This minimalist sofa is easy to repair, so you can pass it on as an heirloom

Once upon a time, furniture was seen as more than just functional objects inside a house but also as heirlooms to be passed from generation to generation. That’s not only because of their ornate designs or luxurious materials but also because of the craftsmanship and longevity of these products. Mass-produced furniture these days has nothing on their ancestors, though, especially since they seem to be made to be short-lived in order to encourage buying new ones every so often. Then again, those elaborate pieces of furniture aren’t completely sustainable either, especially when they become completely useless when a single part or section gets broken. These qualities, however, don’t need to be mutually exclusive, and this simple yet stylish sofa tries to prove that by presenting a design that’s not only elegant but also long-lasting, even when parts of it need to be replaced.

Designer: Anderssen & Voll for Takt

Conventional sofas seem to be designed to be wasteful. Even those flat-packed minimalist pieces reach their ends early the moment a leg, backrest, or even cushion becomes unusable. They may come in distinct parts, but those parts are not easily replaceable when, not if, they need to be repaired or replaced completely.

The Spoke Sofa tries to provide an answer to the problem with a design that’s thoughtful, beautiful, and sustainable down to the smallest details. The parts used, for example, are made from recycled or recyclable materials that don’t compromise the product’s durability, integrity, and comfort. Of course, the processes are sustainable as well, like how the wood is treated with environment-friendly substances like pure oil or water-based lacquer that also let the surfaces develop unique patinas over time.

More importantly, every part of the Spoke Sofa is not only built to last but also built to be easily replaced. Even upholstery can be removed easily for cleaning, encouraging owners to take better care of the sofa. Replacement parts and upholstery will also be sold, so you don’t have to go out of your way to make your own wooden pieces to replace broken ones.

This sustainable sofa is designed to last almost forever, and that applies to its timeless aesthetic as well. Its minimalist appearance and functional form ensure that it will remain relevant, no matter the trend or time. And even if design tastes change, the Spoke Sofa’s modern style will remain a beautiful example of this era’s culture, turning it into an heirloom that doesn’t lose its usability, no matter how many generations it passes through.

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How this beautiful wooden side table seems to hover in the air

Furniture has long ceased being simply functional products that take up space in homes or offices. Given their very visible roles, they have also become decorative pieces that add to a space’s ambiance. This is especially true for chairs, sofas, and large tables like coffee tables, but even smaller items like side tables can have an impact on the overall appeal of the room. Some of these side tables use elaborate designs, unusual forms, or even showy colors, but those are not the only ways to grab people’s attention. There are times when simplicity works better, and this particular design uses extremely simple shapes and constructions to the point that the side table looks almost magical as if its top was simply hovering above the ground.

Designer: Jonas Herman Pedersen

Tables need to be steady and stable to be able to hold things, and that’s normally accomplished by having four or at least two even legs raising the tabletop up. Even for a table with a single “pillar,” that support is often located in the middle at the table’s center of gravity to help keep it from toppling on one side. The Stilk Side Table, however, throws convention out of the window, resulting in a design that seemingly challenges common sense when constructing tables.

Completely made out of wood, Stilk’s top rests on a thin monolith that stands not at the center but off to one side. Of course, balance is achieved through the counterweight, which is a pile of four thick wooden discs joined to the base of the monolith, also on a single side only.

The top itself isn’t a flat circle but has the edge attached to the stem folded up a bit. This makes the tabletop look like it’s hovering with nothing supporting it while also acting as a sort of locking mechanism when something heavy is placed on the table. Despite its simple design, Stilk actually has a secret function where the owner can adjust the table’s height by simply removing a small wooden rod and positioning the top on one of three available heights.

Stilk is an unconventional side table design that admittedly would make some people nervous about placing fragile objects on it. In a sense, its appearance creates an illusion of lightness and instability that definitely catches people’s attention without actually going beyond simple shapes and finishes. It’s an effective example of how challenging the status quo can lead to interesting and effective designs while still keeping things simple, minimalist, and beautiful.

