Designers on the Splurge-Worthy Item They’d Buy for Their Dream Home
Toss out the checkbook.
Updated Aug 15, 2019 4:42 PM
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Part of being a good designer is knowing how to make a space look great on a tight budget. Still, along the way, those wish-list items are never forgotten. We all have one. You know, that curved sofa you’d sell your soul for because it’d look so good with your coffee table. Or that luxe wallpaper you spot in every glossy magazine. Interior designers know the feeling all too well.
So we thought we’d run a little experiment of our own. Taking compromise out of their vocabulary, we asked a handful of interior pros what they’d buy if money was no object. What we got at the end of our limitless investigation was an ultra-chic picture of their dream home.
Filled with fantasy furniture, rare vintage accents, and long-awaited statement pieces, their splurge-worthy shopping list is a reminder to never write off the impossible or impractical just because it costs too much. Here are eight “wow” investment pieces to add to your mood board stat.
So long, gray square sofas. Laguna Beach–based designer Jen Samson has been lusting over these two equally sculptural seats for some time now. “I’ve fantasized about this sofa and [these] chairs for as long as I can remember… a true icon in 1970s design!” says the designer.
While both vintage finds boast the same chrome detailing and bulbous structure, the wispy blue velvet and the nude leather upholstery set them apart. “It exudes edgy modernism that I have always adored and its vintage roots give it all the beautiful uniqueness that I like to weave into every project,” she adds.
Also on Samson’s list are two sculptural side tables—the first by Italian architect and industrial designer Angelo Mangiarotti. It was love at first sight when Samson first spotted the pair at a furniture store in L.A. that specializes in rare 20th-century finds.
“Ever since that day, they have left a deep imprint in my mind and my heart. I’m obsessed with the lily pad shape of the marble tops held up by a marble conic base. They can be found in both white and black Carrara (equally gorgeous) and could live in so many different styles of homes, especially mine,” she shares.
A shapely amalgamation of different colored marbles and figurative shapes, Portugal-based design studio Dooq’s puzzling side table is like a Tetris game for the living room.
“I could truly stare at this table for hours on end,” says Samson. “It’s a perfect merger of art and design.”
While it might be too pretty to set your drinks on, we think every room deserves a side piece that sparks the imagination.
Handmade in Switzerland, circa 1970, only a handful of de Sede’s iconic Inmotion sofa were ever made. With its spider-like legs and jet-black upholstery, this retro corner couch is high on Austin-based interior designer Allison Crawford’s wish list. Sofa or slide? You decide.
Talk about arm candy. In her dream dining room, Crawford would snag a collection of Norman Cherner’s eponymous chairs. The mid-century staple has long been loved for its exaggerated shape and pretzel-like arms cut from a single piece of bent beech. While you’ll often see them against a wall as an accent piece, in a dream scenario, the designer would want to see them gathered around a large table.
“Lighting makes or breaks a room. The fixture itself and the light it casts is every bit as important as the layout, furnishings, and colors [you choose],” says Lauren Geremia. In a limitless world, the San Francisco–based designer would dedicate her budget to decorative lighting. Already a big fan of Nickey Kehoe (the sum of designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe), Geremia has splurged on the duo’s string lantern before—and it’s safe to say she’d do it again.
In case you need another reason to love statement lighting: “In terms of cost justification, lighting doesn’t see much wear and tear, so it can feel easier to invest in something special to make a space shine,” adds the designer.
Along with an Indian bone inlay four-poster bed frame, designer, blogger, and voice behind SG Style Shavonda Gardner would splurge on a vintage Milo Baughman dining table—one large enough to sit 10 comfortably. Because what is a perfect meal without a prolific, modernist surface to back it up?
See more designer-approved finds: