a painting is meant to be looked at and fashion meant to be worn, furniture is meant to be lived in—slept in, worked in, sat in. It dictates how we interact with our surrounding spaces, how we go about our every day. Even during the most mundane moments: George Nelson’s collection for Herman Miller, for example, created the template for cubicles, now omnipresent in office buildings around America.
But what are these pieces that have not only entered our homes but our collective consciousness? Vogue asked 22 interior designers and professionals to find out. Their answers ranged from the simple farm table to Gaetano Pesce’s Space Age–esque Up chair. Some of them are akin to priceless works of art: Take Yves Klein’s Table IKB. In 1961, Klein painted a canvas with International Klein Blue, a color he invented himself. (The work now sits in MoMA.) Two years later, after the artist’s death, his widow shepherded a coffee table filled with the same ultramarine pigment to market, based on the late artist’s prototype. Yet, unlike fine art, design is a medium where form almost always follows function: You can still set your coffee mug upon a Table IKB—although we’d recommend a coaster.
Below, a list of the most iconic furniture designs in history, as chosen by the experts.