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Minimalist stool combines wood and webbing to create a fresh and fun look

We probably don’t always think about how chairs and stools look as long as they’re comfortable. After all, you don’t exactly see their visual design when you’re already sitting on them. You won’t always be sitting on a particular chair all of the time, however, and those moments when these pieces of furniture are empty can have an impact on your space’s overall ambiance. They can make or break the particular theme you’re going for or enhance the atmosphere inside a room. They can even be conversation starters, depending on how distinctive it looks. This stool, for example, might not look like the most comfortable or stable thing to sit on, but it’s hard to deny how it injects a bit of character into an area with its color combinations and raw vibe.

Designer: found/Founded

Compared to chairs, stools don’t seem to be inherently designed for long periods of use. They don’t have backrests or arms to make you feel comfortable, but they do make up for it by making it easy to sit down on one and then get up again quickly. It’s as if this kind of seat was made for more transient and very temporary situations where you just need a few minutes to rest or chat but never to lounge or work.

The KNOT Stool seems to take that image to the extreme. It is flat all around with nary a curved surface or corner that would have made it look more inviting. You can even directly see the layers of wood that make up its parts, giving it an almost brutalist aesthetic if not for the painted surfaces. Two slanted legs make up the entire support, but their thin profiles don’t really inspire much confidence.

It’s probably still a usable stool, but it seems to be designed more for viewing rather than sitting. The three wooden pieces can be painted in the same or different colors, for example. The decorative webbing strap that wraps around the top of the stool’s legs can also come in complementing or contrasting colors, not to mention being made of different materials.

The result is a stool that looks more fun than ergonomic and more decorative than utilitarian. Of course, it might still be possible to sit on it for a bit, or it can be used to hold other objects if you’re not that confident about its stability. Regardless of the purpose it will ultimately serve, the KNOT Stool is clearly not a typical stool, especially in the way it adds a bit of whimsical fun to your interior.

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Stone-like tables made from recycled construction wood are inspired by Korean architecture

Wood is a material loved by many designers and creators because of its natural beauty, its distinct texture, and its sustainability. The latter, however, doesn’t mean that there is no waste or damage to the planet involved, especially when the rate of use outpaces the rate of growth of trees. Wood is biodegradable, but it isn’t easily recyclable either. This is especially true for wood used during construction which often becomes useless after it has served its purpose. These tables, however, give new life to these discarded wooden beams, and they ironically take their inspiration and even their appearance from buildings made of stone and concrete.

Designer: Jongwon Lee

There are many ways to use wood in construction, but one of the most basic and most unappreciated types is PSL or Parallel Strand Lumber. These thick wooden beams are used as frames in architecture or interiors for walls. Their rough texture and raw appearance make them less ideal for any other purpose, and they’re often simply discarded when they’ve reached their end of life.

Primitive Structures is a table design that uses those exact same flaws and turns them into strengths and unique features. Every part of the table is made from used construction wood cut into uneven polygonal shapes. Discarded PSL wood often comes with holes made during construction, so these are filled with recycled wood chips to provide not only visual completeness but also structural safety.

The raw shapes of the legs and tops give the table a rather primitive character. Rather than hide the distinctive texture of PSL wood, they are made to stand out instead, making them resemble leaf veins or tiger stripes. This gives the table an almost stone-like appearance, and the arrangement of a slab sitting on top of tall stones is also reminiscent of ancient Korean dolmen or megalithic tombs. When the three-legged tables are stacked on top of each other, they even give the image of a Korean pagoda on a smaller scale.

Primitive Structures is an interesting design experiment on how an often ignored material can be re-recycled and down-cycled to produce something that almost looks like a piece of sculptural art. The tables’ primitive and stone-like forms exude a sense of power and strength, inspiring confidence in their use while also providing some peace of mind in knowing that this beautiful piece of furniture was made from the ground up to help heal the planet.

