Tiffany’s received a considerable amount of backlash last November with the launch of its “Everyday Objects,” a collection of ordinary, banal items—a tin can, a ball of yarn, and a pair of solo cups, for instance—crafted from luxurious materials like sterling silver and rose gold vermeil. The line was criticized for being tone deaf — a slap in the face to the less fortunate, propagating the idea that the staples of middle or lower class life can be seen as curiosity pieces when recreated with pressure metals and a luxury brand name.
Here at KHACHILIFE, we do believe that everyday objects can be works of art. But luxury is about more than a price tag; it’s about quality, artistry, and story. We love fine décor and know that the best home designs can’t be lifted from the pages of a magazine. A space should reflect the personality and needs of its inhabitants.
Objets d’art is a term used to describe art that can’t be classified as painting or large-scale sculpture; when applied to the home, these objets serve as accent pieces— little curiosities that infuse a space with character. Sometimes that means an interesting twist on an ordinary object or functional household item, elevating that piece through ornamentation or decoration, and sometimes that means an object that is for aesthetic purposes only. Whether through function or frivolity, they fill our homes with beauty and art, sometimes where we least expect it.
Here are some of the luxe curiosity pieces we love:
Candleholder by Jaime Hayon
This luxury piece from Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon is designed to reimagine traditional chamber candleholders in a sculptural, seemingly industrial group formation. The intricacy of its form and the warmth of its golden brass material make this piece an object of beauty in its own right, one that can serve as a sculpture for display or functional centrepiece at an extravagant dinner party.
Valet Tray Emma MM by Louis Vuitton
We love this travel-inspired tray by Louis Vuitton, which feels all the more fitting given the company’s history; when he was just sixteen years old, Louis Vuitton set out to become a trunk maker. This subtle graphic’s Art Deco influence pays homage to that history, evoking a certain nostalgia for the elegant travel of times gone by, when journeys meant a luxurious steamer trunk and kid gloves.
Dolce & Gabbana Smeg Refrigerator
This is certainly the largest item on our list, and perhaps larger than one might expect for an objet d’art. But the ornate quality of the designs transforms a banal and necessary household item into an object of beauty and curiosity. And while Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg might seem like an unlikely pairing, their backgrounds are both heavily grounded in family and a focus on Italian excellence. Each refrigerator features imagery by Sicilian artists, such as lemons, cartwheels, and medieval knights, as well as details that reflect the aesthetic sensibilities of each company.
Tom Dixon Cast Shoe Copper
Tom Dixon is a master of metals; he earned his name in the mid 1980s with his welded salvage furniture. This particular oddity is crafted from heavy aluminum and plated in copper. It can serve as either a doorstop or decorative item, making for an eye-catching piece whether it’s on the floor or on the shelf of a swanky office. The design of the shoe is informed and inspired by Dixon’s British heritage.
Kelly Wearstler Classic Mini Kiss
Kelly Wearstler is known for products and interiors that blur the line between décor and fine art. The Classic Mini Kiss, available in either burnished bronze or marble, is perhaps one of her most iconic pieces. Designed to function as a sculptural conversation piece for the tabletop, it is diminutive enough to make for a unique and quirky gift between lovers.
Tabletop Collection for Purho by Karim Rashid
Fine Italian glassmakers Purho are passionate about their chosen material. “Pushed by the very energy that moves the sun and stars, glass takes one back to the dawn of time,” the brand states, “and unveils through its transparency what has yet to come.” A relatively young company, Purho teamed up with Karim Rashid for its launch in 2013. The resulting collection, De Amore in Vitro, is filled with colourful and form-defying tabletop pieces. Thanks to Rashid’s bold and contemporary flair, Purho has been putting a new spin on both the Italian tradition of glassmaking and objets d’art for the tabletop.