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Designs Worth Your Dime

The best things in life are free. The best things in design? Not so much. But there is more than one way to define the word “value.” Our favorite interpretation lies in creating a beautiful space that feels welcoming, comfortable and tells a story. Designer lighting and furniture is built to impress, but it’s also built to last and serve as modern art. Explore some of the most well-recognized designs below and find out why good design is worth your dime.

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Mirror Ball by Tom Dixon

Mirror Ball by Tom Dixon

Combining industrial materials with the glamour of British design, designer Tom Dixon has transformed industrial technologies into innovative means of manufacturing stunning modern lighting, furniture and accessories. His namesake brand expresses an undeniable sense of independence and industriousness as the design house strives to revitalize British industry.

Futuristic and forward-thinking, the Tom Dixon Mirror Ball collection features an assortment of pendants and ultra-reflective, ultra-modern round shades inspired by a space helmet.

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Swan Chair b Fritz Hansen

Swan Chair by Fritz Hansen

In 1872, a young Danish carpenter named Fritz Hansen founded his own furniture company in Copenhagen. The company innovated furniture production while employing the pure, light lines that have become the hallmark of modern Scandinavian design. From its inception through today, Fritz Hansen has allowed many notable designers to see their cutting-edge creations realized with signature Fritz Hansen quality and craftsmanship.

Acclaimed Danish designer Arne Jacobsen originally created his Swan Chair in 1958 while designing Copenhagen's Radisson SAS Royal Hotel. Today the Swan Chair and Sofa are some of the best-known silhouettes in modern furniture design.

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Tolomeo by Artemide

Tolomeo by Artemide

High concept and high fashion, innovative Italian lighting by Artemide truly represents contemporary design. Not only is the company a leader when it comes to ecological practices, but the fixtures are built to outlast fashion trends and remain relevant in today's ever-evolving, technologically advanced culture.

The Tolomeo collection is exemplary Artemide—high-tech, elegantly crafted and totally timeless. Easily one of Italy's most recognizable designs, Tolomeo is a favorite on many TV and movie sets.

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Lolli dwelLED Pendant

PH 5 Pendant by Louis Poulsen

The name Louis Poulsen means distinctive modern Danish lighting. All Louis Poulsen lighting is created with a deeply held respect for architecture, an understanding of the emotional effect of lighting and the belief that shadow is just as aesthetically important as light. These fundamental values manifest themselves in the sculptural forms and precisely engineered functions of Louis Poulsen pendants, wall, table and floor lamps.

Designer Poul Henningsen's PH 5 Pendant is suspended in about half the homes in Denmark; we'd say it's well on its way to being a true design icon.

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Piccola Table Lamp by Pablo Designs

Piccola Table Lamp by Pablo Designs

Venezuelan-born designer Pablo Pardo parlayed the diverse experiences in his life—growing up in a family of designers, musicians and engineers, his formal education and industrial design experience—into a company that takes a holistic approach to lighting design. Pablo Designs' modern fixtures show the company's propensity for experimenting with and developing new technologies and putting them into simple, useful yet unique forms. These forms range aesthetically between cheerful, colorful and sculptural to slim, streamlined and ultra-contemporary.

Pardo's very first design, the Piccola Table Lamp, has a minimal yet charmingly playful makeup that earned it a spot in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Arco Floor Lamp by FLOS

Arco Floor Lamp by FLOS

With a reputation for pushing the envelope in modern design, FLOS' bold lighting collection features the work of renowned designers from all over the world. Going beyond mere function, FLOS fixtures are high-concept Italian lighting fixtures that truly serve as works of art, some of which have even become icons in the contemporary lighting field. Internationally renowned designers make up the company's roster, injecting fresh, inspired designs into every line.

The Arco Floor Lamp, designed by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, is a dramatic, impactful piece that has a home not only in the office of Mad Men’s Roger Sterling, but also in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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Master Chair by Kartell

Masters Chair by Kartell

Kartell produces some of the world's finest and most innovative polycarbonate furnishings, effectively redefining the material. The results are light, durable and versatile enough to look perfectly chic at home or in the office. Many designs are created in one piece using a single mold so they’re completely seamless. Kartell collaborates with well-known designers, whose fresh perspectives expand the company's contemporary design palette while sticking to its high standards of quality and inventiveness.

Designers Philippe Starck and Eugeni Quitllet pay tribute to three icons of contemporary design in the Kartell Masters Chair. The remarkable overlapping, open lines of the back are actually outlines of three different chairs: the Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen, the Tulip armchair by Eero Saarinen and the Eiffel Chair by Charles Eames.

