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These 6 Timeless Furniture Pieces are Built to Last

When it comes to investing in furniture, I approach it like I do my wardrobe and have no qualms purchasing pieces that'll get worn over and over again, such as a Ralph Lauren jacket or Hermes scarf. After all, you can't put a price on the feeling you get from wearing a confidence-exuding garment, right? The trick is to mix investment items with affordable ones (i.e., Target T-shirts and Old Navy jeans). I recommend you approach décor the same way. Invest in furniture you’ll find yourself perched upon or using all the time—pieces that never go out of style and always bring you joy. 

1) Chesterfield Sofa

The Chesterfield sofa dates back to the 1700s, but the couch’s iconic deep-button design and low seating is as popular today as ever, thanks to Restoration Hardware and iconic hotels such as New York's The NoMad showcasing it in their décor collections. The piece's library-like aesthetic suits a variety of interior design styles, from traditional to contemporary, and continues to be a sought-after pick. When covered in distressed leather or Belgian linen, it warms up a space with its textural qualities; when covered in sleek, supple black leather, it provides a modern feel to any space.

Secretary Desk

2) Secretary Desk

The secretary desk—complete with a chest of drawers on the bottom, a bookcase on top, and a cleverly concealed desk surface—is a versatile piece of furniture that was originally a storage solution. Although antique secretary desks typically conjure up images of imposing traditional pieces, new designs have modernized the concept, while older models have been outfitted for new uses.

French Bistro Chairs

3) French Bistro Chairs

Add Parisian charm to your kitchen via classic French bistro chairs and the counter stools they’ve inspired. Their bentwood frames add a natural material, while woven backs and seats add texture and color. This chair can fit right into vintage modern, traditional, Mediterranean, provincial, or even contemporary rooms. 

Eames Chair

4) Eames Chair

Husband-and-wife design team, Charles and Ray Eames, set out to create a relaxed lounge chair that emulated the look of a worn baseball mitt. Their creation mixes a curvy, molded plywood shell with comfortable leather upholstery and an aluminum base on a swivel. The lounge chair and ottoman were instantly a hit in the mid-century and continue to be a major fixture on the design scene today. 

Trestle Table

5) Trestle Table

With origins in medieval times, a trestle table is simply a wood board placed over folding legs. Originally designed to be easily put up and taken down, since most medieval castles didn't have a designated dining room, today’s versions are a bit more permanent (and definitely more stylish!) but still serve the same function: a simple table to gather around with family and friends.  

Canopy Bed

6) Canopy Bed

The canopy bed's roots are practical rather than stylish, since they were designed with curtains that would completely enclose the bed for warmth and privacy. Canopy beds today typically forego the draperies and let the stately structure stand on its own, allowing it to blend with more design styles.

By Kerrie L. Kelly, FASID
Kerrie L. Kelly, FASID

Kerrie L. Kelly, FASID, is an award-winning interior designer, author, product developer, and multimedia consultant helping brands reach the interior design community. To contact her, visit or call 916-919-3023.