Anna Wintour, the famous (or perhaps infamous) fashion editor of Vogue, harbours a firm resentment for black-on-black when it comes to fashion; in fact, in a candid interview filmed for the magazine, she went on the record to firmly state that head-to-toe black is the one thing she will never wear.
We have no idea what Wintour might feel about monochrome trends when it comes to interiors (she also, by the way, hates trends), but we have a sneaking suspicion that she would be less than enthused by an all-white room. And while we love a good minimalist interior that is soothing, rather than disruptive, to the eye, this particular aesthetic is not without its controversy. “Few [controversies] have been as incendiary—and representative of larger issues in design—as the lightning-rod issue of all-white walls and homes,” writes Grace Bonney, author and founder of Design*Sponge. Often earning a reputation as sterile or without personality, with the lovers arguing in favour of its “cleanliness,” the style is certainly polarizing. And while we believe that style is subjective and will argue neither for nor against, we do believe that it never hurts to throw a wrench into uniformity. So we’re borrowing a page from Wintour’s book and celebrating colour — specifically, the colourful creations by some of our favourite furniture designers.
This Credenza is part of a capsule collection by renowned furniture designer Patricia Urquiola, who collaborated with graphic designer (and all-around artist) Federico Pepe to create a series inspired by the windows of holy sites, such as the stained glass of Cologne’s Cathedral. “Its name carries the essence of the concept: ‘Credenza’, which in Italian means both a cupboard and one’s belief,” explains Urqouila’s site. “The meeting between an antique sacred inspiration and its reinterpretation in the form of the design is well reflected in the production process of the collection.”
Adding colour doesn’t always mean opting for bold primaries. We love the rich burgundy of Wearstler’s chair and the warmth such a jewel tone can add to a space. The hue of this rich, buttery leather even comes with its own playful, signature Wearstler touch: the underside is trimmed in colourful printed silk.
Jonathan Adler is certainly no stranger to colour; the popular furniture designer has even collaborated with Clinique on an exclusive line of lipsticks with hues inspired by the designer’s favorite destinations: Palm Beach, Capri, and Santorini. With the Harlequin console, Adler looks to shades of early morning light and presents these in angular form. “A little Italian Modern, a little moody Danish, and a lot of irresistible color,” reads the official product description. These subtle pops of colour are the perfect compliment to a white-on-white room.
The whimsical furniture of Marcel Wanders has always blurred the line between household item and fine art; Wanders’ work has accordingly been exhibited at MoMA New York, the Stedelijik Museum Amsterdam, and the V&A Museum, London. This chair makes our list for its bold use of the primary colours and for its clear nod to the iconic paintings of Piet Mondrian.
Not only is Dixon’s S Chair striking for its vibrant and saturated shade of blue, but it’s also a feat of engineering. Originally created in Dixon’s London studio in the ’80s, the original iterations of this chair are in the permanent collections of MoMA New York and the V&A London. Today the chair has been re-engineered thanks to advances in technology and manufacturing. The result is “instantly recognizable serpentine curves” that are “more ergonomically active than ever.”
Known for his iconic product designs, Philippe Starck has a knack for the bright and the bold. This stool is perhaps the most versatile piece on our list; not only does it serve as a functional seat, but it can also double as a side table or decorative curiosity. Inspired by the silhouette of a precious antique vase, Starck designed this piece for Kartell, a company known for its plastic furniture. We love the transparent polycarbonate material, which offsets the boldness of its colour with its ability to diffuse soft light.
This striking coffee table, designed by Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni, is possible thanks to a “sophisticated and innovative technical process.” Made from overlapping glass strips, the tabletop offers infinite tonalities. As with Starck’s stool, the transparency of this piece makes for a more subdued statement than these colours might make in opaque form. The result is a light-catching centerpiece that produces colourful and seemingly magical reflections on the surrounding space.