Many furniture designers now produce a variety of versions of the classic chesterfield.
Many furniture designers now produce a variety of versions of the classic chesterfield. iStock

Vintage appeal works in contemporary design

Along with most of my friends, I have a penchant for pre-loved furniture and decor pieces. I recall my mother being horrified when my first boyfriend and I decked out our little inner city terrace with vintage pieces. To my mother, the standard lamps, the old chesterfield sofa and the (now super hip) atomic coffee maker were shudderingly old-fashioned and something to be avoided.

To my mother and those of her generation, these vintage pieces were ugly reminders of a tasteless era. In other words, one person's trash is another's treasure. But what is interesting is how many designers are now basing their contemporary designs on vintage design principles, pieces and lines.

Take the iconic atomic coffee maker for instance. If you are lucky enough to own one, hold on to it - they are only increasing in value. But there are now new models that are heavily drawn on the designs of the original, Italian stovetop coffee maker.

Smeg designs are another great example where the designers are majorly influenced by the classic, sleek lines most prevalent in the 50s.

This reinterpreting the old also applies to furniture. For instance, the iconic chesterfield sofa can be found at most contemporary retailers. Many furniture designers now produce a variety of versions of the classic chesterfield, complete with the buttoned leather details of yesteryear.

Another popular comeback is the stylish bar cart (or bar trolley). You only have to watch a classic old movie to see these carts were a huge trend decades ago, yet they have never been more relevant or as popular as they are today.


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