The 7 everyday design icons every home should have

How many of these have you got?

Not all modern design classics cost the earth or can only be found in high-end homes. Here are seven iconic products that epitomise 21st century home style yet can be found in any stylish home. How many have you got?

room with blue walls and white cabinet

(Image credit: IKEA)

1. Ikea PS Cabinet
The royal blue and canary yellow Swedish
superstore has provided many an iconic piece of homeware, but none
perhaps as enduringly popular as this. From contemporary china cabinet-cum-
media unit to hall console or bedroom clothes storage, its myriad uses are
only part of its enduring story. It looks great, too. Red makes a statement
though the congiscenti go for white, and for extra style points, two
side by side is the thing to have.

dining table near window with rice paper lampshade

(Image credit: TBC)

2. Rice paper lampshades
Ah, the heady days of your first rented apartment... Décor wise, we've moved on from the spider plant, but will always have a soft spot for the rice paper lampshade. Affordable, durable, moth and rot proof, they also give a soft, luminous light that's so much more flattering than a bare light bulb.

dining table with colourful chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

3. Series 7 chair
The Victorians loved an antimacassar-ed sofa, Mid-century dwellers were fans of the three piece suite. But for 21st century cool, the only chair to have is the Series 7. Designed by Fritz Hansen, it's light, stackable and has been sat on back-to-front by naked call girls as well as gracing board rooms and school dining rooms ever since launching in 1955. A true classic for the people.

stovetop coffee maker

(Image credit: TBC)

4. Stovetop coffee maker
The Bialetti Moka is seriously in danger of becoming extinct thanks to the preponderance of bean-to-cup machines now on offer for a new coffee-drinking class which demands more than instant granules. But for true caffeine aficionados, old habits die hard and this affordable, reliable and durable maker still has legion fans. Probably because in addition to looking smart, it makes damn fine coffee, too.

toaster machine

(Image credit: TBC)

5. Dualit Toaster
if every home doesn't have one, everyone wants one. The Cartier of the
toaster world, Dualit's iconic bread browner started life as a mainstay
of the commercial catering industry before shooting to the top of the stylish
homeowner's wishlist in the 1980s (looked great in all those industrial lofts). Even the Queen had one on the QE2 to keep her buns perfectly browned.

lemon squeezer

(Image credit: Alessi)

6. Alessi Lemon Squeezer
Rumour has it Philippe Stark's original commission was to design a stainless steel tray, so this futuristic rocket went seriously off brief. Never mind, it looks good on a worktop with its great form seriously making up for any lack of function. Be honest, has anyone ever actually used one?

ordning cutlery stand

(Image credit: IKEA)

7. Ikea Ordning Cutlery Stand Launched in 1999, this rapidly became a chart topper in the early Noughties for Ikea, proving that great design doesn't have to come with a high price. Its myriad uses also contribute to its success, with its functionality extending from being the perfect container for everything from worktop utensils to crafting tools or art equipment. An all round winner, then.

For more design classics, click here


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.