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Ball Clock by Vitra

Ball Clock by Vitra

Vitra is a who's who of the design world: Famed clocks from George Nelson, furniture and accessories from Charles and Ray Eames, and more. Vitra's modern accessories and furniture keep the playful innocence of these great designers alive, bringing sustainable, helpful modern furniture and accessories to office and home. This collection is mid-century modern at its best.

An authentic reissue of a classic mid-century modern design from 1947, the Ball Clock is produced using the original design document from designer George Nelson's archive with the blessings of his estate. This functional and geometric work of art represents the work of one of America's most original designers.

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Fairy Pendant by Leucos

Fairy Collection by Leucos

The talents behind Leucos Lighting are steeped in the rich Venetian tradition of glassblowing—truly an old-world art, but expertly translated into contemporary shapes and innovative technologies for today.

Reminiscent of a firefly caught in a jar, the Fairy collection is equal parts charming and elegant, with sparkling, hand-blown glass made from borosilicate crystal and a ribbed inner tube surrounding a halogen light source.

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Stool 60 by Artek

Stool 60 by Artek

Where art meets tech—that’s the philosophy behind Scandinavian design house Artek, whose designs heavily reflect the aesthetic of co-founder Alvar Aalto. That means beauty, simplicity and functionality take center stage in each and every piece, many of which were originally created for use in public spaces.

In 1933, Aalto’s Stool 60 was the first to showcase the L-bend wood leg, a distinctive feature that would later be seen in all Aalto designs. The often-imitated-never-duplicated icon is recognized by its circular seat and three birch legs, and is considered a classic among modern, functional furniture.

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CH24 Wishbone Chair

CH24 Wishbone Chair by Carl Hansen

Hans J. Wegner was a relatively unknown Danish architect when he began designing furniture for Carl Hansen & Son in the 1940s. But those designs catapulted the company into design stardom, and have remained so consistently popular that they are still made today.

Perhaps Wegner’s most celebrated piece is the CH24 Wishbone Chair, recognized by its characteristic Y-shaped back. Even though its appearance is simple and straightforward, each chair requires more than 100 steps to build, including a hand-woven seat made from more than 120 meters of paper cord.

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Louis Ghost Armchair by Kartell

Louis Ghost Armchair by Kartell

Kartell’s signature polycarbonate style is showcased here, in Philippe Starck’s reinvention of the classic Louis XVI armchair. Steeped in traditional style, the Louis Ghost Armchair is in fact a technical feat, made from a single piece of transparent injection-molded polycarbonate.

Having debuted in 2002, the Louis Ghost has become one of the most famous chairs in modern design. Its classic design works well in both traditional and modern interiors, and its transparency keeps it from adding visual heft to a space.

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Panton Chair by Vitra

Panton Chair by Vitra

Having worked alongside another iconic Danish designer, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton had a strong desire to push the envelope in design from an early age. For several decades, the architect was on the cutting edge of design, with unique forms and materials that shook up the status quo.

One of Panton’s most well-known pieces, the Panton Chair, was ahead of its time when it was first conceived in 1959. The mid-century rendition was made from a hard foam plastic finished in a glossy lacquer. It wasn’t until 1999, however, that the Panton Chair could become what it was originally intended to be—a single piece of dyed polypropylene. Both versions are available today in a range of hues that line up with Panton’s encouragement to experiment with color.

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Hope Suspension by Luceplan

Hope Suspension by Luceplan

Luceplan was founded by Italian architects who put clean, quality design at the forefront of every product. That approach has earned them vast recognition in the design world—the company has been renowned for their Made in Italy designs for nearly 40 years.

The Hope Suspension is not one of Luceplan’s oldest designs, but it has quickly gained recognition in the design world. Designed by Francisco Gomez Paz and Paolo Rizzatto, and inspired by the Hope Diamond, the Hope Pendant uses thin layers of prismatic polycarbonate Fresnel lenses to echo the faceted stone, resulting in a look of luxury that is airy and light.

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Beat Lights by Tom Dixon

Beat Lights by Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon’s fascination with metals and vision of modern, British design has led to some truly unique pieces that have quickly become icons in the relatively short time his studio has been at work. One of the most recognizable is the Beat Light collection, made of several cohesive silhouettes that merge ancient tradition with contemporary style.

The Beat Light collection has seen several iterations since it first appeared in 2007. Originally debuted as a series of pendant lights, the collection is inspired by cooking pots and water vessels in India—the same place each is hand-spun into their now-signature shapes. The lights have evolved with a range of shade colors—white, gray, brass—as well as floor and table lamp versions.

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