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We love a design icon
Not all modern design classics cost the earth or are exclusive to high-end interiors. Here are seven iconic products that could be found in any stylish home. How many have you got?
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1. Anglepoise lamp
Like many design icons, the Anglepoise began life on the workbench of a tinkerer. Automotive engineer George Carwardine was searching for a way to use a new type of spring he had invented, which remained in position after being moved in any direction. And so the Anglepoise was born. Working like the tense-flex principles of muscles in human limbs, the lamp is perfectly balanced so it remains stable as you move the arm. The 1227 went into mass production the following year and soon became the nation’s task light of choice.
In 1949, seeking to ‘eradicate smut and vulgarity’ from the BBC, the head of variety banned their use unless the ceiling light was also on, believing the light from the lamp alone would ’provoke furtive ideas and produce degenerate material’. While the lamp has been upgraded many times – and even supersized in recent years – the original 1227 it still a firm favourite.
More bright ideas: Kitchen lighting – everything you need to know
2. Series 7 chair, Fritz Hansen
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.
3. The Original Fatboy
After being introduced over a decade ago the Original, with its oversized Fatboy label, has become a true icon of modern living. Take the ubiquitous beanbag, mass-produced since the Seventies, add the big beats of Fatboy Slim’s music and what do you get? An innovative, big-as-a-person Original Fatboy beanbag remixed for the 21st century, with just the right amount of cheek.
4. Lemon squeezer, Alessi
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?
5. Dualit toaster
Even 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.
6. Falcon Enamelware
It’s not often a mug is so full of memories. Or a pie dish conjures up such emotion. But whether it’s the comforting hot chocolate of our first camping experience, or the evocative aroma of Grandma’s apple pie, Falcon Enamelware makes us all feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.
With their clean aesthetic and blue and gloss-white finish, the products were originally designed in the Black Country to mimic fine bone chine, while being durable enough for the rigours of everyday use.
7. Loveseat, Ercol Originals
In 1920, Lucian Ercolani’s skills with steam-bending wood had ushered in a new era of home-grown furniture-making. By the 1950s, the family-run company’s Windsor and Evergreen chairs were must-haves for any self-respecting suburban living room and over half a century later, their popularity shows no sign of waning.
The Loveseat is an elegantly simple way to remind the world of Ercol’s heritage. This love seat offers a large, outward shaped elm seat, moulded for comfort. And it’s as British as a bowler and a rolled-up brolly.
How many Design Classics do you have in your home?