Published on April 8, 2019

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

Anyone who’s ever watched the Netflix documentary Somm knows how gruesome the path to becoming a master sommelier really is: The exams take years to prepare for, and the pass rates are among the lowest in the world. As such, there aren’t many master somms in the world. Most professional fields operate the same way: Few doctors go on to become brain surgeons, and not every chef receives three Michelin stars.

Many of us would fancy ourselves as design connoisseurs or, at the very least, enthusiasts, but really knowing interior design and art requires a discerning eye and a sharp business sense. It involves being at the forefront of the creative world, predicting decor trends years before they arise, and knowing the true value of objects, which, like fine-art pieces, accrue value based on their demand on the market.

Cristina Miller, chief commercial officer at 1stdibs, is such a person. Being at the helm of buying for one of the largest high-end design platforms means she needs an acute understanding of all things antiques, contemporary design, fine arts, and more. Given the depth of her expertise on all things high-end design, we had to ask her what items she deems are worth the investment today. These are the seven items she’s eyeing right now.

If You Picture Yourself Living in an Artist’s Loft…

“On the centenary of the Castiglioni brothers, FLOS commissioned this Toio reedition in a cool matte black. This is the first exclusive contemporary piece 1stdibs has ever done and it’s limited edition, so it’s a special piece.”

If You Always Hit the After-Party…

“This makes me think of an after-party or maybe after the after-party—the twilight of excess and a melting disco ball. It also plays with our expectations of what material should be, with the misshapen, soft disco ball.”

If You Want to Lose Yourself in Space and Time…

“Easily one of my favorite pieces at our NYC 1stdibs Gallery, this video work offers a view onto the river Ganges in Varanasi. The length of the 24-hour recording loop helps you rise with the Varanasi sun, and the app that accompanies the piece allows you to set the time to whatever you are feeling. It’s enchanting!”

If Alexander Calder Is Your Favorite Artist…

“This wall-mount lighting lives in serene balance. It has the same quiet, contemplative spirit that a Calder would have.”

If You Believe in the Lost Art of Marquetry…

“Nada’s work is a new iteration of a long-standing history of pattern design in the Middle East. The surface of this piece is so detailed, and from afar, it looks flatter. It’s an optical illusion. Her craftsmanship is phenomenal too.”

If Whimsy Is Your Middle Name…

“Artist Mattia Biagi’s piece embodies form generation through collage, which we are seeing as a trend right now. It’s conceptual art—that you can sit on—and it’s certainly special.”

If You Love Laid-Back Excess…

“This piece uses a randomly selected mix of materials laminated together. The beauty of it is pulled out by the artist’s intervention of shaping its form.”

Discover more unique decor we love:

This Is What Interior Designers Are Actually Buying Right Now

From Croissant Lamps to Alien Shapes—the 7 Next Big Decor Trends

Your Childhood Self Would Approve of This New Decor Trend

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