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Flat-packed dish rack has a beautiful but questionable design

Flat-packed furniture and products have become popular these days because of their simplicity and their economy of space. If needed, you can easily disassemble some of these products and move them to another location without taking up too much space in transport. Of course, you won’t be moving a table or chair around that much, but smaller items are free game. Some furniture might even be designed to be portable from the get-go, easily folding or collapsing when it’s time to pack up and go. At first glance, this set of minimalist dish racks seems to be made exactly for that purpose, but its choice of material might make one wonder if it was really designed to hold wet tableware in the first place.

Designer: Ernest Perera

Dish racks are designed not just for holding plates, utensils, or drinkware, though there might be a few that are indeed made for that purpose only. In most cases, however, they’re also meant to help dry this tableware by letting water drip off them. This is the reason why most drying dish racks are made from stainless steel, coated metal, or even plastic, materials that don’t get easily ruined by water or moisture.

The Aurea collection of dryers and racks, however, is noted to be made from “stratify wood,” which might be a translation error for layered wood veneers. Whatever the correct translation might be, the choice of wood remains an odd one. Even with some coating, the wooden surface would still stain and be damaged over time, especially when repeatedly exposed to liquid.

It’s a shame, though, since the Aurea racks are quite visually and mechanically interesting. At first glance, they almost look like cardboard cutouts, except they’re made of wood, of course. That wouldn’t be far from the truth, though, as the pieces do seem to have been cut out in such a fashion to provide insets and gaps for putting plates in, holes for wine bottles, and protrusions for cups. There is also a variety of color options offered, including ones that try to emulate natural wood grains.

The racks also assemble like those wooden model toys, and their construction looks simple enough to assemble and disassemble repeatedly. This makes them ideal for use in outdoor trips or camping, except for the fact that they might not be able to weather the wear and tear of such use cases, not to mention constantly getting wet from holding wet plates and cutlery.

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Cantilevered wooden chair experiment puts simplicity and efficiency on a pedestal

The primary purpose of a chair is, of course, to provide something to sit on. The basic shape of a chair, from its legs to its back to its actual seat, has evolved over the centuries, resulting in a design that provides stability and comfort. That’s not to say that there’s only one way to design a chair, though, and there is plenty of wiggle room for tweaking forms and materials, depending on what the focus of the design is. This design experiment, for example, makes use of a rather unconventional design structure that gives it a unique silhouette and construction, though it may have admittedly reduced the comfort and stability of the overall design in the process.

Designers: Mirko Ihrig, Casey Lewis (LOTTO)

A good chair design would need to have stable legs to stand on, ample room to sit on, and a reliable back to lean on, though that last bit sometimes becomes optional when talking about stools and similar seating furniture. The combination of these three elements leads to a usable piece of furniture, but many designers try to change the formula a bit by using different forms, materials, or structures. Canti, for example, is an experiment that uses a common architectural structure to create a chair that highlights the use of wood as an industrialized material.

When used for construction, timber is often cut into planks because they are the most space-efficient form for production and transportation. The final product will, of course, look very different from this initial shape, but the Canti chair skips a few steps to reflect the original form of the plank. In short, it uses a simple plank of wood as the “spine” of the chair and uses another cantilevered plank as the seat.

This results in an interesting design that is almost brutalist in both its raw shape and material, though the wood is definitely finished to look and feel more approachable. It pays tribute to bare wooded planks used in construction and production. It also gives off a sense of imbalance and discomfort, which is ironic for something that is supposed to be designed for stability and comfort. The way the plank that serves as the main structure tilts backward might make you feel it will tip over, and the somewhat short protrusion that is the seat doesn’t inspire much confidence either.

Of course, the Canti chair does attempt to provide a bit of comfort by carving out an extremely subtle curve for the person’s body. That curve is indeed so minimal that you can even put things on the seat, turning the chair into a makeshift side table. It might not be the most comfortable chair to look at or even use, but Canti definitely sparks the imagination as a design experiment that could be close to being ready for production.

