Designed for Life and Living

Twentieth-century furniture includes many innovative and creative styles in a range of bold colours or neutral shades in wood, metal, plastic and other materials. Some furniture offers high-functioning elements such as the Operator Chairs for working at your home office desk, that you can find at sites like, whilst other pieces are eclectic enough to become talking pieces.

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Recent sales at auction show the enduring appeal of postwar Scandinavian furniture. Christie’s, Phillip’s and Bonham’s all reported higher sales, and demand is increasing.

German Design and Engineering

Bauhaus items by designers such as Mies Van Der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Aarnio, Florence Knoll and Arne Jacobsen have become classics and feature heavily in reproduction designer furniture. The German Bauhaus was the most influential modernist art school of the 20th century. In the mid-1920s, the artists put the stress on art and industrial design.

The cabinet-making workshop was one of the most popular at the Bauhaus. Under the direction of Marcel Breuer, the studio re-conceived the essence of furniture, often seeking to de-materialise conventional forms to their minimal existence. Breuer experimented with metal furniture, creating lightweight, mass-producible metal chairs. Bauhaus materials included metal, glass, leather and wood used in oval, rounded and smooth shapes.

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Plastic Fantastic

The Art Deco era of Bauhaus was replaced by the Space Age designs up to the mid-1960s. New materials such as Plexiglass, plywood, metal, Lucite, vinyl and glass were used for the first time to create something totally new in furnishings.

The Space Age gave way to pop art furniture, which used geometric shapes and vibrant colours. Plastic ruled manufacturing in the 1970s and allowed designers to free their imaginations.

Original work from famous designers is hard to find – firstly, because it was made in limited numbers; and secondly, because people who own them tend to keep them and hand them down through their families. Due to popular demand, reproduction designer furniture is now being made and can be bought for reasonable prices from companies such as. A range of innovative and creative styles can become the centrepiece in any home or office, adding style and interest.

Nostalgia plays its part for some people, but the high quality of many pieces is a lure for consumers who want their pieces to last for years. In the disposable society, style often goes out of fashion, but good design and manufacture will always be popular.

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