By Liz Arnold, for Real Simple

What will be collectible 20, 30 even 50 years from now? Real Simple asks experts to name the 10 home accessories that will stand the test of time.


by Philippe Starck

Great indoors or – believe it or not – outdoors, this chair is a refreshing twist on the 250-year-old Louis XVI version, a court of Versailles staple that had a huge impact on furniture design.
TO BUY: $362, for stores.

the backstory

French designer Starck, the man behind boutique hotels like the Delano, in Miami Beach, joined forces with Italian furniture manufacturer Kartell in 2002 to create this beauty, which is made by injecting molten plastic into a mold (so it has no seams). It resides in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

what the design pros say

  • “Starck is channeling the history of furniture and combining it with technology to make it entirely modern,” says Richard Wright.
  • “He’s a design genius,” says Jeffrey Beers. “This chair will certainly appreciate tenfold in 25 to 30 years.”


by Tord Boontje

This shimmery fixture features a doilylike shade in brass or silver, which clips to the base of a bulb. You can combine shades to create larger designs.
TO BUY: $80,

the backstory

In 2001 botany met bare bulbs when Dutch designer Boontje devised a pattern of leaves and flowers on a sheet of metal that could be cut with a laser. His light is now in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London.

what the design pros say

  • “Boontje made metal ethereal,” says Suzan Globus. “He’s the first person to push laser-cut technology to design something that many people can afford.”
  • “I can see why I’d stilt be excited about this piece in 30 years,” says Anthony Di Bitonto. “Some things are too heavily styled, and they can took dated. But this is pure and simple.”


by Ted Muehling

This hand-rubbed holder features a slender, elongated silhouette. The candlestick looks dainty but is sturdy and well proportioned.
TO BUY: $576, for stores.

the backstory

New York City jewelry designer Muehling based this piece on a 19th-century Biedermeier candlestick he found at a flea market. After MuehGng experimented with traditional metal-working methods that proved too costly and labor-intensive, his friend Rhett Butler, owner of the hardware firm E. R. Butler & Co., sug- gested he try a computerized lathe, which allowed precise control to shape the flawless design. The line launched in 2002.

what the design pros say

  • “A classic object, like this candlestick, is something you want to keep looking at forever,” says Di Bitonto.
  • “It’s not antique and not modern,” says Chip Cordelli. “It’s in-between.”


by Hermès

Strikingly chic – but also dishwasher- and microwave-safe – this set features a red pigment meticulously applied by hand in several layers to achieve dimension.
TO BUY: $380 for a five-piece place setting, for stores.

the backstory

Known for its leather goods, the French luxury purveyor Hermès branched into tableware in 1984 and in 2005 introduced Balcons du Guadalquivir, named for the iron balconies overlooking the Guadalquivir River, in the Andalusia region of Spain.

what the design pros say

  • “Hermès has been about smaller-scale patterns, like the chain motif,” says Steven Sclaroff. “I think this enlarged, bolder pattern is where dinnerware is going.”
  • “Everything Hermès stands for is about quality and timelessness,” says Ralph Pucci.


by Baker

With a sturdy maple hardwood frame, this sofa will last for generations. Reminiscent of midcentury modern Danish and Scandinavian designs, it mixes a traditional camelback style with contemporary, clean lines to create a timeless took.
TO BUY: $5,334 and up, for stores.

the backstory

Baker has been turning out classic furnishings since the company was founded, in 1890. This sofa, introduced in 1995, hails from the debut collection of San Francisco designer Michael Vanderbyl for Baker.

what the design pros say

  • “I don’t know if people still buy furniture to pass onto the grandchildren, but they buy pieces that will last a lifetime,” says Terry Kovel. “My husband, Ralph, and I got married more than 50 years ago, and Baker was what you bought. It will endure through the years.”
  • “Baker furniture holds value in the same way antiques do – and antiques never go out of style,” says Jennifer Litwin.
by Adeline Weinrib

This handwoven cotton rug is reversible and features an interpretation of an endless knot, a Buddhist symbol that represents unity or eternity. In textiles, the motif is typically seen as part of a larger pattern, but this version celebrates it on its own.
TO BUY: $1,050 (8 by 10 feel), for locations.

