You don’t often hear people complaining about the roll-arm upholstered sofa or white tulip dining table they bought. There are just some pieces that transcend whatever time, space, or style of interior they’re thrown into. Good bones and timeless materials equal design staying power, people! And though quality generally comes at a higher price point, you’d be surprised at the well-priced classics that some of your favorite affordable home furnishing brands offer. Let’s take a look, shall we? Here are nine simple, timeless pieces of furniture you’ll be into for years.
If your style skews a little more traditional than modern, then a cushy, tufted Chesterfield sofa is probably a good choice for you. Look for one that’s hand-tufted and in a fabric like performance velvet, which will stand up to stains and wear and tear. I can’t remember a time when a silhouette like this wasn’t stylish or comfortable, so you really can’t go wrong. I haven’t sat on this particular sofa, but I love the blush colorway and turned wood feet.
Marble Coffee Table
White marble is a classic, neutral material that never really goes out of fashion and works with a variety of decorating styles. So if you spring for a stone topped coffee table, it’s a) going to be way cheaper than marble floors or kitchen countertops, and b) something that you probably won’t tire of that quickly. Find something with sturdy wood or metal legs. This airy, box-shaped design is visually light and won’t make your living room look or feel too crowded.
Saarinen-Style Dining Table
Circular tulip-style dining tables are great for small spaces because they have a compact base and no corners, so they’re easy to move around. Even if you buy one of these tables for your apartment or starter house now, it can always reinvent itself in your next place as an entry or a craft table. And if you tire of the wooden tabletop, you can always use a tablecloth or runner to give it an instant facelift.
The shelfie has become a full-blown phenomenon on Instagram and for good reason—it’s a great way to showcase your personality through your curated mix of decorative objects, books, and art. The more shelves, the more space to display your wares, which is why I like an open étagère like this metal and wood unit from IKEA. You could push a couple together along a wall now, and then flank a flat screen TV with the same set in your next place. Or vice versa. You’ll get a lot of design mileage out of something simple and sturdy.
If you like reading in bed or think your future house guests might, wood isn’t for you. Go the upholstered route instead. The clean lines and soft beige shade of this bed will work with any kind of bedding. Spring for something a little nicer for your master, sure, but this style would be perfect for a guest room. Wrought Studio Tafolla Fabric Full Upholstered Panel Bed at Wayfair, $218
Get yourself a Moroccan pouf or some kind of footstool. You won’t regret it. It’s a place to kick up your feet, can serve as a chair if you need an extra seat while entertaining, and is a great place to set a tray for drinks and snacks. A natural leather color will patina nicely, so avoid the temptation to go metallic. You’ll thank me later.
Plain Front Dresser
Yes, you can buy a dresser that’s super ornate or painted a punchy color. But chances are you’ll tire of it eventually. Why not choose something that’s slightly nondescript and spare yourself the DIY project or Craigslist sale later? One thing the mid-century modern designers got right was the dresser. The dark finish and simple drawer fronts make this MCM-inspired chest from Amazon’s newish private label, Rivet, a style chameleon, and the brass pulls give it a touch of fancy.
Consoles are amazing. They’re made for entries but can be used behind sofas, as stands for televisions, or even as makeshift desks. They’re way more versatile than you think. You can’t get anything simpler than a Parsons-style table, and a black piece of furniture will never compete or detract from other finishes in a space.
Trust me, you won’t regret buying a set of Windsor-style chairs. They’ve got a bit of a colonial vibe going on, but when paired with the right table, they can look quite modern. Plus, the proportions are generally nice on this style of chair, meaning you could use one at a desk, in your entry, or in a bedroom without it looking silly.
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