Nostalgic Furniture and Lighting Designs That Still Stay Relevant


Some notable designs from the past have proved to be relevant and purposeful. From furniture to lighting, these timeless pieces have stood the test of time, all thanks to their endearing forms. These nostalgic designs are now updated with new materials and slight tweaks to make them worthy contenders for your precious interior spaces.

B&B Italia

B&B Italia

B&B Italia “Camaleonda” sofa system featuring fabric design by Stella McCartney. Image: B&B Italia.

Mario Bellini’s “Camaleonda” sofa system, one of B&B Italia’s most recognisable items, has now been visually identified by Stella McCartney’s trademark S-Wave monogram. The seating system was designed in 1970 and remains relevant for our current times. B&B Italia executed the reissue in 2020. The sofa system underwent some slight adjustments to respond to the dynamics of environmental trends and customers’ preferences.

B&B Italia

B&B Italia “Camaleonda” sofa system designed by Mario Bellini. Image: B&B Italia.

Today, the Camaleonda has inspired many other designers, such as Stella McCartney. Her creation is a patterned fabric featuring a unique S-Wave motif, including around the seams and dimples, elegantly wrapping the sofa’s upholstery. Stocked at Space Furniture, the reissued loveseat comes in earthy beige and salmon pink colourways, and its fabric is contemporary and trend-conscious. The best part is that the upholstery and the furniture brand share a passion for biodegradability.

“I have loved Mario Bellini’s designs for years, and I cannot put into words how thrilled I am to see my prints on his pieces once again,” says McCartney

Cassina

Cassina

Cassina “Soriana” sofa system was designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa in 1969. Image: Cassina.

The concept of comfort transforms into a couch. Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s intuitive vision, which was meant to rewrite the history of upholstered furniture, gave rise to the “Soriana” sofa system developed in 1969. They created a sofa that, for the first time, doesn’t require internal support. Instead, it acquires its shape from the grasp of the encircling metal structure by utilising innovative methods for manufacturing polyurethane foam.

Cassina

The Soriana sofa system’s polyurethane foam is held by metal structures. Image: Cassina.

It is welcoming and receptive to many lifestyles, being in that ideal space between formal and informal; in 1970, Soriana was recognised with the Compasso d’Oro Award for being a masterwork of intricacy accomplished with basic materials. Today, as part of the Cassina LAB initiative, which aims to promote well-being and sustainable design to meet the demands of modern living.

Therefore, Cassina and Tobia Scarpa developed an upgrade resulting in the internal padding built on BioFoam microspheres, a bioplastic originating from plants. Stocked at W.Atelier, the sofa’s 100% recycled blown fibre cushion made from PET recovered from Plastic Bank adds even more comfort to the seat.

Arflex

Arflex

The Arflex “Marenco” sofa was designed by Mario Marenco. Image: Arflex.

Of all the furniture brands, Arflex is the most knowledgeable about upholstery. Since its founding in 1947, the company has gained much notoriety for testing cutting-edge materials and seating solutions. Arflex is renowned for creating modern, traditional furniture pieces by hand, like upholstered couches and armchairs.

Arflex

The outdoor variant of the Marenco sofa system. Image: Arflex.

Space Furniture‘s most well-known product is the “Marenco” sofa, which Mario Marenco designed in 1970. It received the 2007 Wallpaper Design Award for best sofa design reissue. The sofa’s linear form and cushy seats have been updated with new materials for the cushions, plus a swathe of lush fabrics and leather to cater to current interior trends. In 2023, Arflex added the outdoor variant of Marenco featuring a breathable water-repellant fabric cover, guaranteeing maximum comfort. Look no further than these Arflex experts and craftspeople for the best upholstery.

Herman Miller

Hay and Herman Miller

The HAY + Herman Miller collaboration. Image: Herman Miller.

Rolf Hay and his wife Mette created HAY in 2022. One of the top Danish furniture companies, it is well-known for its simple designs and intelligent use of colour, pattern, and materiality. The conglomerate now holds the North American rights to the HAY brand after being purchased by the massive American furniture company Herman Miller in 2018.

The Danish pair unveiled their new Eames Collection for Herman Miller in September of 2022. Eight recognisable Eames pieces are now updated in partnership with Herman Miller and HAY. They reinterpreted Eames classics through the views of HAY creators in a progressive, first-of-its-kind collaboration.

Hay Herman Miller

Colourful pieces from the HAY + Herman Miller collaboration. Image: Herman Miller.

Hay revisited the colour and materiality of classic Eames designs, including the couch compact, plywood chairs, and plastic shell chairs with or without arms, resulting from their harmonic collaboration. The iconic pieces, which Xtra carries, are now available in an entirely new range of hues, such as Iron Red (an earthy, southwest tint), Toffee (a smooth, sweet brown), and Powder Pink (a terra-cotta, salmon-esque hue). The Danish pair took a long time to review the volumes of records in the Herman Miller collection to have a deeper understanding of the brand’s past.

Undoubtedly, because Danes place a high value on sustainability, HAY pushed their green mission by including 100% post-industrial recycled plastic into their updated moulded plastic shell chairs. In addition, HAY experimented with glass, putting glass-cast slabs on the top of the Eames Universal Base Round Table and the Eames Wire Base Low Table in addition to glass-cast spheres on the Eames Hang-It-All.

The HAY + Herman Miller collection keeps modernity with a playful twist while preserving the essence of Herman Miller. Mette Hay stated, “I intended to focus on looking ahead instead of looking too far back, as I am very familiar with the existing colour range.”

Zanotta

Zanotta

Zanotta “Galeotta” armchair cum lounger. Image: Zanotta.

The “Galeotta” armchair was created in 1968 for the well-known Italian furniture company Zanotta by the design trio of Paolo Lomazzi, Donato D’Urbino, and Jonathan De Pas. It’s a cosy armchair that doubles as a lounger, and Royal Interiors distributes it. The armchair unfolds to reveal a daybed, a chaise longue, and flip-up cushions. The Galeotta now offers differentiated density polyurethane foam, which forms the unique material and construction without an internal mechanism or supporting frame. Three geometric blocks with irregular profiles make up the distinctive and dynamic design. These blocks may be arranged in three ways to accommodate sat or semi-supine postures and two different backrest module orientations. The Galeotta is still a cutting-edge and ground-breaking design today.

Louis Poulsen

Louis Poulsen

Louis Poulsen “Panthella” table lamp. Image: Louis Poulsen.

In Gamtofte, Denmark, Verner Panton was born in 1926. Between 1944 and 1947, he studied at the Tekniske Skole (Polytechnic) in Odense. From 1947 to 1951, he studied architecture at the Royal Danish Art Academy in Copenhagen. Among the most inventive designers of the 20th century, Panton left a lasting and profound impression with his sculptures—some of which had a whimsical future feel—and his brightly coloured creations.

One of his best-known creations, for a hint of nostalgia for the ’70s, is the “Panthella” floor/table lamps. The Panthella, which Verner Panton created in 1971, is now regarded as one of his most influential designs. The table lamp’s familiar, soft, organic shape and opal white colour make it aesthetically pleasing and valuable for casting a nice, reflected and diffused light. Stocked at Grafunkt, Light is directed downward by the hemispherical top cover and is reflected by the trumpet-shaped base. With its 400 mm diameter shade and opal white colour scheme, the Panthella 400 Table Lamp is a well-liked option.

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