the backstory

Designer Weinrib, whose great-grandfather founded ABC Carpet & Home, created the Megan rug in 2005. She also designs home accessories, such as ikat pillows (made with yarns that have been tie-dyed before weaving) and tasseled beach towels.

what the design pros say

  • “It’s the perfect blend of minimalist design and maximal color,” says Celerie Kemble. “When that’s done right, it can become iconic.”
  • “It’s fresh yet totally familiar,” says Sclaroff. “And its allover design makes furniture placement easier – you can always see the pattern.”


by Jonathan Adler

Bursting with texture and graphic oomph, these handmade Bargello pillows from designer Adler get their name from a type of needlework that produces a zigzagging pattern of long stitches.
TO BUY: $110 to $145;

the backstory

Although needlework had a resurgence in the ‘ 1970s, and then again around 2000, Adler modernized the medium in 2005 by infusing his throw pillows with what he calls “Palm Beach style”: punchy, in-your-face colors and geometric designs.

what the design pros say

  • “Adler is so well-known own that having one of his pillows has its own cachet,” says Lisa S. Roberts. “In 25 years, they’ll be collectible, because they’re from his original line.”
  • “He’s channeling needlework from the past,” says Wright. “There’s something appealing about accessing that history.”


by Ruzzetti & Gow

These seashells are gathered in the Philippines and sent to Rome, where Ruzzetti artisans coat them – wholly or partially – with sterling silver.
TO BUY: $40 to $2,500 each (most are in the $200 range), for stores.

the backstory

Designer Christopher Gow first saw these shells in 1993 – they were being produced in the Italian silver factory of his friend Giampiero Ruzzetti. “I would bring them back to the United States as wedding gifts,” says Gow, “and people went crazy for them.” The duo began exporting them in 1996.

what the design pros say

  • “They’re both precious and durable,” says Kemble. “And they’ll last because they work in a variety of settings. They’re as appropriate on a coffee table or a bookshelf in the city as they are at a beach house.”
  • “Who knows what silver is going to be worth in 50 years?” says Cordelli. “I think it will be something really special.”


by Patricia Urquiola

Made of shatterproof injection-molded plastic, this table features a 20-inch-diameter top with a delicate cutout design. It’s available in three heights.
TO BUY: $239, for stores.

the backstory

Spanish designer Urquiola had a hit with this table at the 2005 Milan international Furniture Fair, and in 2006 it went into mass production.

what the design pros say

  • “In 30 years, the table will took just as fresh,” says Di Bitonto. “It’s simple and modern.”
  • “It’s a higher calling to make a table that a thousand people can buy rather than one that only a hedge-fund guy can buy,” says Wright.


by Riedel

Happily liberated from the stem – or what Sclaroff calls the “problematic appendage” – these tumbler-style glasses are lead-free and dishwasher-safe. They take up minimal cabinet space and reflect the trend toward casual wine drinking.
TO BUY: $20 for two,

the backstory

Frustrated that his stemmed glasses wouldn’t fit in his cupboard, Maximilian Riedel, chief executive officer of Riedel Crystal USA, introduced his design for the company’s first stemless wineglasses in 2004.

what the design pros say

  • “Dining has become less formal,” says Di Bitonto. “These will be around in years to come – they’re down-to-earth and fit with. people’s lifestyles.”
  • “These will become classics because functionally, they’re superior to stemmed glasses,” says Sclaroft. “They’re comfortable and harder to break.”


Jeffrey Beers is the founder and CEO of the New York City architecture and design firm Jeffrey Beers International (

Chip Cordelli ( is a furniture dealer and a prop and interior stylist based in Brooklyn.

Anthony Di Bitonto is director of industrial design at Smart Design (, a consulting firm in New York City.

Suzan Globus is the principal of Globus Design Associates (, in Red Bank, New Jersey.

Celerie Kemble ( is an interior designer based in NewYork City.

Terry Kovel ( is an authority on antiques in Beachwood, Ohio.

Jennifer Litwin ( is a home-furnishings expert in Chicago.

Ralph Pucci owns the Ralph Pucci International furniture showrooms ( He is based in New York City.

Lisa S. Roberts ( is an antiques connoisseur. She is based in Philadelphia.

Steven Sclaroff is a New York City interior designer. He owns the home-furnishings shop Steven Sclaroff (

Richard Wright is the president of the Wright Auction House (, in Chicago.

Jennifer Litwin