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A Highlights Reel of Furniture in the Spotlight

Actors may bask in most of the spotlight generated by great films and TV shows, but the power of a well-curated set is undeniable. The perfect chair, the art chosen for a wall or a carefully sourced table can surreptitiously reveal important clues about a character or set the tone for the atmosphere in a scene. These are our favourite Furniture and Film moments…

Hans Wegner’s Ox Chair in Austin Powers

Hans Wegner’s leather Ox Chair is considered to be the essence of masculinity. It was also a favourite in the designer’s home, due to its unparalleled comfort. Quite a feat, considering Wegner designed some 500 chairs in his lifetime. It featured in the 1997 motion picture Austin Powers as Doctor Evil’s seat of power. Doctor Evil’s schemes often include his attempts to take over the world and this chair seems a fitting choice for a leader with aspirations to take over the world.

Eero Saarinen’s Womb Chair in Down with Love

The Womb Chair and Ottoman were created after Florence Knoll requested Eero Saarinen to design a chair that was “like a basket full of pillows – something she could really curl up in”. It features in the 2003 film, Down with Love which stars Renée Zellweger as Nancy, a mousy author who takes on the persona of “Barbara”, a sexier and more sophisticated version of herself. Her gorgeously feminine apartment is part of this transformation and the delicate, pink Womb Chairs certainly add to this.

Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona Couch in Twilight

Mies van der Rohe and Lily Reich designed the Barcelona Couch in 1930 and it shares the same simple elegance as the iconic Barcelona Chair. It features in the Twilight series in the home of the Cullen family, the second most powerful coven. The series is considered a cult classic, but it is the Cullen’s home that has architects and interior designers swooning. The Barcelona Couch fits in perfectly with the house’s sleek, sophisticated design and brings a timeless feel to the home’s interiors.

Hans Wegner’s Wishbone Chair in Normal People

Of the 500-odd chairs that the legendary Danish designer Hans Wegner conceived in its lifetime, the Wishbone Chair was his most successful and arguably, his most celebrated. It is seen in Normal People, a novel-turned-series that follows Marianne and Connell, from different backgrounds but the same small town in Ireland, as they weave in and out of each other’s romantic lives and start to grow up. The Wishbone Chairs add an easy elegance to the room, with its simple design and clean lines.

Charles and Ray Eames’ Lounge Chair and Ottoman in Sunday in New York

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman are considered among the most significant and collectible furniture designs of the 20th century. This piece features in Sunday in New York, a 1963 American romantic comedy starring Jane Fonda. Her character, Eileen Tyler, reclines into this Eames classic in a chic Upper East Side loft apartment as she tries to seduce Philadelphia music critic, Mike Mitchell. Practicality might not be a very sexy concept, but it nonetheless drove designers Charles and Ray Eames to create some incredibly sexy pieces of furniture – The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman being one of them.

Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair in Zoolander

Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair was created in 1958, along with the Swan Chair, to furnish the lobby and lounges of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The Egg Chair has been seen in a myriad of cinematic productions such as Austin Powers, Zoolander, Ugly Betty, Men in Black, Lucky Number Sleven, and A Space Odyssey. In Zoolander, it is the seat of Ja­cobin Mu­gatu, played by Will Ferrell, the hilarious antagonist in the film.

Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair in Star Trek

The Tulip Chair was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1955 and 1956 and is considered a modern classic. The chair is widely believed to have heavily featured in the original Star Trek TV series. However, it was in fact an imitation by Burke of Dallas Texas and was named the Burke Tulip. Design lovers would have recognized that the Burke version’s pedestal features a four-legged propeller shaped base instead of the circular one seen on Saarinen’s design.

Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand’s LC3 arm chair in Sherlock

The LC3 was part of the LC range of seating, the first results of the collaboration between Le Corbusier, Jeanneret and Perriand in 1928. radically altered the expected look of the club chairs by putting the frame of the chair on the outside. It featured in the BBC series, Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The production designer, Arwel W Jones, chose this chair for Sherlock because he “wanted something that was a timeless classic. As soon as we saw an image of the Le Corbusier… it ticked every box. It’s low at the back, for the practicalities of shooting, and had exactly that timeless elegance”.

Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair in Mars Attacks

Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair debuted at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne, Germany, in 1966 and was an overnight sensation – even appearing on the evening news. The chair has It has featured in the TV Series The Prisoner (1967) and feature films such as Tommy (1975) and Dazed and Confused (1993) and of course, Mars Attacks! (1996). The design is futuristic and fun and was the perfect fit for a film that sees an army of aliens from Mars visit Earth and meet the president of the United states under peaceful pretences.

Charles and Ray Eames’ Shell Chair in Mad Men

If there is a chair that can be said to be the archetype of most modern dining chairs, it is the Eames series of shell chairs. As timeless icons of functional minimalism, the chairs feature in the Mad Men series. The show’s interior set designs, by Claudette Didul-Mann, act as a time capsule from the world of 1960’s advertising in New York. Didul-Mann referenced her visits to her father’s mid-town Manhattan Advertising office and architectural books from the late 1950’s as reference points, “a lot of them had Eames furniture, it was mass produced and very commercial for the time” she states.

Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair in Casino Royale

Mies van der Rohe’s ‘less-is-more’ approach was the gold standard for many generations of modern designers and few pieces have been as enduring as that of the Barcelona Chair. The iconic piece has reached cult status and remains as fresh and contemporary today as when it was released more than 90 years ago. It seems fitting that such a timeless design features in the James Bond franchise, movies that have lit up cinemas since 1962.

Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair in 9 1/2 Weeks

Marcel Breuer was both a prolific furniture designer and architect. His Wassily Chair remains one of the most identifiable icons of modern furniture design and is celebrated for its striking simplicity and functionality. The chair features in the 1986 American erotic romantic drama film, 9 1/2 weeks, starring Kim Basinger. In the film, the chair adds extra sophistication to the monochrome 1980s bachelor pad where the highly sensual affair plays out.

Henrik Thor-Larsen’s Ovalia Egg Chair in Men in Black

Henrik Thor-Larsen’s Ovalia Egg Chair was exhibited for the first time at the Scandinavian Furniture Fair in 1968 and was an immediate success. It was thrust back into the spotlight in 2002 when it featured in the much-loved Men in Black 2, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. In the film, Will Smith and the other candidates take their test to become the “best of the best of the best” in the retro-futuristic Ovalia Egg Chair.

If you’re looking for a trusted local store to buy designer furniture in South Africa, then we are a perfect fit for you. Browse our range of designer chairs or speak to us about finding a chair to suit your needs and your home.

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    At the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild exhibition in 1947, a young unknown Danish designer called Hans Wegner was attracting attention. His sleek forms inspired by the minimal designs of China’s Ming dynasty were fresh and radical for the time. He was approached by a furniture manufacturer who wanted to license his designs. That same manufacturer has not stopped producing the young Wegner’s designs from 1947 to this day.

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