing beautiful patinas over time, and will hold their value (or even increase in their value). It might be tempting to buy cheap copies, but don’t give in to the allure of fakes – they’re badly made, and you’ll likely end up replacing them within a few years.

Muuto’s ‘Oslo’ chair


4. They need not be Expensive

True, many designer pieces don’t come cheap (you’d need to fork out thousands of dollars for an ‘Arco’ floor lamp, Arne Jacobsen’s ‘Swan’ chair or an Eames lounge chair), but you certainly don’t have to spend a fortune to access authentic design. Brands such as Muuto, Menu and HAY produce much more affordable items, and many of their most recognisable products (the J110 chair, the ‘Yeh’ wall table) are available at more accessible prices. Even classics such as the ‘String Pocket’ shelving system, first developed in 1949, can be great starter pieces for your collection.

Menu’s ‘Yeh’ wall table, and ‘String Pocket’ shelving


5. Start Small

Iconic design isn’t limited to furniture, either: investing in smaller accessories is a great way to start. Some of our favourites include Normann Copenhagen’s ‘Flip’ mirror, Muuto’s ‘The Dots’ coat hooks and HAY’s ‘Strap’ mirror.

Muuto’s ‘The Dots’

HAY’s ‘Strap’ mirror

And of course, you don’t need to fill your home with designer items – some of the most eye-catching interiors blend a few well-chosen investment pieces with cheaper products from the likes of IKEA.

Personally, we. are rather partial to a statement chair, which can instantly add flair to any room.

Vitra’s ‘DSW’ Eames chairs and Carl Hansen’s ‘Wishbone’ chair

How about you? What are your favourite design classics?

HYJK Design works with our clients’ design classics pieces and integrate into your home design. We are happy to also assist those who wish to learn about how to embark with a few starter pieces to achieve an optimal look for their homes.

Home is after-all where you spend the most amount of time looking at and living in. It is definitely worth your while to have a few pieces that you absolutely love living in everyday.

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