“I love building spaces: architecture, furniture, all of it, probably more than fashion. The development procedure is more tactile. It’s about space and form and it’s something you can share with other people.” – Donna Karan
Design really is where art meets utility. As a designer, your job is making something that is useful and pretty to look at in the same time, and people come to you asking for uniqueness. They want something that is new and never before seen, but works like everything else, so people will be familiar with it.
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Nowhere is this more obvious than in furniture design. Any way you look at it, a chair is a surface you sit on, a bed is a surface you lay down on, and so on. Furniture is an excellent example of how different designs are used to achieve the same goal.
The reason why different designs are used is because furniture serves a double purpose. It is both useful and decorative. Making a house a home means making the house a place you like spending time in, and furniture is an integral part of building a pleasant ambiance.
To help you with your design inspiration, we’re going to show you a list of cool looking furniture designs that should help get those creatives juices flowing, and get you started on creating some great designs of your own.
1. Rock on/ Rock off: Exquisite Mood Rocking Bed from Shiner International
There is nothing quite as relaxing as taking a nap out in the open air, but hammocks, although pleasant in short bursts, aren’t really all that comfortable for catching a few winks of sleep, and other alternatives such as a mattress or a plain bed sheet put you a bit too close to the ground where the bugs are.
This bed, designed by Joe Manus, is a fantastically decadent way of relaxing outdoors, and you can also use it indoors, since it has rubber stoppers if you don’t always want it to rock you to sleep.
2. M Shaped Couches
If you are a typography buff, than this couch should get you a bit giddy (and possibly a bit frustrated that you didn’t think of it first). The couch is designed by Claudio Scotto, and it is part of a whole set of furnishings based on letters, which you can see here.
Here we have an excellent example of a piece of furniture that serves multiple purposes. It’s a chair, of course, and that means that you can sit on it. It is also modernly designed, so it’s also a great decoration piece. But the coolest thing about it is that you can also use it as a book shelf, which means it can become your “reading chair” by the window.
4. Pump It!
An intricate part of design is finding simple solutions for problems. If you’ve ever had more people sleeping over than you have places to let them sleep, than you know just how marvelous an idea this design is. By incorporating the airbed into the carpet, the designers eliminated the problem of having to move furniture around when guests stay over.
5. Recycled Silk Chair, Ottoman & Stool
Brightly colored and eco-friendly, this is a great furniture set to have if you’re going for the hippy look. It’s made out of recycled silk, and the yarn is filled with with sponge, so it won’t just be eco-friendly, but also comfortable.
6. Nook Coffee Table
The living room is the common area where you entertain guests. As such, a coffee table is a must in any living room. But this doesn’t mean that a coffee table has to only be a coffee table. It can also help you save space by serving as a book shelf, without occupying room reserved for coffee.
7. Bulldang Seat
Sometimes, man, you just have to say no to convention. That’s exactly what this cool seat does. It basically lets you decide what it is going to be. It can be chair, bed or sofa. All you have to do is shape it into whatever form you think is most comfortable. This is an excellent example of how to let the user customize his own experience from your design.
8. Contemporary Garden Sofa
Nothing says modern like minimalism, and you get that in full force with this retro sci-fi looking garden sofa. Inspired by pagoda roofs and UFOs, the people at Vondom designed this real classy piece of garden furniture, that comes in three different colors, namely white, black and red. It also has interior lighting, making it perfect for creating ambiance.
9. Hello & Goodbye
Coat hangers are quite overlooked in the world of design, and that is a crying shame. It can be the first thing you interact with when entering a house, or the last when leaving one. That’s why having one that stands out can really spruce up a place.
This gorgeous coat hanger designed by John Nouanesing is so simple it hurts. Instead of adding little hooks to the wooden frame, he just used the frame itself, by bending some of the wooden planks in such a way that clothes can be hung on them.
10. Cocoon Napping Pods
Ever seen an Alien movie? Of course you have! It’s one of the most important franchises in movie history. These “Napping Pods” are a homage to the franchise, and they are terrifically futuristic. Admit it, you’ve always wanted to try sleeping in a space pod.
11. Cabbage Chair
Back to the world of environmentally friendly furniture. The Cabbage Chair is designed by Japanese designer Nendo, who used waste paper from the pleated fabric industry. This paper is usually discarded and harms the ecosystem, so such a product is useful on so many levels.
12. FAZ Modular Sofa
When buying furniture, you usually have to think of how much space it’s going to take up. The innovation here is that you can choose how much space the Modular Sofa is gonna occupy, and what purpose it’s going to serve.
13. The Monroe
The Monroe is cool looking retro decorative surface that can be used as a TV stand, or just to place other decorative objects on it. It’s inspired by a 60’s Moroccan style house, with Jali screen details and a cool looking, hand-crafted latch on the doors.
14. HP Misto PC/Coffee Table
Touchscreen technology is quickly taking over the world, and it stands to reason that people will at least try to apply touchscreen functionality to furniture. We’re sure that there are issues that still need hammering out (you wouldn’t put a cup of coffee on your PC tablet, would you?), but having a coffee table that also doubles as a PC is a really solid and cool concept.
Airbeds seem a bit rudimentary. Just a plain inflatable mattress that you put on the floor to get you through the night. Earlier on our list we mentioned Pump It!, the airbed/carpet that saves space. This inflatable mattress, on the other hand, is in no way interested in saving space. What it’s trying to do is offer you maximum comfort.
You probably wouldn’t see this set of stools and tables in a house, but they are a tremendous idea for a sweets shop. They look really cute (and, even more so, delicious), and can get customers coming just for the novelty look of the shop.
17. Sofabed by Ole Jensen
Together with Claus Molgaard, Ole Jensen designed this sofabed “for the unexpected visitors who stays overnight”. It is an average sofa, essentially, only that it comes with six mattresses that can be laid out quickly and easily, not requiring inflation. Development has been done with the Technical University of Denmark and Innovation Randers, so that the sofa will be environmentally viable.
We’ll just go ahead and say it: This is the cutest set of bedside tables we have ever seen. Socks come in pairs, but sometimes these pairs get mismatched because they’re so similar (black socks, anyone?). These tables are just similar enough to be a pair, and just different enough to be two individual tables. They’re also eco-friendly, their “socks” being made from recycled plastic.
19. Swinging Table
It’s a table. With swinging chairs. Words cannot begin to describe what a cool idea this is. And 4 seats is not the only option. There’s a 6 seat version, a 12 seat version, and, best of all, there’s also a bar version. If you’re anything like us, you suddenly feel the urge to open a bar.
LOMME, which stands for “Light over matter mind evolution”, aims to revolutionize sleeping by making a bed that creates and ideal sleep environment, using light, sound, touch and color. Like the Misto PC/Coffee Table, LOMME is as much gadget as it is a piece of furniture.
So, that raps up our list of unique and unusual furniture designs. We hope you enjoyed browsing it, and that it’ll help you get some design inspiration. Share any cool furniture designs you like in the comment section.