Art & Design Interiors & Design

Statement Pieces: The Designer Homeware to Covet in 2021

Thanks to groundbreaking new designs and solid green credentials, these items are sure to lift your interior design—and spirits—this year

When asked to forecast his trends for 2021, A-list designer Brad Ford had one simple observation: “Staying in is the new going out.” But being housebound has its benefits—like the chance to go all out on our homes. Think high-style accessories, bold bursts of color, luxurious finishes on functional items, and statement pieces all round. Find all that, plus some excellent eco-friendly designs, right here.

Dramatic Pause

Statement pieces of black and gold chairs on red background
Reminiscent of musical instruments, the contours of the Maestro Chair are created by three continuous hand-bent, hand-polished and plated tubes, forming a seamless embrace around its seat and back.

British design wunderkind Lee Broom didn’t let lockdown stop him from launching his Maestro chair in style. A virtual presentation featured musicians seated (safely apart) on the chairs playing music by Debussy. This grand gesture was a direct nod to the chair’s design—the curved steel wirework is designed to bring to mind instruments from the brass section of a classical orchestra.

“Music continually informs and directs where I take my work,” says Broom of the chair. Maestro is available in three finishes—a soft satin brass, futuristic mirrored chrome, and matte black—and can be upholstered in velvet, wool, or leather.

Technicolor Glory

A colorful bar cabinet
The Chhau Donna bar storage cabinet by Elena Salmistraro is reminiscent of work by the Memphis Group, and combines exquisite craftsmanship with a riot of colors inspired by the female Chhhau dancers of India.

Minimalists, look away now. When 2020’s Milan Furniture Fair was canceled, Scarlet Splendour decided to champion the designers and craftsmen it works with, and who suddenly found themselves potentially out of business. The result was Scarlet Scenes 2020, a collection of pieces designed to transport us into “a world of drama, dance, song, and laughter.”

Sculptor and designer Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba, for example, cocreated the Forest collection, which includes Gorilla, an ape-shaped seat, and the zingy Leaf rug. Elena Salmistraro, meanwhile, helped produce the Chhau Donna Cabinet inspired by India’s Chhau dancers.

Off the Catwalk

A bench, stool, and table on black background
“Natural walnuts and oaks contrast with blackened steel accents to create a juxtaposition of soft and hard edges,” Kelly Martin says of her designs. All pieces are made to order in Los Angeles, with the goal of creating high-end fashion for your home.

Before Kelly Martin opened her own interior designer firm, she worked in the wood shop of a commercial design-build company, later moving into custom furniture design for a retailer in Los Angeles. Martin has now launched her own furniture line, AtelierXKM.

Her first foray into own-brand homewares consists of three thoughtful pieces, each named after icons of the fashion world. The Sonia daybed is named after Sonia Rykiel, while the Gigli side table pays homage to Romeo Gigli, and is a sculptural take on his “power dressing” style. Coco completes the trio, which “channels the timeless feminine designs of Coco Chanel in combination with the hourglass shape that Christian Dior mastered.”

Novel Idea

A minimalistic desk against dark wood background
The Era Scrittoio desk’s reduced lines lend it a graphic, minimalistic feel, while its chromatic accents ensure it comes alive with decorative charm.

If you’ve always wanted to pen that long-dreamed-of book, or perhaps your memoirs, you’ll need a suitable desk at which to sit. The Era Scrittorio from Italian design house Living Divani is an elegant example, with a drawer and shelf for your writing essentials.

Designed by David Lopez Quincoces, the desk’s frame is available in steel with gunmetal or matte brass and its top can be veneered in stone oak or walnut. Its drawer, meanwhile, can be custom-lacquered in a variety of glossy shades. The desk is, of course, as suited to homeworking and home office chores as it is to writing the next bestseller.

Ahead of the Curve

curved concrete stools in various colors
Designed to be placed indoors and out, these concrete stools feel buoyant—despite being constructed from concrete. The tone and finishes are particular to each piece, as each item is cast and finished by hand in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles-based architect Jerome Byron says he was fascinated with the idea of concrete indoor seating because of its mass and weight. “It’s obviously not a material known for its portability,” he admits. “The challenge was to create something lightweight.”

Rising to that task, Byron began experimenting with glass fiber reinforced concrete, which can be used for thinner structures. The finished result is a series of curvaceous stools and benches in delicate shades of yellow, pink, purple, and gray. The stools are made by pouring base material into a flat rubber mold, which is allowed to dry slightly before being curved.

Family Affair

A cream sofa with dark piping
The Pillopipe Evo Green is the first 100 percent eco-sustainable modular sofa. Characterized by signature piping, it lends itself to a wide range of settings and formal or informal seating arrangements.

Casamilano’s roots date back, indirectly, to 1929 when Carlo Turati set up an artisanal furniture business in Brianza, northern Italy. At the end of the 20th century his grandchildren Anna, Elena, and Carlo set up a company of their own—Casamilano.

Today, Casamilano is known for its clean, contemporary designs, and also for its impeccable green credentials. Casamilano’s furniture production is “zero-kilometer,” being made entirely in Brianza from local materials. The company recently debuted its first 100 percent eco-sustainable sofa, the modular Pillopipe, which takes its name from the piping on its super comfortable cushions.

Graphic Effects

An abstract wallpaper design and sofa
Wallpepper not only provides striking designs for your home, but also offers a new Wallsilk Antibacterial protective finish, which eliminates 99.9 percent of bacteria from its surface.

However much of a statement you want your statement wall to make, Italian wallpaper expert WallPepper has the design for you. The company’s latest collections include Ambiente, which recalls the marvels of nature, including overblown florals and leaf designs, Kronos, inspired by architecture and frescos, and Up-to-date, featuring eye-popping optical effects, eclectic mixes of shapes and colors, and abstract creations, as well as designs that reproduce surfaces like marble, concrete, wood, and metal.

Banner image: Wallpepper’s Rosso Savanna wallpaper design