The 20th century’s most enduring furniture style is unquestioningly midcentury modern. The look was forged between the 1930s and the 1970s, all clean lines and relentless functionality. These days, everyone knows the icons — the Eames lounger, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair, whatever was in Roger Sterling’s office in Mad Men. But stopping there would be like limiting your education of grunge to Nirvana. Instead, here are some other need-to-know pieces to elevate your (very current) living room.
Gianfranco Frattini Albero Bookcase, 1950s
A swivelling central pole attaches to the floor and ceiling, with slots to secure differently sized storage pods. The cascading effect evokes something by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Jorge Zalszupin Circa Bench, 1960
Zalszupin was born in Poland and moved to Brazil in the late ’40s to escape war-ravaged Europe. There, he designed this ribbon bench made of a single sheet of curved Brazilian wood.
George Nelson Pentagon Clock, 1961
Nelson’s clock captures the energy of post-war America, what with those Jetsons-esque flourishing walnut arms.
Hans Wegner Shell Chair, 1964
The Dutch designer prototyped over 500 chairs in his lifetime. The wing-like Shell stuck more than any of them.
From $2,800, carlhansen.com
Paul Evans Cityscape Console, 1970s
Instead of the ubiquitous sleek-and-teak, Evans’ aesthetic was almost Mad Max-ian. His chrome console is at once refined and dystopian.
Price upon request, toddmerrillstudio.com