design classics to transform your home

I’ve always dreamt of owning a chair or table that had been designed by one the great furniture ‘godfathers’. Modernist visionaries such as Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Florence Knoll to name a few, were (and still are) huge influences in the world of design. I feel a sense of awe when I see a piece of furniture designed as far back as the 1920’s (for example) and still looks contemporary today.

Many of us may have disregarded the idea of owning a design classic because of the expense, the worry where it will go and even if the style would sit well with the rest of the items in the home.

I want to demystify these concerns and share that you can transform your room by having just one key piece, injecting a level of sophistication and style. I’m not one for having a full set of anything, I like to mix my furniture and by throwing in a piece that has been stylish for decades will (I guarantee it) make your home stylish too. I’ve created a Pinterest board of inspirational rooms that have done just that. 

I was recently invited to a furniture sample sale preview by the lovely people at Knoll in Clerkenwell, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this annual sale. This iconic design company was founded in 1938 by Hans and Florence Knoll and has been a great success for 75 years. Being true to Bauhaus design philosophy and celebrating modern contemporary design, it’s a great place to find inspiration and hunt for the design classics.

The sample sale open to the public for one day only, 21st November (10-4pm), will have huge discounts including selected ten star buys including designs by Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen and Warren Platner. It’s on every year so it’s a perfect time to grab that star design classic for your room. Here’s what I found…..

The Bertoia side chair, designed by Harry Bertoia in 1952, an iconic mid-century chair. Knoll are promoting 10 of these chairs for £100 each, I can only imagine the fight for such a bargain on Saturday!

bertoia side chair

This Platner stool (by Warren Platner 1966), may be small but it’s quite a statement piece. Black wire and mustard cushion looks great, I also spotted a grey cushion version too.

platner stool - Knoll

Cesca chairs by Marcel Breuer, 1928, a perfect combo of traditional craftsmanship and industrial technology. I really do love this woven cane seats, they may look retro but I have a feeling we’ll see a resurgence of this style. I also spotted a white Bertoia diamond chair, this really stood out as a perfect key piece (as  you can see in my Pinterest board).

Knoll furniture

Knoll annual furniture sale London

I hope this has inspired you to find your key item of furniture and that design classics can be accessible to everyone. Which design classic have you got your eyes on?

H x

Knoll UK Annual Sample Sale
Saturday 21 November 2015
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: 91 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7EX
Email: Telephone: 020 7236 6655

feature image source –

*disclaimer, part of this post was a collaboration with Knoll, all words and thoughts are my own, I only promote companies and products that I truly believe in.


  • Reply Kimberly Duran November 20, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I’ve always dreamed of having a set of Platner charis 😉 It’s true how amazing that these design classics still look so current and yet some of them date back nearly 100 years! I think it’s great that companies are now creating these pieces and thus, honouring the designs of so long ago – the originals are completely out of reach for most of us and yet, the original designers actually wanted stylish furniture that was available to the mass market. I think they’d be happy that they are finally within reach again of many people 🙂 xx

    • Reply Hannah November 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Yes I’ve always felt like these designer pieces were so out of reach but if I’m lucky to own one it’ll feel like my very piece of design history. I agree the game changer furniture godfathers will be happy that design has taken hold of so many peoples lives 🙂

  • Reply Kate November 20, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Just heading off to repin everything on your board Hannah… 😉

    • Reply Hannah November 20, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      That’s incredible, thanks Kate! xx

  • Reply Rachel @ Fresh Design November 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Sample sales are definitely the way to get your hands on designer or classic pieces that you might not normally be able to afford. Shame it’s only one day a year though!

  • Reply Sue November 20, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Gah if only I was a bit closer to London!! I love a company with heritage- Knoll are no exception

  • Reply Arianna November 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Lovely post hun. Wish I was in London so I could have attended and just hung out with you 😉 Maybe next time! Great photos!

    A x

    • Reply Hannah November 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      Yes would have been great if you were there! Next time for sure xx

  • Reply Stacey Sheppard November 20, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    One day I will own a design classic. Probably won’t be for years yet but it will happen. Hope you enjoyed looking round the sample sale.

  • Reply Maxine Brady November 21, 2015 at 10:26 am

    So lovely to meet you at the show. I love your post. Your photos rock!

  • Reply Antonia Ludden November 21, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Ooh I really like the idea of having a design classic in my home – great finds, Cate! x

  • Reply Jen Stanbrook (@lovechicliving) November 23, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Lovely images Hannah and great inspiration, I’m an Eames fan through and through x

    • Reply Hannah November 26, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Thanks Jen 🙂 Oh yes Eames, such incredible design!

  • Reply Tiff @Curate & Display November 23, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Ahhhhh those cane chairs have triggered some deeply buried memory from my teeny, tiny days…my parents had style 😉 I don’t think I need to tell you that owning a real piece of design in our home is one of the big life goals for me…hanging in there for one day!

    • Reply Hannah November 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

      yes I’m sure we had the cane chairs too! So so pretty, we will achieve our life goals! xx

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