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Best Bets: Design 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 with designer lighting, furniture and décor built to impress, built to last and made to serve as modern art. Explore some of the world's best designs and find out why good design is worth your dime.

Mirror Ball by Tom Dixon.

Mirror Ball by Tom Dixon

Combining industrial materials with the glamour of British design, designer Tom Dixon's namesake brand expresses an undeniable sense of independence and industriousness. The futuristic and forward-thinking Mirror Ball features an ultra-reflective, ultra-modern round shade inspired by a space helmet.

Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp by Artemide.

Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp by Artemide

High concept and high fashion, Artemide's innovative Italian lighting built to outlast trends and remain relevant in today's ever-evolving culture. The Tolomeo task lamp 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.

PH 5 Pendant by Louis Poulsen.

PH 5 Pendant by Louis Poulsen

Louis Poulsen's fundamental values—an understanding of the emotional effect of light and shadow and deep respect for architecture—are manifest in the sculptural form and precisely engineered function of designer Poul Henningsen's PH 5 Pendant. Suspended in about half the homes in Denmark, we'd say it's well on its way to being a true design icon.

Discoco Pendant by Marset.

Discoco Pendant by Marset

An instant classic from designer Christophe Mathieu is right at home among Marset’s modern Spanish lighting designs. Marset’s line is subtle but dramatic, comfortable but full of character. The lacquered leaves on Discoco provide glare-busting illumination with a gentle warmth that’s both organic and other-worldly.

Masters Chair by Kartell.

Masters Chair by Kartell

Kartell produces some of the world's finest and most innovative polycarbonate furnishings, effectively redefining the material. In the Kartell Masters Chair, the remarkable overlapping seat back is actually the outlines of three different chairs: the Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen, the Tulip armchair by Eero Saarinen and the Eiffel Chair by Charles Eames.

Arco Floor Lamp by FLOS.

Arco Floor Lamp by FLOS

FLOS features the work of renowned designers from all over the world. Going beyond mere function, their high concept Italian lighting fixtures have become icons in the contemporary lighting field. The Arco Floor Lamp is a dramatic, impactful piece that has a home in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Stool 60 by Artek.

Stool 60 by Artek

Where art meets tech—Scandinavian design house Artek heavily reflects the aesthetic of co-founder Alvar Aalto. 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.

Nelson Ball Clock by Vitra

Nelson Ball Clock by Vitra

Vitra modern accessories and furniture keep the playful innocence of great mid-century modern designers alive, bringing sustainable, helpful modern furniture and accessories to office and home. An authentic re-edition of a 1947 design, the Nelson Ball Clock is produced using the original design from George Nelson's archive. The geometric design expertly marries mid-century modern tenets of form and function.

CH24 by Carl Hansen.

CH24 by Carl Hansen

In the 1940s, Hans J. Wegner's designs catapulted Carl Hansen into design stardom, and have remained so consistently popular that they are still made today. Perhaps his most celebrated piece is the Wishbone Chair, recognized by its characteristic Y-shaped back. Even though its appearance is simple, each chair requires more than 100 steps to build, including a hand-woven seat made from more than 120 meters of paper cord.

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. In a variety of crystalline colorways, it has become one of the most famous chairs in modern design since its debut in 2002.

Hope Suspension by Luceplan.

Hope Suspension by Luceplan

Luceplan puts clean, quality design at the forefront of every product, earning vast recognition in the design world—the company has been renowned for its Made in Italy designs for more than 40 years. The Hope collection has received many accolades since its introduction in 2009. Inspired by the Hope Diamond, the fixtures use thin layers of prismatic polycarbonate Fresnel lenses to emulate the faceted stone.

Panton Chair by Vitra.

Panton Chair by Vitra

One of beloved Danish designer Verner Panton's best-known pieces, Vitra's Panton Chair was ahead of its time (and technology) when it was first conceived in 1959 and made from hard foam plastic finished in a glossy lacquer. In 1999 the chair became what it was originally intended to be—a single piece of dyed polypropylene. Both versions are available today in hues that line up with Panton's passion for experimenting with color.

Rote LED Pendant by Bert Frank.

Rote LED Pendant by Bert Frank

If British engineering expertise could be expressed as artistic elegance, it’d be Bert Frank. The brand’s award-winning designs are exclusively manufactured in the UK (and offered exclusively at Lumens). The Rote LED Pendant’s neat geometric silhouette, replete with Art-Deco vents, calls to mind the artfully engineered motor vehicle designs of that era.

CH07 Lounge Chair by Carl Hansen.

CH07 Lounge Chair by Carl Hansen

Great design is timeless, and often regarded as ahead of its time. Hans Wegner's CH07 chair was so stunningly avant-garde that it was not widely lauded after its 1963 debut. But a reissue of the design known as the "Shell Chair" in the late 1990s catapulted the work to icon status, earning many awards and a permanent spot in Danish design history.

Twiggy Arc Floor Lamp by Foscarini.

Twiggy Arc Floor Lamp by Foscarini

Designer Marc Sadler’s original industrial design specialty was sports, so it’s no wonder his famous Twiggy design draws on his experience. Made from the same materials that might make up a fishing pole, Twiggy’s overarching impression is that of its fine-line arch that delicately suspends its shade with a weightless effect.