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Wooden headphone holder is also a magnificent piece of sculptural art

As the number of gear we use grows, so, too, the number of things littering our desks. Some, like phones or pieces of paper, are more transient, staying there only while you’re using the desk. Others take up more permanent residence, and therefore require a proper place to call home. That’s true not only for pens or stationery but even more so for device accessories like chargers, earbuds, and headphones. The latter often just get left lying around where you last laid them, which isn’t the best way to take care of them. There are quite a few headphone holders these days, but while some are just pieces of plastic or metal that hang headphones by their bands, this particular design is something you’d also be proud to show off on your desk, even without the headphones.

Designer: Carl Liu

Headphones are designed to be vertical, but that only works if they’re hanging on your head. When unused, they often lay on their sides, which isn’t visually appealing and could even ruin the coating of the headphones. Of course, it’s trivial to just hang them on some hook or stand, but if you’ll be displaying your favorite expensive pair, why not go all out and put them on something worthy of their stature?

That’s pretty much the rationale behind the origin of Figure EIGHT, a wooden headphone holder CNC milled from a single piece of North American walnut before being finished by hand. It gets its name from the two perpendicular holes that make up its core, basically two cylinders that hold different parts of the headphone. The top that faces forward creates a gentle ark for the headband. The bottom cylinder faces sideways, and their gently dipping curves are the perfect nooks for the ear pieces.

The design is an example of how form can follow function in a very elegant manner. There are even some extra hidden features, like how the space in between the ear cups could be used to hide the headphone cable, if it has one. The smooth surfaces and gentle curves of the holder’s form also means that there are no rough edges that could damaged the headphone material while it rests on its wooden bed.

Figure EIGHT’s biggest pull, however, is really its appearance, as it serves as a beautiful piece of decoration whether it’s in use or not. And while it is stylish in its own right, it also doesn’t pull your attention away from the headphones, making sure that your $600 pair is proudly on display in the best way.

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This collection of minimal wooden furniture celebrates the natural grain and texture of wood

There’s something about wood as a material that instantly puts you at ease. Wood radiates a certain warmth, and sense of zen, that no other material can exude. And, sometimes a wooden piece of furniture is what your living space truly needs. I feel a well-crafted piece of wooden furniture can add a magical touch to even the simplest of living spaces! And I recently came across a collection of wooden furniture designs that promise to do exactly that! Beomsuk Ko designed a beautiful collection of storage furniture called Live Edge. The furniture pieces celebrate the natural grain of  wood and were designed by Ko for Kobeomsuk Furniture, the South Korean furniture brand of which he is the founder.

Designer: Beomsuk Ko for Kobeomsuk Furniture

The furniture collection includes a glass cabinet, a walnut TV stand, and a freestanding shelving unit. “The wood itself was so beautiful, I thought about how to put this beauty into the furniture as it is, and I came up with the design. Kobeomsuk Furniture pursues a bold design that is natural, not artificial, with a sense of Korean aesthetics,” said Ko.

All the pieces in the collection are beautifully designed with a minimal yet attention-grabbing appearance. The TV stand has been equipped with a rather minimal and delicate silhouette. The front panels of the stand truly allow the natural grain of the walnut wood to shine through. It is a true celebration of the natural texture of wood. “When the horizontally flowing wood is cut horizontally and arranged by changing the top and bottom positions, it gives the feeling of looking at the flowing river from the sky,” said Ko.

The glass cabinets also have a frame crafted from walnut, whereas the internal drawers were built using sapwood and heartwood. The shelving unit, on the other hand, is deeply inspired by the composition of traditional Korean furniture. It features open glass shelves and two drawers that openly showcase the Live Edge wooden front, which has a rather distinctive appeal to it. The entire collection is a great addition to your home if you’re looking to add a rather unique wooden touch to your living space.

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This copper tubes vase lets you create a lovely minimalist flower arrangement

When you think of vases, you will most likely imagine a single vessel that is able to hold a bunch of flowers, often with half a dozen stems or so. These tall containers can be made of anything, though ceramic, stone, or metal seem to be the favored materials. Of course, they can actually be made of anything, nor does the concept of a vase dictate that there should be only a single receptacle to hold the stems. There is definitely plenty of room for variety in shapes and design, and this rather unusual vase challenges all those assumptions by using not one, not even two, but seven tubes that may or may not even hold a single stem.

Designer: Hiroyuki Yuasa of MOTON

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It’s easy not to think of the Bulbous Lotus as anything other than a vase if there aren’t stems sticking out of it. Metal pipes of various heights often conjure up images of musical instruments instead of something like a utilitarian container. Perhaps that is a fitting association, considering how this unique vase produces a melody of a different kind, one that sings of the beauty of nature and the artistry of humans.

The vase is made of two parts, both independent of each other and both beautiful in their own right. The circular base is made of wood, either oak or walnut, and provides the stability that the vase needs, ensuring it stays standing, no matter how large the flowers above might be. It also has holes into which the copper tubes are inserted in your preferred arrangement. After all, there is no hard rule that these cylinders be arranged in a specific order.

The slim copper tubes offer very little room for one or two stems only, pushing you to think about how your flower arrangement will go. Of course, you don’t actually need to even stick anything inside them, leaving some of the pipes empty to give some dramatic effect to the flowers that are there. You don’t even have to match the tube’s height with the stem’s length, giving you complete freedom in how you want to combine different design elements. You are the artist, and this vase is your canvas.

The use of copper for the tubes is by no means accidental. The metallic material has the effect of keeping the water inside from becoming odorous. Copper also discolors over time, and rather than being an eyesore, the unique patinas will give each cylinder a unique appearance and character. Whether you want to fill the corner of the room with flowers or prefer a more minimalist arrangement that would remind people of Zen gardens and bonsai, this distinctive metal and wood vase gives you the artistic freedom and the creative exercise you need to bring some life into your space.

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This distinctive coffee table blends contrasting elements to give it a unique character

Coffee tables today do more than just hold your coffee or your coffee table books. They have become both literal and figurative centers of a room, providing visual impact through their eye-catching appearances. Some coffee tables grab your attention with their exquisite shapes, while others prefer to do it through remarkable materials. This unique coffee table does both, creating a piece of furniture that could almost be described as sculptural art. What’s more noteworthy, however, is that it uses what seems to be opposing or contrasting materials, giving it a distinct personality that’s like a Yin and Yang of furniture design.

Designer: Donatas Žukauskas

There are some materials, both natural and man-made, that seem to be associated with certain emotions and concepts. Water, for example, can be calming and cleansing, while plastic is soft and pliable. Wood is warm and cozy, while stone, in its many forms, is cold and impersonal. These latter two might seem to stand on opposite ends, but they come together in a harmonious and even artistic way in this sculptural coffee table made of natural wood and a new concrete-like material.

The very shape of the table itself seems to convey this character of combining contrasting elements. The wide, irregularly-shaped wooden top is held up by three conical legs that end in very thin feet that seem to test fate. Its form has elements of both stability and irregularity as if challenging the mind to decide whether the table is steady or is ready to collapse on one end.

What makes this table even more interesting is that its concrete legs aren’t exactly made from actual concrete. Instead, it is a solid yet elastic mass that is actually closer to wood but was designed to look like concrete. It is made from paper mass, which is again the opposite of the rigidity of concrete, but mixed with various other materials to give it the desired texture, water resistance, and rigidity. Fusing this wet mass, which is poured into a mold, with the wood top proved to be a tricky task, but the result was well worth the trouble.

This sculptural coffee table of opposites is definitely a sight to behold in a room, and of course, it’s quite functional, too. So yes, you can place your favorite mug and books on top without fear of breaking down. Its special character, however, doesn’t stop at its aesthetics. Recycled materials were utilized in creating this table, making it a sustainable piece of furniture and sculptural art as well.

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